Canterbury coach Trent Barrett accused his team of blowing a golden chance of a breakthrough victory, citing the failure of players to make simple one-on-one tackles or stick to their attacking system as the catalyst for their 24-0 loss to Brisbane on Saturday night.
Barrett refused to sugar-coat just how poor the Bulldogs were against the Broncos, with a dour affair only opening up in the final 20 minutes of the game as Brisbane ran out four-tries-to-nil victors with Canterbury held scoreless for two straight games for the first time in club history.
The new coach has made no secret of how he needs to rebuild Canterbury and while he’s put his faith in former Roosters halfback Kyle Flanagan to lead the show, he wasn’t throwing the youngster under the bus after the loss as he felt the system broke down by individuals not doing their own roles.
“I just thought our attack was ordinary to say the least,” Barrett said.
“Your halves are pretty easy to blame when the attack falls down but there is a hell of a lot needs to go on around halfback for him to play well as well.
“He could’ve done a few things better tonight Kyle, but the attack revolves around 13 people on the football field.
Match Highlights: Broncos v Bulldogs
“I thought we had enough possession there in the second half and just didn’t apply any pressure and didn’t build pressure and just wasn’t up to standard. We let them off the hook and it puts too much pressure on your defence in the end.
“It’s the NRL, that’s the standard we expect when we do get down there to execute what we’ve practiced and we didn’t, and in turn we put too much pressure on ourselves defensively at the back end of the game, and as was the case last week missing one-on-one tackles that individuals need to make.
“It’s on everyone, there is nothing wrong with the system but littered through it if someone misses their job or isn’t committed to what their doing in their role it’s the same as defensively. Your attacking system will break down if every individual in the team isn’t doing their job.”
Making matters worse for Barrett, hooker Jeremy Marshall-King suffered a suspected broken foot while Josh Jackson and bench forward Renouf Atoni were both put on report for separate first-half incidents.
The Bulldogs have now failed to score any points for successive games after last week’s 28-0 defeat to Penrith.
Canterbury have just one win from their last 12 games, that victory coming in round 19 last season when they upset South Sydney for a result that handed the Broncos the 2020 wooden spoon.
Barrett admitted it’s going to be hard to keep the players’ belief up as they face a tough task next week against South Sydney.
“It’s not going to matter who we play to be honest we need to fix our own backyard and fix some things quite quickly because there is some things in our game that aren’t good enough,” Barrett said.
“It’s keeping the belief there that we need to keep working hard and keep doing it.
“These blokes have been in this position for a while … there’s times when some accountability needs to come from individuals as well, there was tries we still could’ve stopped and that’s the standard we expect at this level, you make your tackles regardless of how fatigued you are and at the moment we’re not.
“It would be easy for me to throw everything out the window but we just have to stick to process and keep working hard.
“We are happy with like our intent and character for an hour but that’s a given in the NRL. There is others things you need to do well, you need to execute, you need to get your plays on, and that’s what the NRL is. It’s a combination of effort. You can’t just win on effort alone. You’ve got to fix a lot of things and at the moment we’re not giving ourselves a chance to win.”