Sport

Pressure affected Bulldogs' chances, admits skipper

James Graham of the Bulldogs.
James Graham of the Bulldogs. DAN HIMBRECHTS

RUGBY LEAGUE: Canterbury captain James Graham has conceded "pressure" may have been behind his side's unceremonious exit from last year's premiership.

The Bulldogs were fourth after round 23 but lost their final three games to finish seventh before being eliminated in week one of the finals.

It still stings a clearly passionate Graham.

"Maybe it was the pressure that got to us, what was at stake," Graham said.

"Pressure can affect you immensely. Our job as professional athletes means pressure is a privilege. We're in a high-pressure job but there are a lot of people around that want to be doing this job.

"With our players - and let's be honest, players that had been there before and managed to kick on to a top-four finish - sometimes maybe it's just sport.

"Maybe that's why we love it, because people fall off or come from nowhere. Maybe we're looking too far into it by looking at numbers and figures. Maybe it's just sport.

"That's why we love it and why we tune in.

"That external pressure is something we can't control. There's no point talking about it or letting it affect us too much. We believe in ourselves and each other. It shouldn't affect us too much. No one puts more pressure, or has higher expectations, than ourselves."

There was one positive, however: motivation.

Canterbury enters this season desperate for success to ease headlines surrounding the club and coach Des Hasler, and to appease success-hungry fans.

"I'm not going to hide from it," Graham said. "No one was more disappointed in the way the season finished than the playing group and the staff.

"We set exceptionally high standards in our club and we feel we under-achieved."

News Corp Australia

Topics:  canterbury bulldogs james graham nrl



Teenager charged over hotel fight with bouncer

NSW police at coffs harbour boat ramp, arrest , gun, shots, handcuffsPhoto: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Patron charged over St Patrick's Day fight with a hotel bouncer

How to protect our waters against white spot disease

SPOTTING IT: What to look out for to identify white spot disease in prawns.

DPI urges anglers to adopt strict measures to prevent disease spread

Upgrades continue on the Sikh temple

New golden domes have been placed on the Sikh temple in Woolgoolga.

New domes placed on First Sikh Temple.

Local Partners

Gogglebox shock: ‘This is so bloody juicy’

THE Gogglebox households can’t quite believe their eyes as they watch one of the most scandalous TV...

New Oscars fiasco safety net

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land was incorrectly named Best Picture. During the acceptance speech, the real winner was revealed.

Academy ‘won’t sack PwC’ but new safeguards in place.

Frozen’s original ending was much darker

Disney’s hit movie Frozen nearly turned out very, very differently.

IF THE original script had gone ahead, Frozen would have been grim.

Bea's parting gift: The Freak's in the frame

Pamela Rabe stars as Joan Ferguson in a scene from season five of the TV series Wentworth.

Gripping prison drama Wentworth returns for a volatile fifth season.

What's on the big screen this week

A scene from the movie The Lego Batman Movie.

LEGO Batman and Scarlett Johansson take on Beauty and the Beast.

MOVIE REVIEW: Crazy Boss Baby story is a little far-fetched

A scene from the movie The Boss Baby.

After nailing Trump, Alec Baldwin’s career takes a strange detour.

MKR’s Amy blasts Josh’s ‘sl*t’ slur

Amy Murr, pictured with brother Tyson, said rival contestant Josh Meeuwissen crossed the line when he called her a ‘sl*t’.

AMY responds after being called a ‘sl*t’ by MKR’s villain Josh.

Properties sell for more with print

PRINT SELLS: A new report shows using print and online advertising achieves a price 21% higher than online alone.

How much more can can you get for your home by advertising in print?

Once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn from best in the biz

TOP AGENT: LJ Hooker Double Bay agent Bill Malouf is a real estate mentor

Top agent to mentor a would-be agent

Luxury hotel expands $400m water park development

Developer to push on with second stage of massive new water park

Dalwood waterfall up for sale

Two people have died at Dalwood Falls, Ballina.

How would you like to own your very own waterfall?

Strong demand for houses and units on Coffs Coast

GOLDEN GLOW: This is one of the joys of living on the Coffs Coast, the sun rises past the Jetty at Coffs Harbour.

Sellers have the upper hand as desperate buyers snap up homes

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!