Unusual NRL prep no excuse for Bulldogs

Pamela Whaley
Canterbury Bulldogs suffered their fourth defeat of the season as they slumped 42-6 to the Roosters

Canterbury coach Dean Pay refuses to use the unusual events of the weekend as an excuse for Monday night's 42-6 loss to the Roosters.

However, he admits the absence of prop Aiden Tolman didn't help against the NRL premiers who rolled through the middle at Bankwest Stadium.

Tolman is isolated from the NRL squad after a teacher at his child's school contracted coronavirus and was ruled out of Monday night's game, which was rescheduled from Sunday.

The Bulldogs prop tested negative for the virus on Sunday, along with the entire 50-person team inside the club's bubble.

"It's just something we've got to handle. Who's to say it's not going to happen again next week?" Pay said after the match.

"I'm hoping that will work out. It's over the top of my head but his family has passed, he's passed. We missed him tonight."

The heavy loss was the fourth of the season for the Bulldogs who struggled to string completed sets together against the powerful Roosters' pack.

The Roosters scored four tries in the first 26 minutes and did enough in the second half to extinguish any hopes of a comeback.

"The start wasn't great for us, the first 16 sets they had 12 of them, "Pay said.

"They're a quality side, they're going to hurt you.

"I'm disappointed in our start and physically we didn't match them. It was difficult from there."

They now sit second-last on the NRL ladder above the Gold Coast.

However, there was some good news for the club over the weekend.

After securing his early release from St Helens, the Bulldogs will add English prop Luke Thompson to the squad in a fortnight once he completes mandatory isolation in Melbourne.

"I can't wait for him to get here, he'll be a fantastic addition for us," Pay said.

"He'll get through the next couple of weeks of isolation and come out and he'll be ready to rip in."