After a promising finish to 2019, Canterbury had a disappointing 2020, narrowly avoiding the wooden spoon.
2020 Club Record
Competition Points: 6
2020 Player Achievements
Most Tries: Nick Meaney & Raymond Faitala-Mariner (6)
Most Points: Meaney (68)
Full of twists and turns, the 2020 season was certainly another dull one for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Though they narrowly avoided the wooden spoon, the club could be proud of the effort shown on the field. Unfortunately, Dean Pay’s squad were always several steps behind their opponents – aside from three rare victories. It saved them from the spoon, but could not save Pay from the axe. As we look towards the Trent Barrett era, we have to first look back at what will hopefully be the last in a dreadful run of crippling years on-and-off the field for the Bulldogs.
Things began well with a narrow loss to the Parramatta Eels in round one, however it was evident that the blue-and-whites’ lack of attacking prowess would haunt them all season long. While many of their games were close, there was clearly a missing X-factor in several key positions. Kieran Foran brought direction and was outstanding before another major injury; however, the emergence of Jake Averillo is one highlight that should have fans excited.
As the club parted ways with Pay, fans were quickly growing disgruntled. Thankfully, they announced Barrett as their new coach shortly after and added Luke Thompson one year early due to COVID-19. Following that were the signings of star NSW winger Nick Cotric, experienced playmaker Blake Green, Manly backrower Corey Waddell, and Panthers hard man Jack Hetherington.
Results on the field did not meet expectations, that’s for sure. However, the guts and effort on display was one shining light. Plus, a somewhat shocking turn of events, with Kyle Flanagan joining the club, is a huge boost.
That, coupled with a whole new coaching staff, led by the Panthers attacking and assistant coach Barrett, plus the settling of off-field board issues, should see a lift off the bottom of the ladder in 2021.
NothingButLeague Player of the Season
Despite almost collecting the spoon, the club did have several players stand out in many of their close contests: none more so than Kieran Foran. His departure and lack of loyalty may frustrate some fans, but his talent cannot be denied. He played 14 games in 2020 and his leadership in the halves was invaluable. Without it, the club would have arguably lost every game. He created 12 try assists, scored four himself, and showed why he was one of the game’s best when fit.
2021 GAINS AND LOSSES
Nick Cotric (Canberra Raiders, 2023), Kyle Flanagan (Sydney Roosters, 2023), Blake Green (Newcastle Knights, 2021), Jack Hetherington (Penrith Panthers, 2023), Corey Waddell (Manly Sea Eagles, 2022).
Jack Cogger, Tim Lafai, Marcelo Montoya, Sauaso Sue, Isaiah Tass, Aiden Tolman (all released), Kerrod Holland (retired), Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles).