Dogs digging deep to cover Hannant loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs digging deep to cover Hannant loss

By Wayne Heming 13/08/2009 05:36:45 PM Comments (0)

Classy Bulldogs hooker Michael Ennis has tipped his forwards to have a "real dig" against North Queensland in Friday's NRL clash after the Sydney club lost key prop Ben Hannant to injury.

"We'll need to be good through the middle against their big pack but one thing I'm confident of is guys like Michael Hodgson, Jarrod Hickey and Chris Armit will have a real dig up front," said Ennis after the Bulldogs had a brisk run in Townsville on Thursday.

Hannant, who also suffered a knee injury during the recent State of Origin series, faces 2-4 weeks on the sidelines with his latest leg injury.

"It's a real shame for Ben because he's played some really good footy for us this year but that's the way it goes," said Ennis.

The former Broncos utility, who played his way into a winning NSW Origin jumper last month, has struck up a productive relationship with veteran halfback Brett Kimmorley, who is playing some of the best football of his career after leaving Cronulla.

"It's important for me and Noddy (Kimmorley) to try and move them (forwards) around and try and tire them out because they do have a big pack," said Ennis.

Linking with the experienced Kimmorley has helped both players.

"Some people may have expected it to take a long time for us to click but we're very similar in how we think and play the game, it's been a good union for us," Ennis said.

"When the ball is kicked over our heads, I know he (Kimmorley) is thinking the same thing I am for the next set.

"It helps when you know you're on the same page."

The Cowboys were better than last weekend's 20-8 scoreline reflected against Melbourne, failing to cash in on their opportunities.

"Your defence has to be spot-on against the Cowboys because you know you'll get some opportunities against them and you have to take them when they come," Ennis said.

Like everyone else, Ennis has been impressed by rapidly improving Bulldogs winger Bryson Goodwin, the son of former St George great Ted Goodwin.

Goodwin has notched 18 tries since being signed from the Sharks on Kimmorley's recommendation.

His high work rate was evident last week against Canberra when he made 13 hit-ups, more than both Bulldogs' front-rowers, Hannant (11) and Hodgson (12).

"Without putting any pressure on him, other than Brett Morris and I suppose Taniela Tuiaki I don't there's a better winger in the game at the moment in terms of the workload he gets through and his finishing ability," said Ennis.

"Noddy got him over with big raps from Cronulla and our senior guys kept asking Kevin (coach Kevin Moore) to give the kid a shot and he did."

Ennis was delighted to learn the Dogs had announced the signings of Penrith winger Junior Tia Kilifi, St George Illawarra prop Micky Paea and Cronulla utility Blake Green for the 2010 season, as well as extending Goodwin's contract.

Meanwhile, Maroons prop Matt Scott has signed a new four-year deal with the Cowboys, while hooker Anthony Watts has also agreed to extend his contract for an additional year.

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