Bulldogs how Panthers feel: Ryan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs how Panthers feel: Ryan

By Ed Jackson 20/03/2009 11:44:05 AM Comments (0)

Bulldogs skipper Andrew Ryan has challenged his team to forget their opening round win over premiers Manly if they want to be seen as genuine finals contenders.

The new-look Bulldogs smashed the embattled Sea Eagles 34-12 at ANZ Stadium in round one, taking a big step toward erasing memories of last year's wooden spoon.

But Ryan said the emphatic start was the result of months of work and had to be followed up with consistent performances, starting with a trip to under-pressure Penrith on Saturday night.

"I guess we've been planning for that Manly game right through the off-season," Ryan said.

"We knew we were going to be playing them round one and we knew it was going to be a massive challenge for us.

"From Monday morning we've just had to come in and say `it's on again this week'. That's what being one of the better teams is, and trying to be consistent is turning up every week.

"It was a good result but we've moved on from that on Monday and we're ready to go for Penrith this week."

Unlike the optimism surrounding the Bulldogs, the Panthers are already under the pump following a first-round loss to Cronulla, with many tipping Penrith to take over the wooden spoon this season.

But Ryan dismissed any suggestion the Bulldogs could subconsciously slacken off at CUA Stadium, saying they were only too aware how motivational being written off by all and sundry can be.

"We were up against it a lot last year, we're not complacent for any game whatsoever," he said.

"They've got some massive guys obviously, (Petero) Civoniceva, Frank Pritchard's been named on the bench, Tim Grant up front, (Adam) Woolnough off the bench too, so they're a big strong forward pack.

"For us to be any chance we need to work hard in the forwards and defensively, they've got some really dangerous players too, obviously (Michael) Jennings scored a fantastic try the other night, and then there's (Jarrod) Sammut and Luke Lewis in the halves as well. They've got some good performers there."

The major excitement around the Bulldogs camp has been the rebuilding of the team's list in the off-season.

Seven players made their first appearance for the club against the Sea Eagles including the likes of well-established players Brett Kimmorley, Michael Ennis and Ben Hannant.

Coach Kevin Moore said he'd been delighted with the way the new arrivals had blended into the squad.

"It certainly was an important area and it's something that I said right from the start ... was the main focus for me, just to get everyone to know each other and build that camaraderie," Moore said.

"It hasn't been all that difficult because I think the players have been outstanding ... they're committed to the club and from my point of view that makes my job easier."

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