Canterbury Bulldogs

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Full nameBulldogs Rugby League
Football Club
Nickname(s) Bulldogs, The Doggies
Founded 1935 as Canterbury-Bankstown
Ground Telstra Stadium
Homebush, Sydney
Capacity 83,500
CEO Image:Flag of Australia.svg Malcolm Noad
Coach Image:Flag of Australia.svg Steve Folkes
League National Rugby League
2006 National Rugby League, 3rd
Canterbury Leagues Club, Belmore

The Bulldogs (formerly Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) are a team in the National Rugby League (NRL), the premier rugby league football competition in Australia.

Based in Belmore, a suburb of Sydney, the Bulldogs in 1935 were admitted to the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) competition, a predecessor of the current NRL competition.

The Bulldogs won their first premiership in just their fourth season (1938). At the time it made them the quickest club (barring the founding clubs) to win a premiership after admission to the competition, a record which was only recently beaten in 1999 by the Melbourne Storm. They won a second premiership in 1942 but then had to wait another 38 years before breaking through for a third title in 1980. During the 80s, the Bulldogs were a dominant force in the competition appearing in five Grand Finals, winning four of them. In the 90s they featured in the 1995 and 1998 Grand Finals, winning the former. Their most recent success was in 2004 when they beat the Sydney Roosters 16 - 13. The tryscorers were Hazem El Masri and Matt Utai, and the Clive Churchill Medal winner was Willie Mason.


[edit] Club history

[edit] Origin

The Canterbury-Bankstown region in Sydney's outer southwest had a thriving rugby league culture and local competition in the 1920s and 30s and had applied repeatedly to join the Sydney competition from 1930 onwards, finally being successful in September 1934, and taking part for the first time in 1935.

[edit] Early success

Canterbury's initial season was a remarkable one - for the wrong reasons: arguably the worst season on record. Playing without a home ground, the team suffered a number of massive losses, at one point losing in successive weeks, 6-91 to St George and 7-87 to Easts - the two heaviest defeats in the history of the competition.

Amazingly, though, 1935's two wins were improved to nine in 1936 and netted a place in the finals. By 1938, the season featured only one loss, and a first title, defeating former nemesis Easts in the final. A second title followed in 1942, Canterbury defeating St George 11-9.

[edit] Decline as a Power

Remarkably - though largely due to the influence of World War II - Canterbury fell from premiers in 1942 to wooden spooners in each of the following two seasons. As players returned from service in the war, the club did regain its strength, finishing sixth in 1945 but third in 1946 and minor premiers in 1947. They lost to the Balmain Tigers 25-19 in the final, and then 13-9 in the Grand Final after leading 7-4 at half time.

However, their loss of the 1947 campaign was, more than the lapse of 1943-1945, the end of their first successful period. With the retirement of the famous front three of Eddie Burns, Roy Kirkaldy and Henry Porter (remarkably, none ever played for Australia owing to the war), the club was unable to develop top-line players or attract them to their ranks. Ron Willey was their sole Australian international between 1948 and 1962, and never played a Test match.

In 1948 they won only seven games, and from 1954 to 1959 never won more than six in a season. Between 1952 and 1959 they were second last on five occasions (only Parramatta denying them the wooden spoon in the last four cases) but in 1960 they made the semis in an unparalleled four-way play-off. They slipped back down the ladder quickly: after beating Easts in 6 July 1963 they did not win again until 25 July 1964. However, the emergence of skilful fullback Les Johns gave them hope, and despite finishing third last in 1966, the next year they made the Grand Final. Tough St George forward Kevin Ryan had joined them from St George and helped them break his former club's extraordinary run of eleven straight premierships by beating them 12-11 in the preliminary final. Unfortunately Canterbury lost to South Sydney 12-10 in the premiership decider, thanks to Bob McCarthy's famous intercept try.

The following few years saw mixed fortunes for the club on the field, with a sudden decline in 1968 and 1969 followed by a semi-final berth in 1970 (though they immediately bowed out of the semis losing 12-7 to St George) and a return to mid-table in 1971 and 1972. However, off the field the club was developing administrative strength that would restore it to the status of a "power" for the following thirty years.

[edit] Rebuilding years

Canterbury made the semis again in 1973, coming fifth in the first year the competition had a final five rather than four. Though they lost to Newtown, this heralded better times as the club made the semis every year for the rest of the decade, apart from 1977 when the team was heavily hit by injuries.

1974 proved more promising, as the club finished third on the ladder behind a runaway Roosters outfit coached by Jack Gibson, and Manly, then defeated both clubs to be the first through to the Grand Final. However, missed opportunities in an initially tight game lead to a 19-4 defeat. This had been the first Premiership decider Canterbury had played in since 1947.

