Graham’s impassioned plea to Bulldogs fans

Canterbury captain James Graham has promised a more resilient effort from his side in Monday’s NRL clash with St George Illawarra.

The Bulldogs forward was forced to endure nine minutes of questions about the club’s current woes on Wednesday, which include having won just five of 13 games this year to sit 14th.

It is the first time the Bulldogs have been outside the top eight at the midway point of the season since Des Hasler arrived at the club.

After their 38-0 drubbing at the hands of Penrith on Sunday, Graham promised fans they would see something different this weekend as he (neck), Josh Reynolds (ankle) and Brett Morris (knee) return from injuries.

“I can guarantee that you’ve got a committed playing group and committed staff that are going to do all they can to try and get the win,” Graham said.

“We don’t want to give St George Illawarra any more motivation, but we’ll be turning up – don’t worry about that.”

Canterbury’s recent woes have sparked the threat of a boycott from fans for upcoming home games – beginning with Monday at ANZ Stadium. 

Graham said he didn’t understand how a proposed boycott would help anyone’s cause.

“I can’t really see what that would really achieve,” Graham said.

“We share their disappointment.

“They care and are very passionate and have a level of expectation.”

Graham also used the flogging from Manly as evidence as to why his team would bounce back against the Dragons on Monday, before their first bye.

The Bulldogs won their next three games after the Manly loss, as they appeared a reinvigorated team throughout the month of April.

And he was hopeful the team would be able to learn from the Panthers loss in much the same way..

“If I knew (what was causing the problem) I’d tell the playing group before it happened,” Graham said.

“I think what we need to do from games like Sunday is learn from it.

“Like we learned from Manly. Maybe that message got lost over time, sometimes messages get lost and you don’t realise it.”