After stunning the Tigers and falling an ill-placed Rhyse Martin conversion away from forcing the Storm to a golden point shootout, the Bulldogs of an ugly first fortnight reared their heads at Kogarah on Sunday.
There was a fresh sense of optimism at Belmore this week.
Down and out: Bulldogs players react after Tim Lafai scores one of the Dragons’ seven tries on Sunday.Credit:AAP
Players, staff and fans were all confident the performances of the past fortnight – not the two weeks which preceded it – were this team's true colours.
They may be right but on a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon at Kogarah, you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
"We made way too many errors and they just capitalised off the back of them," Canterbury coach Dean Pay said.
"It's not good enough. We have made some progression with these young blokes and we are going to have our ups but we are going to have our downs.
"It's a real learning curve but you can't make errors and continue to make errors."
The Bulldogs barely fired a shot all afternoon.
Lachlan Lewis is the club's rising star but he will have better days.
He made a pair of critical errors from which the Dragons pounced but neither were as bad as two Kerrod Holland howlers which gifted the home side a try in both halves.
The first was a woeful attempted tackle on Mikaele Ravalawa five minutes before the half-time siren.
Ravalawa caught the ball with almost no momentum but was able to power through a Holland tackle which used far too much arm and far too little shoulder.
Holland compounded that error with a try assist for Ben Hunt when, 10 metres out from his own line, he offloaded the ball to an invisible man and Hunt pounced.
The visitors were crying out for a forward to take the match by the scruff of the neck like Tyson Frizell, James Graham and Paul Vaughan had done for their opponents all afternoon.
But there were no game changers on the field for the Dogs, who face a tougher test yet when they host the Rabbitohs on Friday night.
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