Des Hasler will continue to mix and match his halves combination in Canterbury’s run-in to the NRL finals series.
Moses Mbye was rested from the Bulldogs’ 28-4 win over Parramatta on Friday night, with Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds starting in the halves.
Hodkinson was rested last week in the Dogs’ loss to Brisbane and his combination with Reynolds came together well in the win over the Eels, especially after halftime when the visitors put on 24 unanswered points at ANZ Stadium.
A Hodkinson linebreak set up Frank Pritchard’s first try of the night, while a pinpoint Reynolds crosskick handed the Hull FC-bound back-rower his second.
But Hasler wasn’t keen to pump up his halves’ tyres.
“They were okay I thought,” he said.
“They steered us around, in the first half it was spluttering a bit (though) and no one could get on to any roll.
“It was just a bit of wear and tear with Moses, we have to be careful with some of the young players we are bringing through.
“I know it has been spoken about before in editorials (Hasler’s halves rotation), but he has had a big couple of weeks, you can do your own research there, we can afford to do that and afford to manage him and protect him moving forward.”
“He will certainly apply pressure (on Hodkinson and Reynolds).”
Mbye’s partner Maddy gave birth to the couple’s first child, Mya Kate, two weeks ago when the Bulldogs enjoyed the bye weekend.
The win over Parramatta should ensure the Bulldogs stay in the top eight at the end of round 19, with seven rounds left before the finals.
Canterbury next play Cronulla at Belmore Sportsground next Sunday.