The Canterbury based team now find themselves in the top 4, but are they really a top 4 team? Just like Cronulla’s credentials were questioned even though they were in top spot, I am still in doubt over the Bulldog’s premiership chances in 2016.
The top 8 is always divided by the top 4 and the bottom 4, and somewhere between 3rd and 5th spot is a defining difference on team’s actual strength. For me, the Sharks, Cowboys and Storm are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the pack, including the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs appear to be in a transition period, still playing the old side to side football which uses Kasiano and Graham as the games biggest halfbacks, while showing glimpses of a more direct, power game which will eventually give Mbye every opportunity to make himself a star in the game.
The problem is at times Mbye looks lost on the field and doesn’t seem to take control of the game. His halves partner, Josh Reynolds while throwing up a few good performances this season, also seems to struggle with the combination, with the pair appearing to play very different styles of football.
While there is no disputing the Doggies position on the ladder, metaphorically speaking, they need to do more if they want to match it in the top 4. Round 20 where Canterbury will take on the Cowboys will be a true reckoning for the Bulldogs.