Canterbury coach Des Hasler is backing Josh Reynolds to make the most of his NRL finals chance after a season greatly disrupted by injury and suspension.
Reynolds shapes as a key player for the Bulldogs in their elimination final against St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium on Saturday in the absence of Trent Hodkinson, who won’t play again in 2015 due to a wrist injury.
Former NSW pivot Reynolds candidly admitted he had been a “dumb footballer” at times this year in the lead-up to the sudden death clash with the Dragons.
And Hasler said Reynolds is relishing the extra responsibility that has come his way in the absence of Hodkinson.
“He has had one of those years Josh, it has been very frustrating for him, he has had an horrendous run with injury,” Hasler said.
“But such is his nature he hasn’t complained once he hasn’t shirked away from the responsibility at all and it is deserving of all his hard work that he has arrived (at the finals) and he gets to play at a pretty exciting team of the year.”
Brett Morris returns from a quad injury for the Dogs, who start as hot favourites.
Dragons playmaker Gareth Widdop is under an injury cloud due to a quad injury. Dragons coach Paul McGregor made the unusual move to confirm the England international would at least warm-up for the sudden death clash.