Potter frees up Burton's attack at Dogs

·2-min read

Matt Burton can thank Michael Potter for freeing up his and Canterbury's football, as the interim Bulldogs coach weighs up if he wants to pursue the job permanently.

Canterbury's players made the best possible case for Potter's cause on Monday, producing their most impressive performance since late 2018 with a 34-4 shock job on Parramatta.

The win marked Potter's first as an NRL coach since September 2014, when he was later pushed out of Wests Tigers in ugly fashion and all but stopped pursuing a career in the NRL.

Called upon with the Bulldogs in crisis last month after Trent Barrett's exit, Potter should theoretically be firmly in the frame now to coach Canterbury next year.

He has the experience the club are after as well as the Canterbury DNA, having previously won two premierships playing Belmore.

The 58-year-old has also shown he can work with Phil Gould, after being called upon at short notice when Barrett resigned.

And crucially, Canterbury are playing with freedom with him in charge.

The Bulldogs have now scored more points in the four matches for which Potter has been in charge than the 10 games Barrett had at the start of the season.

Much of that is through the combination of Burton and Josh Addo-Carr, with the five-eighth regularly kicking early for his winger now while the Bulldogs also get expansive out of their own end.

"He's pretty quiet and calm," Burton said of Potter.

"He just lets you play footy, that's the main thing ... He just puts confidence in you.

"(We're) just playing off the cuff footy, he frees us up a bit ... We are just trying to play more footy, and I thought we did a good job of it this week.

"It was always going to take time, we are a new side and you can't just do things with the click of a finger."

Addo-Carr's hat-trick on Sunday propelled him closer to a NSW State of Origin recall, while Burton is still an option to play inside him at centre.

The 22-year-old was the Dally M centre of the year in 2021, and is confident he could easily revert back to the position.

Meanwhile Potter is less sure on his future.

The former fullback made clear he had not given thought to the job long-term when he took over last month, and still believes he needs more time to think about the prospect.

"It is a tough job and you have to be ready for it," Potter said.

"You have to have a lot of energy and be able to back up every week and be able to take adversity in your stride. And it does wear you down.

"I'll weigh that up in a few more weeks."

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