2018 NRL season preview: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

The next of my season preview series looks at a team who made the finals for five consecutive years, which equaled the club record, before missing out on the finals last year. However, with a new coach and a change in approach, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will be looking to regain some of their bite!

Roster

Aaron Woods
Adam Elliott
Aiden Tolman
Asipeli Fine
Clay Priest
Danny Fualalo
David Klemmer
Francis Tualau
Greg Eastwood
Josh Jackson
Michael Lichaa
Ofahiki Ogden
Raymond Faitala-Mariner
Renouf Toomaga
Rhyse Martin
Zac Woolford
Brett Morris
John Olive
Josh Cleeland
Josh Morris
Kerrod Holland
Kieran Foran
Lachlan Lewis
Marcelo Montoya
Mason Cerruto
Matt Frawley
Moses Mbye
Reimis Smith
Will Hopoate
Fa’amanu Brown
Zac Saddler

Coach

Dean Pay

 

My 2018 Starting 17 Line-Up (Predicted)

1. Moses Mbye
2. Brett Morris
3. Josh Morris
4. Will Hopoate
5. Marcelo Montoya
6. Kieran Foran
7. Matt Frawley
8. Aaron Woods
9. Michael Lichaa
10. Aiden Tolman
11. Josh Jackson
12. Adam Elliott
13. David Klemmer
14. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
15. Greg Eastwood
16. Clay Priest
17. Danny Fualalo

Reserves

Outside Backs
Kerrod Holland
Reimis Smith
John Olive

Spine
Zac Woolford
Josh Cleeland
Mason Cerruto
Lachlan Lewis

Power Forwards
Francis Tualau
Zac Saddler

Small Forwards
Asipeli Fine
Ofahiki Ogden
Renouf Toomaga
Rhyse Martin

 

Ryan Eckford’s prediction (13th)

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have seen some changes during the off-season, including changes to their board, a change of coach with Dean Pay taking over from Des Hasler, and the key signings of Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers), Clay Priest (Canberra Raiders), and Kieran Foran (NZ Warriors), who has problems with persistent hamstring injuries, as well as issues in his personal life in recent years, playing less than 20 NRL matches in the past three seasons, including just nine matches back in 2016 when he was with the Parramatta Eels, which is the equal lowest amount of matches he has played in an NRL season (2009).

Overall, the spine is okay, the backline is okay, the forward pack is strong, but the depth of the squad is lacking!

If Foran stays injury-free, and that’s a big if, the Bulldogs can be a dark-horse for the premiership.

However, there are too many concerns around this club, both on and off the field, in my opinion to rank them anywhere near my top eight at this stage!

 

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/2018-nrl-season-preview-south-sydney-rabbitohs/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/2018-nrl-season-preview-nz-warriors/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/2018-nrl-season-preview-wests-tigers/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/2018-nrl-season-preview-gold-coast-titans/

https://ryaneckfordsports.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/2018-nrl-season-preview-newcastle-knights/

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