Hodkinson takes blame for Dogs' NRL woes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodkinson takes blame for Dogs' NRL woes

Steve Jancetic 21/05/2011 04:36:41 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury NRL halfback Trent Hodkinson didn't look too far around a glum Bulldogs dressing room on Friday night to find someone to blame for his side's misfiring performance against Canberra.

Instead, the second-year playmaker pointed the finger at himself, as he lamented his side's inability to turn territorial dominance into points in the 20-12 loss to the Raiders at Canberra Stadium.

"We had plenty of ball down there and the emphasis was on breaking them eventually, but we didn't get it," said Hodkinson, with Friday night's indifferent display a rare blemish in what had been a bright start to life in the blue and white.

"I probably put my hand up myself for not taking control and coming up with the result for the guys.

"We were just lacking in attack - I don't know what it was. It's just disappointing we didn't capitalise on the amount of ball we had down their end.

"Their defence was solid but we didn't throw much at them."

Adding to the Bulldogs' misery was the fact they ran out a largely full-strength outfit against a Canberra side, missing NSW Origin fullback Josh Dugan and injured quartet, Terry Campese, Matt Orford, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and David Shillington.

The one notable absentee for the visitors was Blues' hooker Michael Ennis, and it was clear his direction in the middle of the ruck was missed despite a strong debut showing from replacement rake Josh Reynolds.

"It's a huge difference (not having Ennis there), but we trained well all week with Josh in the side. He was exceptional for a guy on debut," Hodkinson said.

"We can't rely on that as an excuse because it's going to happen a few more times. We've got to try and work something out."

Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore agreed.

"When you are down in those key areas (with Ennis being out), it's a responsibility that everyone else has to take on, not just that individual, and I thought that was where we lacked tonight," Moore said.

"Individually we didn't play our roles the way we should have. We spoke about mixing it up a little bit in the second half and we didn't stick to what we spoke about.

"When you do that you get beat."

Asked how concerned he was with his side's form as they stretched their losing sequence to three matches, Moore said:

"Our stuff with the footy just wasn't good enough tonight and whenever you perform poorly like that in any area, you have a little concern.

"But I have no doubt we can turn it around next week."

The Bulldogs will have to do it without Aiden Tolman, with scans expected to confirm the hard-working prop will be out for up to six weeks with a medial ligament strain.

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