Under-fire Canterbury coach Des Hasler has rubbished suggestions that speculation about his future contributed to his side’s dismal display against Parramatta.
Hasler described his side’s performances as “unbelievably undisciplined” after they were comprehensively beaten 20-4 at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.
While the gulf between the two teams wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard, due to the wet and difficult conditions, the Bulldogs were never in the match.
The game’s stats made for ugly reading for Bulldogs fans.
The Eels forced nine drop-outs to three and ran for 1486m to the Dogs’ 1185m.
The Bulldogs made 11 errors – four of which came from Josh Morris – had 13 tackles inside the opposition red zone compared to Parramatta’s 39 and had just 42 per cent of possession.
Despite being re-signed on a two-year deal just four months ago, Hasler’s future at Belmore is uncertain unless he can right the ship in the remaining four rounds.
He was forced to front the club board last week, while Jim Dymock, Trent Barrett and Paul Green have been linked to the Dogs’ head coaching job.
However Hasler, with his side sitting in 13th with just seven wins this year, denied the scrutiny had taken a toll on his players.
“I don’t think they’d cop that excuse,” Hasler said.
“We just dropped the ball didn’t we? We executed poorly. We didn’t play wet weather football.
“I don’t know how you want to dress it up or beat it up, the second half, I thought we were a lot better.”
Hasler is set to miss the finals for the first time since 2004 but skipper James Graham said that wasn’t a factor in their performance.
“I don’t believe so,” he said when asked if the spotlight on Hasler had rubbed off on him and his teammates.
“It’s never good when you’re losing games, it knocks you around in terms of your confidence and your ability.
“I don’t know if it’s down to a combination of things or just confidence, I honestly don’t know.”