The Wests Tigers were looking like the NRL‘s worst team until Canterbury Bulldogs entered the picture on Sunday afternoon. Just like the Tigers the night before, the Bulldogs had a dismal performance and allowed the Newcastle Knights to score 11 tries, resulting in a record-breaking 66-0 defeat at Accor Stadium.
Canterbury has been facing challenges this season with their roster and injuries, but they were only missing Viliame Kikau and Luke Thompson in this game. At least the Tigers didn’t disappoint their home fans like the Bulldogs did.
The Bulldogs were already down 30-0 at halftime, and the frustrated crowd made their disappointment known through loud boos. A significant number of Bulldogs fans even walked out of the stadium after the Knights scored a try early in the second half.
As the Knights continued to score, more and more spectators decided to leave and head to their cars. It’s understandable why the 11,004 loyal supporters were upset.
Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo faced his fair share of abuse from his own fans as they expressed their frustration and discontent. One supporter shouted profanities at the coaching box, and that was one of the milder comments.
It must have been a tough experience for Ciraldo, but it’s doubtful that anyone other than Tim Sheens could understand the pressure he is under.
The Bulldogs looked completely uncoordinated and disorganised, as if they had never trained together. Even worse, their drive and determination were shocking once they fell behind.
Even if they had lost by 66 points to Penrith, the fans would still be unhappy, let alone losing to a team that was 14th on the ladder.
The Bulldogs‘ fans sarcastically called for them to take the two points when they were awarded a late penalty.
Ponga completely dominated the Bulldogs throughout the game, showcasing his exceptional skills. He played a significant role in the early stages of the match, setting up Bradman Best for a try and giving the Knights a 12-0 lead after 18 minutes.
The try he created for Phoenix Crossland in the 35th minute displayed his abilities akin to an Origin player.
Ponga contributed to three tries in the first half, effectively deciding the outcome of the game early on.
Matt Burton of the Bulldogs was doing his best, but unfortunately, his teammates didn’t offer him much support to enhance his chances of getting selected for Origin. Understandably, Burton had a hard time getting involved in the game and has faced difficulties all season due to playing out of position without any creative assistance around him. If he is chosen for Origin in the following week, it would be because Brad Fittler had already decided on him before Sunday’s match.