Ciraldo ready to wield axe and blood young Bulldogs

·2-min read
Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS

Cameron Ciraldo has threatened to wield the axe at Canterbury and blood the next batch of Bulldogs after the club sank to its fifth loss in six games.

With his side rooted 15th on the ladder, Bulldogs captain Reed Mahoney labelled Friday night's 24-12 loss to the Warriors as "unacceptable" and "frustrating".

Battered by injuries over the opening two months, Canterbury hope to have Josh Addo-Carr back against Gold Coast next week after his initial return was aborted on Friday.

But more changes are likely after the Bulldogs stumbled to a 4-7 record.

Ciraldo now has the freedom to pick from outside his top-30 squad, with NRL rules loosening restrictions around selection after round 10.

The first of those players - winger Blake Wilson - impressed against the Warriors on Friday night and Ciraldo said more were likely to play against the Titans.

"We will look at making changes," Ciraldo said.

"There's some guys there on the fringe of our squad that are really putting their hand up. Blake Wilson come and did an outstanding job.

"There's a couple more in that boat as well.

"We've got a NSW Cup game (on Saturday). That's a really good opportunity for those guys to come out and show us they want to be in the NRL team."

Ciraldo said the changes were not just aimed at blooding players for the future, but because he was unhappy with the performance of his current 17.

"Clearly, if guys are doing their job in the 17, then you don't make too many changes," Ciraldo said.

"But when you're in a position where you're not getting those performances consistently, then I've got to look for guys that can provide that.

"There's a few guys on the fringe there that, now we can use guys outside the top 30, we'll be looking to bring in."

Ciraldo also bemoaned his team's habit of starting slowly, stating they couldn't afford to wait for a half-time spray to begin performing each week.

After players claimed they wanted to make a statement in the middle against the Warriors, the Bulldogs were outmuscled early and gave up an 18-0 halftime lead.

"The whole thing was frustrating," Mahoney said. "It was unacceptable.

"We've just got to have a hard look at ourselves as individuals. We're just waiting on someone else to do their job. That's not what we're about."