Bulldogs to stick with Wakeham at No.7

Matt Encarnacion
Brandon Wakeham is set to keep his spot at halfback in the Canterbury side

Canterbury coach Dean Pay will look to persist with rookie Brandon Wakeham in the halves in the hope of securing a contract extension with the NRL club.

Off-contract at the end of the season, Pay's future could be decided this week when the board gathers for a scheduled meeting on Thursday.

Pay's grip on the job has been the source of constant speculation in recent weeks following his team's disappointing start to the season.

The Bulldogs slumped to yet another loss on Sunday, falling short in a 20-18 defeat to Cronulla that has left them with one win from their opening six games.

As has often been the case during Pay's tenure, the team were courageous in defeat but lacked the quality and polish in crucial moments.

"Really proud of the effort, the way the boys hung in there, keep fighting for everything they get," Pay said post-game.

"We played a little bit better footy tonight, defended a little bit better. We need to keep getting better with what we're doing."

Wakeham will get at least one more chance in this week's match against Manly, having impressed in his first game alongside Kieran Foran.

"I thought he was quite good. He was fairly consistent with what he was doing, defended quite strongly." Pay said.

"Again, he's only a young bloke. It's his fourth or fifth game.

"It's going to be great for Wakes to play with Kieran, being alongside him."

However time is quickly running out for Pay to mount a compelling case for an extension, with the Bulldogs rooted near the bottom of the ladder.

Despite the results, he is adamant the club is heading in the right direction.

With the Warriors also on the hunt for a new coach, the Bulldogs will need to decide whether to extend Pay in order to turn their focus to their roster.

Both Wakeham and Foran are also off-contract at the end of the year, along with Aiden Tolman, Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Adam Elliott.

"We're starting to get our cap back in order," Pay said.

"And we need to buy some real quality players to put around these young blokes that are turning up and give 100 per cent each and every week.

"And that's what they've been doing."