Dogs dramas can ruin season: Gould

Scott Bailey
Ex-Canterbury coach Phil Gould has lashed Jayden Okunbor and Corey Harawira-Naera for their actions

Premiership-winning Canterbury coach Phil Gould has warned the club's schoolgirl scandal has the potential to ruin the Bulldogs' NRL season.

Canterbury's start to the year has been overshadowed by the affair, with Jayden Okunbor and Corey Harawira-Naera stood down pending an investigation.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg has also warned they face serious penalties, if it is proven they brought teenage schoolgirls to their team hotel in Port Macquarie last month.

The girls were of consenting age, however it is against team protocol for women to be brought back to hotels.

Okunbor was plunged into further drama on Thursday when the Sydney Morning Herald published screenshots they claimed showed him asking a 16-year-old girl for partially nude photos.

Gould endured a similarly turbulent start to the season last year at Penrith, with the club embroiled in a sex-tape scandal before they lost eight of their first 10 games.

And he warned a similar fate could await the club he coached to premiership success in 1988.

"It's awful," Gould told the Six Tackles with Gus podcast.

"We went through this last year at the Panthers at the start of last season ... It does have an effect. It really does have an effect.

"What these two boys now have done is going to affect the mentality.

"People say the Bulldogs are good in a crisis. That was 30 years ago ... Those days are gone. You can't afford to lose quality players like this to incidents like this.

"This sort of stuff can have a terrible effect on the rest of the season."

Gould also slammed the pair for letting the game down, given school visits are the pillar of the game's award-winning community programs.

The drama is already believed to have cost the Bulldogs a $2-million sponsorship with restaurant chain Rashays, with the club still in search of a major partner.

"It just defies belief. I can't believe after everything we've been through, that this would even be a thought," Gould said.

"It's something that's so important to our game, our player engagement with communities and school programs, hospitals and the charitable things.

"To think that has led to this decision is just unthinkable ... It's so stupid. I don't know what they were thinking.

"These players have just got to get it through their thick heads. It's just ridiculous, it really is ridiculous.

"I think a lot of players will be disappointed reading the news this week."