Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett believes under-fire halfback Kyle Flanagan “will gain a lot of confidence” from his efficiency in Canterbury’s 32-12 loss to Penrith on Sunday.
Prior to the match, the Bulldogs had come beneath scrutiny from some figures within the media as a result of Flanagan, who had been axed from the crew final season, was named to return towards the most effective crew within the league, with options the transfer was a “disgrace” from a membership that “humiliated” the 23-year-old.
While it was a tricky evening out for each participant in Canterbury’s squad on Sunday, Flanagan produced a memorable second when a excessive ball proved an excessive amount of for Penrith’s Jarome Luai, who dropped a routine catch which led to the Bulldogs’ first attempt.
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Barrett lauded Flanagan’s return and made it identified his facet’s struggles towards the Panthers weren’t because of the playmaker’s efficiency.
“I thought he was really good,” Barrett mentioned.
“I thought the chances and the opportunities we did have down there on their try line, we looked organised.
“He will acquire plenty of confidence out of that.
“He will probably say he wasn’t, but he would’ve probably not been that happy with the attention he got.
“I believed he dealt with it very well. I believed he did properly.
“Our issues were at the back of the field, rather than the other end.”
Flanagan additionally discovered help from his reverse halfback, Panthers No.7 Nathan Cleary.
“I thought he did a really good job,” Cleary mentioned.
“It’s hard when there’s constant media scrutiny around… but the more you block it out and focus on what you need to do, that’s the most important thing.
“I believed he was fairly stable and did what he wanted to do.”
The Panthers maintained their unbeaten start to the season in their fifth-round thumping.
The reigning premiers kick-started the match with consecutive tries in the opening 15 minutes, before accounting for the Bulldogs with ease over the remainder of the game.
The Bulldogs, who now sit on one win through five rounds, found a way to cut into an early deficit, but their efforts were short-lived.
After Canterbury reduced the deficit to eight points at the 32nd-minute mark, it took Penrith just five minutes to stretch its lead out to three tries.
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A 63 per cent completion rate, as well as 16 errors, left the Bulldogs with few attacking opportunities.
It was extra difficult for fullback Matt Dufty, who struggled under the high ball and finished the match with four errors to his name.
The win keeps the Panthers on top of the NRL ladder.
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