ENGLAND star James Graham ended his most intense week as Canterbury captain with a dig at the Bulldogs’ critics after Des Hasler's side bounced back from a dismal period by beating St George Illawarra on Monday.
Graham last week faced an aggressive media pack to respond to reports coach Des Hasler and chairman Ray Dib had clashed in front of the players following the 38-0 loss to in round 12. The club, 12th on the ladder with six wins and eight losses, was said to be in crisis.
“From an external point of view, I think most of the pundits would have had us outside the eight anyway,” Graham said after a 16-2 win over the joint venture at ANZ Stadium.
“I don’t know how they’re complaining about where we are. It’s exactly where they tipped us to be.
GEORGE BURGESS: 63 metres and 20 tackles in 34 minutes in the 24-18 defeat.
JOSH HODGSON: Made 38 tackles – and missed six – in the 24-20 defeat.
“I know people are going to write about it but we probably didn’t need reminding.”
Asked what had changed from one week to the next, he answered: ““There wasn’t really that much different from week to week. I think a lot’s been hyped up in the press.
“To tell you the truth, I think that’s what it is. We’ve tried to remain calm. Obviously, you don’t need to be Freud to work out that we weren’t happy how last week went.”
Another Englishman-captained NRL team going through a tough time is Sam Burgess’ South Sydney, who slumped to a 24-18 defeat at the hands of Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
TOM BURGESS: 134 metres and 20 tackles in just 33 minutes for South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium
ELLIOTT WHITEHEAD: A nicely-taken try in Canberra’s heart-breaking 11th hour defeat to Penrith at Bathurst’s Carrington Park.
Souths are 14th with just four wins and nine loses.
Brother Tom Burgess told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday: ““We didn't get the result against Brisbane but we're but we're definitely in the right direction and we're just going to try and keep our confidence up.”
Tom takes on Chris McQueen’s Gold Coast this weekend, admitting: “To be honest I don’t really know much about them as a team.”
Canberra’s Elliott Whitehead came up with one of the plays of the weekend when he fielded a kick and quickly offloaded to set up a try in Bathurst against Penrith on Saturday.
But the Raiders suffered the heartbreak of losing 24-20 when they conceded two tries in the final two minutes.
JAMES GRAHAM: A powerhouse 57 minutes in Canterbury’s 16-2 win over St George Illawarra on Monday, clocking up 25 tackles and 153 metres.
SAM BURGESS: Scored a try for the Bunnies in an 80 minutes stint, mixing in 151 metres and 36 tackles.