Head coach Trent Barrett has guaranteed Bulldogs fans they should expect to see more wins in 2022 after the club wrote a page in the NRL history on Sunday afternoon by demolishing Wests Tigers 38-0 in their final game of the season.
The Bulldogs ran in seven tries at Redcliffe in what was a fitting send-off for nine of Canterbury’s 2021 roster and could be the final straw for embattled Tigers coach Michael Maguire.
The Bulldogs chalked up the biggest-ever winning margin by a team coming last in the final round. The previous record was set back in 1988 when the bottom-placed Knights defeated the North Sydney Bears by 32 points in the final regular-season game.
Post-game, Barrett said the win had ended 2021 on a high note for the club.
“It says a lot about the club and players that we’ve known we couldn’t make the semis for a long time, they’ve known we’ve got up to 12 or 14 players that aren’t going to be here but they kept turning up,” he said.
“I just want them to get used to winning again. We’ve been in a hole for two or three years and you forget how to win. We’ve got some young blokes in there that I don’t want them to forget what that feels like.”
The win is a shining light for the Bulldogs at the end of a dark season. Just maybe, we will look back at this match as the game which propelled Canterbury into a new era. Or at least that’s the hope of Bulldogs fans and Barrett.
With Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Dufty and Matt Burton arriving for 2022, the grit and determination from the wooden-spooners on Sunday night was exciting to watch.