Current ladder position: 5th, 26 points
Points differential: +24
Run Home: Broncos (A), Eels (A), Tigers (H), Souths (H), Titans (A)
After three rounds of the NRL season the Canterbury Bulldogs weren’t looking like impressing anyone with two loses and one victory, so when they went on a seven game win streak from Round 4 onwards it was a surprise to say the least.
That purple patch saw them become real title contenders with big performances from their half back pairing of Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson, which not only sent their side to the top of the ladder but also earned themselves selection for the NSW Blues in what was a historic series victory.
Since that run was ended emphatically by the Sydney Roosters in Round 11 they have only won three of their last nine games, sending them into a crucial stage of the season in poor form.
The Bulldogs need to dust themselves off and give one last push to secure their place in the eight, which looked in no doubt before their late loss of form and if they can win their next three vital games they can look towards reclaiming a place in the top four.
Their run in may not look the toughest however their next three games are against sides desperate to win in order to keep their finals hopes alive. Those sides will look at their match against a vulnerable and out of sorts Bulldogs as a way of sneaking into the eight late on.
I can’t see the Bulldogs slipping out of the eight and victory in their next two games should cement a place in the finals. The Bulldogs could have been contenders for top spot this year and will have to work on dealing with the Origin period next season in order to keep up their push for the top. I think they are a season away from making the grand final and a semi-final or even quarter-final place this year will give them great confidence and belief going into 2015.