[edit] The Entertainers

Peter 'Bullfrog' Moore was the top administrator at the Canterbury Bulldogs from 1970 to 1995. During this time the Bulldogs climbed to the very top of the game. In the late 70s and early 80s the Bulldogs under coach Ted Glossop who came to the club in 1978 played an exciting and skillful brand of football that got them named The Entertainers. With brilliant halfback Steve Mortimer the lynchpin, the Bulldogs as they were to be named in 1978 played a brand of football that was the envy of the Sydney Premiership.

The arrival of youngster Steve Mortimer and veteran Bob McCarthy in 1976 signalled a new beginning at the Bulldogs. McCarthy only had two seasons at Canterbury but his experience, knowledge and effect left a lasting impression with a new generation of forwards coming through the ranks, which included Steve Folkes, Graeme Hughes and Geoff Robinson.

Hints of future heroics came in 1976, Canterbury scarped into the final 5, finishing 5th, then beat Easts and St George before losing to Manly 15-12 at the last hurdle before the Grand Final, a Bob Fulton field goal breaking hearts late in the match.

The Bulldogs started off with promise but missed the semis in 1977, losing 4 out of the last 5 of their regular season matches and coming 7th. They then scraped into 5th position again for 1978, but were the first team out of the playoffs losing 22-15 to Parramatta.

They came fifth for a third time in four years in 1979, with the following four weeks of Finals in 1979 proving to be a turning point for the club and the beginning of their great success in the 1980's. Inspired by Mortimer and led by Test captain George Peponis, the Bulldogs disposed of Cronulla, Wests and Parramatta to make the Finals with some of Mortimer's tries leaving the public in awe of his genius. St George won the Grand Final 17-13 with the Bulldogs staging a great second half comeback after being down 17-2 at the break.

During the 1979-80 seasons, George Peponis would captain Australia in 5 Tests and became the first captain to lead Australia to a 3-0 series victory against Great Britain in 1979. Peponis led Australia on the 1980 Tour of New Zealand, winning both Tests.

The 1980 season was a watershed year for the Bulldogs and they would win their first Premiership since 1942. Canterbury played consistent football all season to finish in a tie for top position with Eastern Suburbs having the superior for and against. The Bulldogs defeated Wests and Easts to make it through to the Grand Final having the week off. The Roosters were favoured to win the decider but the unheralded Bulldogs pack outmuscled the Roosters pack with Steve Mortimer doing the rest. Mortimer completely out played rival Kevin Hastings with the Bulldogs winning 18-4. Chris Anderson scored the Bulldogs first try but the Grand Final will always be remembered for Steve Gearin's performance where he landed six goals from six attempts and scored one of the all-time greatest tries in Grand Final history. Gearin chased through a bomb by Greg Brentnall 40m out and caught the ball in mid-air despite the best attempts from Hastings and David Michael to prevent the try. The Grand Final was also famous for the three Mortimer and three Hughes brothers playing in the clash.

The Bulldogs struggled in 1981, coming 10th, and 82, coming 9th of 14 clubs in the newly expanded competition, as injuries crippled the club and despite coming 3rd in 1983, the gap between Parramatta and Manly and the rest of the Premiership was massive. The style of football that worked for Canterbury in 1979-80 was now outdated with the club looking in a new direction. Warren Ryan would be appointed coach and the Bulldogs would quickly go from the Entertainers to the Enforcers in very quick time.

[edit] Wozzaball

At the end of 1983 the board decided to go on a major rebuilding exercise. New coach Warren Ryan was brought on board, together with a collection of new players. Some of the major signings by Ryan and Chief Executive Peter Moore included 1983 Dally M Player of the Year Terry Lamb, Queensland forward Darryl Brohman, Mark Bugden, Peter Tunks and Peter Kelly. The Bulldogs went from the "Entertainers" to the "Enforcers".

The Bulldogs marked their 50th season by winning the 1984 Premiership but it didn't come without controversy. Ryan would drop long serving veterans Garry Hughes and club captain Chris Anderson to Reserve Grade and the style of football didn't win Canterbury many admirers outside their own circle. The Bulldogs set the football world on its head with a new aggressive, defensively oriented way of playing, that was later named by some as Wozzaball. The brand of football worked with Canterbury nullifying the brilliant attacking football of Parramatta to win the decider 6-4 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Bulldogs made it back-to-back titles in 1985 when they defeated St. George Dragons 7-6 in the Grand Final. Brilliantly led by captain Steve Mortimer, the Bulldogs bombed St George out of submission, which forced a rule change in the catching of the ball in the ingoal area.

