Mason unconcerned about Bulldogs' break - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mason unconcerned about Bulldogs' break

By Steve Jancetic 10/09/2006 07:42:36 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs enforcer Willie Mason is unconcerned about having another weekend off, especially if it gives injured duo Reni Maitua and Roy Asotasi enough time to get back on the paddock.

The Bulldogs booked a berth in week three of the NRL finals with a 30-12 win over Canberra in Sunday's third qualifying final at a rain-soaked Telstra Stadium, and now have 13 days to prepare for a clash against either Brisbane or Newcastle at Aussie Stadium on September 22.

Mason showed little rustiness on his return from a two-game suspension for a high tackle, and said he wasn't fazed by another break.

"You put that much effort into a game, a week off really helps, it gets you over the niggles," Mason said.

"I'll be ready for any game they throw at me now. As long as you keep training hard and keep our mental focus on the games, it'll take care of itself really.

"If you're not match fit by now you're not fit."

While the Bulldogs pack hardly seemed to miss Maitua or Asotasi as they dismantled the Raiders defensive line, Mason was hopeful of having one if not both back for the preliminary final.

Both are battling knee injuries, Asotasi's the more serous of the two after he damaged the posterior cruciate ligament only three weeks ago.

Despite being told he wouldn't play again this year, Asotasi has undertaken a vigorous rehabilitation program in a bid to play one more match in the blue and white jersey before his move to South Sydney next season.

"In a perfect world, we were hoping we'd win the game, we'd get the week off and them two would come back," Test prop Mason said.

"I'm pretty positive about Reni and Roy now gets that extra week off, gets that opportunity to come back and he's really working hard to get back, doing everything he possibly can.

"Fingers crossed we get them both back but if not the guys now are doing the job."

Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes didn't sound too optimistic when asked if Asotasi was any chance of playing in the grand final qualifier.

"If you ask the doctor he's not, but if you ask Roy he is," Folkes said.

"I think Reni certainly, but other than that I'm not sure."

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