AAP Rugby

Ennis unleashes on struggling Bulldogs

By AAP Newswire

Former Canterbury captain Michael Ennis has let loose at the current roster, describing the Bulldogs' weekend NRL mauling at the hands of the Gold Coast as "diabolical".

The Bulldogs have slipped to their worst start to a season in 54 years, with their chances of making the finals already effectively over with 10 rounds still to play.

Without Kieran Foran and Brett and Josh Morris, Saturday's 32-10 loss at their spiritual home of Belmore was their worst of the season, prompting Ennis' outburst.

"It was diabolical, their performance. It was so sad to see," Ennis told Fox Sports' Big League Wrap.

"Defensively they were atrocious in the opening half. They were down 22-0. Moses Mbye looked to be their only spark.

"What was on display on the weekend was not NRL standard. The performance of their spine was not NRL standard.

"They had endless opportunities inside a Gold Coast side that were averaging 26 points against heading into that game and they couldn't score."

Maligned for their attack during the Des Hasler era, the Bulldogs' problems with ball in hand are almost at the same level as last season.

After the same amount of games in 2017, Canterbury have this year averaged just one extra point in attack to still rank 15th in that department.

But they have also let in an extra 2.5 points per game, contributing to their concerns as they bid to fight off what would be only the fifth wooden spoon in club history.

"I loved Dean Pay as a kid how he played. All the talk coming out of their over the summer was that the Dogs of War were going to come back," Ennis said.

"But their defence wasn't an issue. It was with their attack. And I'm not seeing any change in their attack.

"It's block play after block play after forward dominance in attacking positions. Which we've seen for a number of years now."

Canterbury have made moves in recent months to fix a roster that was handed to Pay by Hasler and the previous administration.

Moses Mbye will head to the Wests Tigers this week, while Aaron Woods could also be on the move.

But the former hooker questioned why Mbye was the man to move, given he leads the Bulldogs for linebreaks and tackle busts since moving to fullback this year.

"I don't know why they're letting Moses Mbye go," Ennis said.

"Let some of the other big-name forwards go, bring some young kids through in the forward pack.

"And get some blokes in the spine who can for Christ's sake put the ball over the line because the blokes who are there at the moment aren't up to scratch."