Dogs looking to emulate '09 turnaround - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs looking to emulate '09 turnaround

Angela Habashy 14/12/2010 07:10:09 PM Comments (0)

The last time the Canterbury Bulldogs revamped their side with a bag of new additions they shocked the pundits to almost win the NRL minor premiership.

And skipper Andrew Ryan hopes next season's new recruits can replicate and perhaps better their turnaround in 2009 when the Bulldogs missed out on claiming the minor premiership from the Dragons after being deducted two competition points for an interchange breach in round two.

Powerhouse forwards Frank Pritchard (Panthers) and Greg Eastwood (Leeds) join the Bulldogs along with Aiden Tolman (Storm), Trent Hodkinson (Sea Eagles), Kris Keating and Jonathan Wright (Eels), Grant Millington (Sharks) and Michael Lett (Dragons).

With this impressive list of converts the Bulldogs are looking to climb back into the finals after this year's lowly 13th finish.

"All the recruits that have come on board are outstanding so everyone needs to be on their toes for positions," Ryan told AAP on Tuesday.

"And hopefully they can help us improve from how we did this season.

"2010 was a bit disappointing, but even then we did recruit some guys for last year too so it doesn't always necessary transfer on the paddock.

"We haven't set any goals for next season yet but we definitely want to improve on what happened this year."

Eastwood, who was part of the 2009 squad, has rejoined the side after a year with Leeds in the English Super League. Eastwood is one of the most devastating front rowers in the game and with Tolman also bolstering the prop ranks, veteran Michael Hodgson knows he'll have a fight on his hands to win a starting spot up front.

"I think he's (Eastwood) in better shape now than when he had that cracker year for us so I'm very excited to have him back," Hodgson said.

"So who knows if I'll be able to crack into the side.

"I think competition's healthy, it's a great thing for Kev (Coach Kevin Moore) to have to scratch his head every week to pick a side.

"Hopefully it brings out the best in me and if it doesn't I'll be playing reserve grade, but I'm definitely looking forward to the challenge."

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