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Canterbury Bulldogs NRL 2024 Team Previews, Predictions & Player Movement

Last updated: 09 Feb 2024
Ryan Tucker 09 Feb 2024
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  • Canterbury Bulldogs predicted to finish 15th in NRL 2024
  • Team possesses a strong squad on paper, success reliant on players coming together
  • A stronger performance in terms of points and tackles is needed for success
Matt Burton
Matt Burton of the Bulldogs (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

NRL 2024 Team Previews, Predictions & Player Movement: Canterbury Bulldogs

Where they finish: 15th 

  • NRL 2024 Team Previews, Predictions & Player Movement: Canterbury Bulldogs
  • Where they finish: 15th 
  • What’s to like 
  • What’s NOT to like
  • Canterbury Bulldogs Offseason Player Movement
  • Canterbury Bulldogs Predicted Starting 17

We had them at 9 wins last year and believe they should be a much better squad in 2024. The difficulty is that the teams around them have arguably also gotten better and there is a lot of work to do to get the players to gel. 

What’s to like 

Where do we start with this team. The Bulldogs have a great squad… on paper, with a coach who is well respected and has proven his worth… in earlier campaigns. With that said though, the only way is up for this team. They have recruited players with experience in winning games and that goes a long way when it comes down to building a winning culture for a relatively new squad.

The Bulldogs weren’t successful in any meaningful metric last season but we all know the individuals they have at their disposal are capable of breaking games wide open by themselves. Put 4 or 5 of them on the paddock together and one of them is bound to go off each game. Canterbury have one of the easier schedules in the last quarter of the season, so if they are anywhere near competing for a top 8 spot I would keep an eye on them on the turn for home.

What’s NOT to like

The Phil Gould effect is still yet to materialise at the Bulldogs but it isn’t for lack of trying. Or maybe it is? The Bulldogs were second last in the league in points scored in 2023 (18.3/gm), second last in line-breaks (4.1/gm), worst in opposition points conceded (32pts/gm), third worst in opposition run metres (1483m/gm) and had a league worst record of 38.9 missed tackles per game. Somewhere along the line someone needs to at least give it a go. 

As we see in major American sports, losing games by bottoming out breeds a losing culture and the Bulldogs have a problem with how their players are applying themselves to the game. If this is not rectified either by coaching or the influx of new players with winning pedigrees then i see no other option than to start over again and wipe the slate clean.

Canterbury Bulldogs Offseason Player Movement

Ins: Bronson Xerri (return from ban), Stephen Crichton (Panthers), Connor Tracey (Sharks), Blake Taaffe (Souths), Jaeman Salmon (Panthers), Josh Curran (Warriors), Kurt Mann (Knights), Drew Hutchison (Roosters), Jake Turpin (Roosters)

Outs: Jake Averillo (Dolphins), Tevita Pangai Junior (retired), Kyle Flanagan (Dragons), Paul Alamoti (Panthers), Luke Thompson (Wigan), Corey Waddell (Sea Eagles)

Canterbury Bulldogs Predicted Starting 17

1. Stephen Crichton
2. Jacob Kiraz
3. Blake Taaffe
4. Connor Treacy
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Matt Burton
7. Toby Sexton
8. Max King
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Liam Knight
11. Viliame Kikau
12. Jacob Preston
13. Josh Curran

14. Kurt Mann
15. Harrison Edwards
16. Samuel Hughes
17. Drew Hutchison

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