Matt Attard reviews the 2023 Season of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs where they finished 15th on the ladder.
Club StatsEmbed from Getty Images
False Hope and Injury Derail Season of Promise
Most Bulldogs fans were optimistic but realistic heading into a season full of promise.
They had a new coach, new recruits, and a whole lot of hope. But what they didn’t count on was a massive injury list that started with international prop Luke Thompson, who would miss all but a couple of games at the end of the season.
It followed with most of the forward pack – including Viliame Kikau (concussion and a torn pectoral). They aren’t so much excuses as they are valid reasons why they struggled despite a promising opening period.
They chopped and changed a few things throughout the year, but were often dominated in the forwards, thanks largely to a lack of depth and injuries.
Truth be told, their roster and depth was simply not up to scratch as shown by their end ladder position. That has been somewhat rectified heading into 2024, plus the mid-season recruitment of genuine halfback Toby Sexton.
But, fans need not get too excited. As Phil Gould continues to say, there is a ways to go. While there is an extremely strong junior pathways system now set up, it will still be some time until they reap the rewards.
Key Player Stats
Most Try Assists: 16, Matt Burton
Most Line-breaks: 12, Jake Averillo
Most Run Metres: 3,134, Jacob Kiraz
Most Post Contact Metres: 951, Jacob Kiraz
Most Tackles: 986, Reed Mahoney
Most Errors: 26, Reed Mahoney