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News Bulldogs face ‘big’ call on star recruit — but 86-year low proves problem goes much deeper

djdeep4172

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The Bulldogs are at a “crossroads” with halfback Kyle Flanagan after he was hooked midgame in a 32-12 loss to the Dragons but his form is far from the only problem at Belmore.

Coach Trent Barrett admitted the club is “in a bit of hole” post-game, while revealing that the “execution of our set-ends” was behind Flanagan’s benching.

He was noncommittal on Flanagan’s spot in the team this week against Canberra, saying he would drop the 22-year old if “in the best interests of the team”.

With Lachlan Lewis (lung) failing to finish the game though, Brandon Wakeham appears the most likely option to replace Flanagan.

Barrett though added that “Kyle’s not the only one” and it was a point that was not lost on the Big League Wrap with Fox League’s experts arguing that Flanagan needs more support.

“It’s a tough card for Kyle Flanagan given what happened at the Roosters last year,” James Hooper told Big League Wrap.

“He was signed, he still had a couple of seasons to go there, Trent Robinson called him in and they had a very direct meeting... before he knew it he was signed on a three-year contract at Belmore.

“In fairness in he needs some more help. He’s essentially trying to run the side one-out, he’s still a very young playmaker. It’s a huge assignment to lump that responsibility on a very young playmaker.”

Flanagan is only 38 games into his NRL career and still learning his trade, playing behind a pack with only one forward averaging over 100 running metres.
Meanwhile, for all the potential Jake Averillo has shown with his limited touches, there may be a need for the young playmaker to also increase his involvement in the red zone.

Then there is the issue at hooker - with Sione Katoa and Jeremy Marshall-King both off-contract at the end of 2021 while Brad Deitz has four NRL games to his name off the bench.

“If I was Kyle Flanagan I wouldn’t like to be playing behind that Bulldogs pack at the moment,” the Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield said on ‘The Big Sports Breakfast’ on Monday morning.

“I thought how would poor Sam Walker go if he was at Canterbury. I was wondering about the other halves, how would they go?

“It has been a really disappointing year because after what Trent Barrett did at Penrith last year, we all gave Baz very much credit for the attacking football Penrith played but he hasn’t been able to do it because he doesn’t have the squad to do it.”

Rothfield believes that Flanagan’s confidence is “totally shattered at the moment”.

While Flanagan may be in need of a stronger platform up front, Laurie Daley questions what direction Barrett
Will go in with his marquee recruit .
 

finchie

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Should never have been signed in the first place
Since when did we sign rooster rejects ?
Not even fg standard imo

fair enough to blame the forwards for not getting a roll on
But yesterday his kick on the first and getting tackled twice on the last in the opp 10 were pathetic

he isn’t a halfbacks arsehole and nor will ever be
 

alchemist

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if not already done, I would let it be known to a couple of player managers that we have in a general sense big money to spend on middle third forwards and see if we can get a bite or two from under contract players
 

Heckler

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Lol at Buzz blaming forward pack for his demise
 
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BEAST MODE

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Trent's cookie cutter approach to the team has meant we're seeing another season of fucking garbage, awful job from him. The focus always needed to be on the basics and 1%ers but instead he tried to copy the Panthers and turn Flanagan into Cleary 2.0. We don't have an established, 1, 6, 7 or 9...squad combinations are non existent, etc...yet he thought we could play like the Panthers? LOL. Flanagan has always going to be under pressure(because he's shit and our forward pack sucks) but Baz really went an exposed him even more by making him the focal point of our attack.
 

Novdoggie

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How many times this year have we been within ten metres and we haven't got a result like repeat sets or tries? Is that the forwards fault or the halves?

Flanno has no creativity and Avo is too quiet and doesn't take any initiative to go get his hands on the ball. BOTH our halves are not ready to control the team. Yes they are inexperienced but c'mon they are playing at the top level and it is on them to take their game to another level. Barrett has and is giving these two every opportunity to take the bull by the horns and they haven't done that.

Sure these two are at the early days of their careers but I can't help think that as every game that is played they just don't cut It in the NRL.

Our forwards are no different but if we can't get results within ten metres of the try line then the onus is on the halves.
 

KiwiDog7

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When he kicked too far for Cotric on zero tackle, my first thought was ‘how did this guy make the NRL’ ?

There must be a thousand better halves in park or bush footy

Dads connections I guess

I actually applaud the Roosters approach to get rid of him after one season and I bet Trent Robinson realised in the first few weeks they had signed a dud

Baz has just realised in week 8
 

bricktamland

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Adam Reynolds and burton
Shaun Johnson and burton
Averillo and burton

anyone but him for next year
Tried and failed
This is what annoys me . I think Barrett doesn’t want to hurt flanagans feelings etc but we are literally at the point where we have the $ to lure Reynolds and Moses or even Johnson if we were desperate ... it’s a joke and I’m seriously frustrated that we all thought atleast 2021 would have some hope and now we’re worse off then last year . Atleast pays team played with heart. Waddell is the new Gary Warburton .. Flanagan is the new mbye.. literally this whole team played absolutely abysmal yesterday. I’ve not seen anything good to be excited about from this team which worries me and I’m usually an optimistic person
 

bricktamland

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When he kicked too far for Cotric on zero tackle, my first thought was ‘how did this guy make the NRL’ ?

There must be a thousand better halves in park or bush footy

Dads connections I guess

I actually applaud the Roosters approach to get rid of him after one season and I bet Trent Robinson realised in the first few weeks they had signed a dud

Baz has just realised in week 8
This .. even the commentators I think it was blocker said what the hell ?
 

Novdoggie

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Trent's cookie cutter approach to the team has meant we're seeing another season of fucking garbage, awful job from him. The focus always needed to be on the basics and 1%ers but instead he tried to copy the Panthers and turn Flanagan into Cleary 2.0. We don't have an established, 1, 6, 7 or 9...squad combinations are non existent, etc...yet he thought we could play like the Panthers? LOL. Flanagan has always going to be under pressure(because he's shit and our forward pack sucks) but Baz really went an exposed him even more by making him the focal point of our attack.
If Baz was trying to turn Flanno into Cleary then why aren't we seeing any similarities? I mean when Cleary takes a pass he is always moving forward before he catches the ball and everyone in the backline moves with him hence why they look fast. Flanno is flat, stops and looks. Why isn't Flanno seen screaming at his generals to setup the next play? Cleary knows what he is doing one play ahead of everyone else while Flanno is still working out what to do next which is why our attack is clunky.

I know these two are on different levels and experience but to say Barrett is trying to cut Flanno into Cleary is a far stretch. I think it's the opposite where Barrett is trying to keep things simple for Flanno and still he can't handle it.

I guess we are all frustrated because we had higher expectations (ok not all) from Flanno and it hasn't happened.
 
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