Bulldogs use Broncos' spirit for success - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs use Broncos' spirit for success

By Ian McCullough 29/05/2009 03:35:19 PM Comments (0)

Former Brisbane front-rower Greg Eastwood says the resurgent Bulldogs are using the Broncos as a blueprint for NRL success this season.

The Bulldogs have gone from 2008 wooden spooners to genuine premiership contenders under the guidance of coach Kevin Moore, and thanks to a host of new signings including former Brisbane players Eastwood, Michael Ennis, David Stagg and Ben Hannant.

Eastwood also believes Moore's calm demeanour has been key to the team's strong start to the season that sees them sit top of the ladder with an 8-2 record.

"He's just a real relaxed coach. He wants the players to play their game and play what's in front of you instead of more structured," said Eastwood.

"We still have that structured shape but Mick Ennis and Brett Kimmorley are helping them out and it's worked so far."

Hooker Ennis, who only just missed out on a State of Origin call-up to Robbie Farah, has been instrumental for the 'Dogs since moving to the club, and Eastwood said using tactics adopted by his former team have paid off.

"Mick sort of brought a bit of the Broncos gameplan down here ... the boys have really adapted to it. We still haven't got it 100 per cent right so we're sort of just getting used to it," said the New Zealand international.

"(It's) just a lot of stuff near the line and a bit of the shape that the Broncos use.

"Karmichael (Hunt) and (Darren) Lockyer are block players, it looked like the Bulldogs didn't have real good shape last year and Micky's sort of brought that down and it's been working for us and getting us the points to win games."

Hannant will miss Saturday's clash with Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday due to State of Origin commitments, but Eastwood is confident the in-form Bulldogs can cope with his absence.

"It's hard shoes to fill ... Kevvy spoke to the forwards about it, if we all just try to do that little bit extra hopefully we can step up to that sort of level he's at and do the job again," he said.

The Bulldogs will give a late fitness test to talismanic halfback Brett Kimmorley on Saturday morning before the team heads up to Newcastle.

Kimmorley suffered a corked thigh against Melbourne last weekend and was forced out of the game. Daniel Holdsworth will deputise if the experienced playmaker is ruled out.

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