Des Hasler has scored a double victory on Thursday night, Canterbury beating Brisbane 10-7 as the NRL club’s officials vowed to have a contract extension on the table within a month.
The Bulldogs overcame a 7-0 half-time deficit at a wet ANZ Stadium, rebounding from a lacklustre opening 40 minutes in front of 7421 drenched fans.
The momentum of the match turned in the 50th minute when a Brad Abbey drop out went just five metres, however when Broncos winger Jordan Kahu picked up the ball and attempted to score, the Bulldogs were awarded a penalty.
It sent the Bulldogs up field, where Josh Reynolds was able to break a 137-minute Canterbury try-scoring drought when he pushed through the Brisbane defence to score.
Canterbury were then shock leaders five minutes later when Josh Jackson broke through to give Abbey his first NRL try.
Debutant halfback Matthew Frawley also looked at ease replacing the suspended Moses Mbye, forcing two line dropouts in the first half.
He should have also had his first try-assist when he bombed for Reynolds, but fellow chaser Brenko Lee was found to be offside by the bunker.
The win came just hours after Bulldogs board members emerged from a three-hour meeting, where off-contract and under-pressure Hasler’s future was expected to be a priority.
The closed-door meeting finished just 45 minutes before kick-off, but chief executive Raelene Castle said she expected the club to finalise a deal with Hasler within the next month, and was not results dependent.
“We’ve got a position now we’ll present to Des’ management and we’re hopeful that will result in a favourable outcome,” Castle said
Early in the match though, it appeared the Bulldogs were set for more of the same football that saw them lose three of their opening four games.
They conceded their first try when Anthony Milford caught fullback Abbey off-guard.
Milford kicked from his own 40, and his only opposition in the chase came from teammate Sam Thaiday, who barrelled him out of the way to score.
Kahu then took the Broncos’ lead to seven at the break, when little pressure was placed on him as he slotted over a wrong-footed left-boot field goal on the siren.
But the Broncos were unable to add to their tally in the second half, as David Klemmer ran 242 metres and the Bulldogs forwards dominated field position.