Ennis has big boots to fill at Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ennis has big boots to fill at Bulldogs

By Ben Horne 10/02/2010 05:19:11 PM Comments (0)

For 16 straight years, rugby league's top goal kickers have been wearing Bulldogs colours.

Daryl Halligan began at Belmore in 1994 and booted the ball through the posts so often he was considered by many as the best ever.

Then when he retired in 2000, Hazem El Masri was thrown the tee, and before his retirement last year, `El Magic' made short work of virtually every goal-kicking record in the game.

Securing the extra two points after a try or a penalty kick has been assumed at the Bulldogs for the best part of two decades, but now the Halligan-El Masri dynasty is over.

Hooker, Michael Ennis is first in line to take over duties this season and can't wait for the challenge.

Figuratively speaking, Ennis has a huge pair of boots to fill, after El Masri last year broke the NRL's all-time point-scoring record.

But Ennis, who has already kicked more than 100 goals in his first grade career at the Knights, Dragons, Broncos and Bulldogs, doesn't believe his job comes with any added expectations.

"A lot of people ask me about the pressures that are coming on the back of the Halligan, El Masri era, but to me it's just something where I'll enjoy the challenge and embrace it," Ennis said.

"I'll continue to work hard and see how I go and it's something I'm looking forward to more than anything.

"Hopefully with trials around the corner in a few weeks I can put a few over. I think it's fortunate that I've got that base of kicking regularly at St George and then obviously in Brisbane when I was on the field.

"Hazem was a wonderful goal kicker and certainly just being a spectator in rugby league, I used to enjoy watching him kick his goals from everywhere, as did Halligan.

"It's nice being able to sit back and work with those guys but at the end of the day it's about me being comfortable in the routines that I've got and I'm pretty sure I've got that in place. Hopefully I can have a good year with the boot."

Ennis said he enjoys the challenge and the "mental break" goal kicking offers within a game.

Halligan, who is the goal-kicking coach for Ennis and Bulldogs' back-ups Bryson Goodwin and Steve Turner, believes the NSW Origin hooker is ready for the job.

"The thing with Mick is he actually wants to do it. Mick being Mick, he probably wanted to kick while Hazem was still there as well ... so that's a good attribute to have," Halligan told AAP.

"Bryson has kicked for the Kiwis as well, so certainly while it's a void to fill, there's plenty of good candidates to do it."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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