Cop that. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Cop that. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Time for ‘drastic’ change at Bulldogs

THE battling Bulldogs are averaging less than 15 points a game in season 2018 and former NRL player Mark Geyer says it's time for drastic change.

A 6-0 defeat against the Roosters last Thursday sees Dean Pay's side stuck in 14th position and Geyer believes Kieran Foran's lack of impact in the halves has been telling.

"I'd do something pretty radical if I was Dean Pay," Geyer told Triple M's The Grill Team on Monday. "I'd put Foran at hooker. He just looks like he's too slow at half.

"I think (Jeremy) Marshall-King needs to have the ball in his hands a lot more. Maybe it's time to bring (Moses) Mbye back into the halves and put Will Hopoate fullback."

NRL great Matthew Johns suggested the Dogs were feeding their forwards too often. "They're getting back into this habit where the ball sits in the front-rowers' hands too much in attacking positions," Johns said.

Geyer agreed, adding: "You don't want the front-rowers getting the ball 10m out from the other team's line."

The Bulldogs travel to third-ranked Penrith this Friday night.

FIFITA SAVED BY 'TONGAN TREATMENT'

What a difference a week makes. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
What a difference a week makes. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Cronulla prop Andrew Fifita has made the bold admission he was scared to take the field for the Sharks' NRL upset win over Penrith.

In the absence of senior forwards Paul Gallen and Wade Graham, and after losing Luke Lewis to a calf injury in the 12th minute, Fifita stepped up with an inspirational effort on Sunday.

With his side down on troops, Fifita played all but seven minutes of the 26-22 win at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

Fifita's impact was immense as he charged for 130m and made 35 tackles. With the Sharks' three most experienced players on the sideline, Fifita also stepped up to take on captaincy duties for the first time.

However, he said he almost pulled out of the match, such was his anxiety after suffering a knee injury last week.

The Tongan international initially feared he had a season-ending ACL tear, of which he was subsequently cleared, and the episode played with his head.

"To be honest, I was fearing myself this morning," Fifita said. "I was that scared to take the field today, with my knee and all that. "I got a little help from my dad and he pushed me over the line on Tuesday night.

"It's a credit to my physio. He worked on me every day - night and day. He got me in on my days off and got me ready for a match that was unexpected. Last week I was thinking my season's finished. Here were are the following week."

Asked about his father's influence on his ability to get back on the park, Fifita said he had received "old-school Tongan treatment" on his knee. "You feel like crying when he does it," Fifita said.

"It is what it is and it enabled me to play today and I'm grateful." Lewis' calf injury isn't believed to be serious and he was walking freely in the sheds afterwards.

- AAP



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