Belief high in 'Dogs kennel - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Belief high in 'Dogs kennel

By David Beniuk 22/07/2010 07:34:56 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury's motivation for stopping the growing Parramatta juggernaut at ANZ Stadium on Friday night is simple - they know if they make the NRL finals, they can do some damage.

Aiming to become a late season juggernaut themselves, the improving Bulldogs need to win all seven of their remaining games to guarantee some September action.

They had won three straight before last Sunday's heartbreaking 36-32 defeat to the Sydney Roosters and believe their form is good enough if they can get near enough.

"We've got no doubt that we've got the side capable of beating anyone on its day," Dogs lock David Stagg told reporters on Thursday.

"(Finals are) still a little way ahead for us at the moment, we've just got to worry about this weekend."

Coach Kevin Moore said the Dogs' belief was flowing with their improved form after an injury-affected first half of the season.

"Knowing that (we could perform well in the finals) and getting a chance to do it is another thing so you can't control what's happened," he said.

"There's a real belief in the side at the moment and that's on the back of the form over the last five or six weeks.

"We know that, if we play to our best and with close to our best squad on the paddock, that we can be very competitive with anyone and get over the top of anybody.

"A win against the Eels, who everyone's obviously got rated up there as one of the teams to beat and can see that they're building a little bit of momentum, to get a win over them would give us further confidence to go through to the back end of the season."

Far from getting them down, the loss against the Roosters in a high quality game has the Bulldogs confident.

"It wasn't demoralising, we're certainly still very confident, nothing's changed within the camp," Stagg said.

"You take the positives out of the game and we know, from an attacking point of view, we certainly played some good football.

"Our defence has improved immensely over the last couple of weeks, especially our on-line defence.

"There were just obviously a couple of silly lapses which cost us in the end."

The Dogs will run into an Eels side which has finally clicked for two straight wins, including a comeback from 22-0 against second placed Penrith last weekend.

Suspended centre Timana Tahu returns but more ominous has been the scintillating form of fullback Jarryd Hayne, reminiscent of his competition-dominating back end of 2009.

"He's been playing well, certainly the last couple of weeks but there's a whole team to worry about so we can't just focus on the one person," Stagg said.

Parramatta have won seven of the last eight games between the sides, the most recent in front of more than 75,000 fans in last year's finals series.

Moore said he was yet to finalise his bench, despite naming just four players.

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