Dogs changes likely after NRL loss to Eels

Goal-kicking back-rower Rhyse Martin is in line for a recall to a struggling Canterbury NRL outfit.
Goal-kicking back-rower Rhyse Martin is in line for a recall to a struggling Canterbury NRL outfit.

Nick Meaney and Rhyse Martin will come into consideration this week as Canterbury attempt to arrest their meek start to the NRL season.

After conceding 76 points and 13 tries in their opening losses to the Warriors and Parramatta, Bulldogs coach Dean Pay is urging patience from everyone, especially their fans and the media.

Following their 36-16 defeat at the hands of the Eels on Sunday, Pay was reminded that patience is a virtue which is often in short supply in rugby league - especially for a club as powerful as the Bulldogs.

"We've got the youngest squad in the competition," Pay said.

"We are a young team, we're learning how to handle difficult situations and again that's where we need to be patient with these younger players.

"Hopefully they'll learn and get better at handling those situations."

Going into Sunday's game against the Eels, fullback Will Hopoate admitted that positions were on the line and warned that Pay would have to make changes if they once again fell to a heavy loss.

Pay would give no guarantees that he will swing the axe but also failed to say he would keep the faith with the same 17 which has been soundly defeated two weeks in a row.

Goal-kicking back-rower Martin enjoyed a breakout 2018 but was dropped to reserve grade for the opening two matches of the season.

He did his chances of a recall no harm, scoring a double in the Bulldogs' reserve grade loss to the Wests Magpies on Sunday.

Fullback Meaney, who came to Belmore from Newcastle in search of an opportunity, will likewise be considered, a move which could push Hopoate into the centres.

Prop Ofahiki Ogden also ran for 143m and made 35 tackles in the NSW Cup on Sunday, putting his name into the mix.

Pay said his side could take positives out of their performance, especially the opening quarter during which they led 10-0, as his young side look to find their feet.

"Our attitude was better towards our football, we've just got to make sure we build on that first 30 minutes and keep getting longer periods of footy where we're playing our own brand of footy," Pay said.

Australian Associated Press