'Dogs ready for Manly with David Gillespie - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Dogs ready for Manly with David Gillespie

By Ben Horne 18/08/2011 04:44:34 PM Comments (0)

With Canterbury's NRL season on the line, coach Jim Dymock has wound back the clock to give his players a bruising and bloody lesson on old school toughness.

Dymock called on one of rugby league's all-time hard men David 'Cement' Gillespie to visit training on Thursday and show the Bulldogs what defence is all about.

The Canterbury club forged a reputation on not taking a backward step and, since taking over as coach, Dymock has made reintroducing this philosophy his mission.

Gillespie didn't go straight from an overnight shift working at the wharves to waste his time teaching the Bulldogs something flowery like defensive patterns.

The champion front rower simply had the players bash each other up, in a no-holds barred session intended to inspire the Bulldogs ahead of Sunday's must-win clash with second-placed Manly.

"Cement basically set us up and ... said 'you're there, you're there, and just go at it 100 per cent'," said star Jamal Idris.

"I think the boys walked away with some bleeding lips and that, which is really good. You need that every now and then, just to remind us that it's a tough sport. You've got to run hard.

"We're playing football, you know what I mean? Football's a contact sport, you need that kind of contact in the game, that's what makes the fans watch, that's what gets us up on the field."

Gillespie said he was happy to answer a call from good mate and former Western Suburbs teammate Dymock, to come down and put the players through their paces.

The Canterbury premiership winner said his contribution was all about showing the Bulldogs they must go all out against another one of his former clubs, Manly.

"It was just a bit of contact but you've got to do that in defence, use your body," Gillespie told AAP.

"I don't know about bleeding lips. I didn't see any, but ... it's a contact sport.

"That's what you do in a game, you've got to do it at training."

The Bulldogs are approaching the match against the Sea Eagles as a mini grand final.

They're two points and a negative for-and-against out of the top eight and a win over one of the competition favourites will give their chances a major boost.

Leading into last week's victory, Dymock called in another bruising club great Kevin Ryan, before force-feeding his players Cement on Thursday.

"I've had a couple of old hard heads come into the club ... Kandos (Ryan) and Cement. You don't get called those names for nothing, so hopefully the boys have learnt something from those two legends of the game," Dymock said.

"Hopefully they can rattle a couple on the weekend."

Enforcer Frank Pritchard has been leading the way for the Bulldogs in defence, and Dymock doesn't want the big second rower to tone down his aggression despite his close shave with the NRL judiciary mid-week.

Fellow backrower Dene Halatau confirmed players have been given a simple, clear message about how they can defy the odds and force their way into the eight.

"That's something Jimmy's spoken about. The 'Dogs of old, we're about defending our way through games," he said.

"Bringing that attitude to just grind away."

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