Des Hasler has some advice for fans of his former club after Canterbury easily brushed aside Manly 28-6 at Brookvale on Friday night – the Sea Eagles will become a difficult side to beat.
But Manly were not that side in the second game of the NRL’s opening round in mentor Trent Barrett’s first match in charge.
The Bulldogs forwards dominated much of the opening stanza allowing the visitors to take a 22-0 lead into the sheds at the break and the game was all but over.
Club great Hasler enjoyed premiership success three times at Brookvale, once as a player and twice as coach and knows that one match doesn’t make a season.
“Manly are going to be a difficult side to beat,” Dogs coach Hasler said.
“It will take them a little while. They will continue to build and after a couple of rounds it will fall into place.
“We controlled possession pretty well which is always a key aspect of this time of year.
Lets not get carried away. It’s round one and there is still a lot of footy to be played.”
Barrett conceded the Sea Eagles new halves pairing of Daly Cherry-Evans and Dylan Walker struggled to gel.
“It was never going to be a finished product,” he said.
“It was the first time they had played together and it looked like that at times” Barrett said.
Brett Stewart was a late withdrawal due to a hamstring injury but is expected to be fit for Manly’s second round match with Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval next Monday.
Steve Matai was placed on report for a high tackle and fellow Sea Eagles Martin Taupau was also written up for a shoulder charge.
The Dogs finished the game without Michael Lichaa (knee) and Chase Stanley (leg) but Hasler said they should be fit for Canterbury’s next assignment against Penrith on Thursday.