The Bulldogs couldn't follow up with a hat-trick of titles losing the 1986 Grand Final 4-2 to Parramatta Eels in a classic game of football. No tries were scored as both sides tackled as their lives depended on it.

Ryan's era at Canterbury ended after the 1987 season when he left the club on bad terms despite the success that came the Bulldogs way. He is the only Canterbury coach to win two Premierships and when the Bulldogs named their greatest side in 2004, no coach was named, which many believe should have been Ryan. Others believed that Ryan was simply a professional coach rather than a 'true' Bulldog and the choice of Moore as Manager of the greatest ever side was more appropriate.

Phil Gould succeeded Ryan as coach and in his first year was in charge as the Bulldogs won the 1988 Grand Final against the Ryan-coached Balmain Tigers 24-12, the first at the new Sydney Football Stadium. It was a great and consistent season following the disappointment in 1987. The 1988 marked the final season for Canterbury legend Steve Mortimer, who stood down as captain after Round 4. Mortimer suffered a broken wrist in the second last round but was fit enough to play off the bench in the Grand Final victory. Mortimer retired with a club record 267 first grade games next to his name and at the time the most first grade games for one individual club. Mortimer captained the club the Premiership success in 1984 and 1985 and was a member of the 1980 and 1988 triumphs. He captained New South Wales in three State of Origin matches, winning all of them, giving the Blues their first triumph in 1985.

The "Wozzaball" era came to an end in 1989 when the Bulldogs struggled and Gould leaving the club to join Penrith Panthers. Chris Anderson returned as coach for the 1990 season and cleaned out the Ryan era building the club around another club great in Terry Lamb.

[edit] Baa's Boys

Chris Anderson left the Bulldogs in 1984 and played the remaining years of his career with Halifax RLFC where he was captain-coach. Anderson coached Halifax to Challenge Cup success in 1986-87. Anderson's return to Canterbury was a natural process but his commitments with Halifax in 1987-88 meant he couldn't take on the coaching position until 1989. Phil Gould's success in 1988 saw Anderson take on the Under 21's position in 1989 but his promotion to first grade was inevitable, which saw Gould leave on bad terms and join the Penrith Panthers.

One of Anderson's first jobs as head coach was appoint Terry Lamb as captain ahead of Paul Langmack, which caused some controversy at the time and in hindsight the correct decision. Anderson was in the first stages of cleaning out the 'Wozzaball' era and build his team around Lamb. Warren Ryan, now coaching Western Suburbs, would snare four former Canterbury players Langmack, Andrew Farrar, David Gillespie and Joe Thomas whilst Paul Dunn followed Gould to Penrith Panthers and Jason Alchin joined St. George Dragons.

The Bulldogs enjoyed encouraging results in 1991 led by Lamb with support from 1991 Rothmans Medal winner Ewan McGrady and the Welsh Wizard Jonathan Davies with youngsters such as Darren Smith, Jarrod McCracken, Dean Pay and Simon Gillies coming through the ranks. The Bulldogs were inconsistent in 1992 and Peter Bullfrog Moore went on a recruitment drive snaring Martin Bella, Jim Dymock, Jim Serdaris and Gary Connolly. Canterbury won the Minor Premiership with Lamb leading the way but they fell short in the Finals losing to St. George Dragons and Brisbane Broncos.

Goal kicking wizard Daryl Halligan joined the Bulldogs in 1994 and he booted a then club record of 270 points including the match-winning drop goal in the 1994 Major Semi-Final against Canberra Raiders at the Sydney Football Stadium. Darren Britt added much steel to the pack and Jason Smith emerged as a player of world class. Canberra were far to good on Grand Final day winning 36-12 with Mal Meninga enjoying a great exit from the game.

Canterbury were confident heading into the 1995 season with a new home at Parramatta Stadium but the uproar of the Super League War saw the Bulldogs ripped apart like never before with Jim Dymock, Dean Pay, Jason Smith and Jarrod McCracken announcing mid-season they were to leave the club. Their form before Super League was patchy and it was to get worse with demoralising losses against Manly 26-0, 19th place Parramatta, Newcastle 42-0 and Auckland 29-8 putting the season in doubt. Two major turning points was the switch of the final round match against North Queensland Cowboys to Belmore Sports Ground and Chris Anderson dropping Kiwi International Jarrod McCracken to reserve grade. Anderson would later omit McCracken from the overall squad. The Bulldogs walloped the Cowboys in a club record 66-4 victory and laid the platform for the Finals ahead.

The Bulldogs took all before them in the Finals defeating St. George Dragons 12-8, Brisbane Broncos 24-10 and destroyed 1994 Premiers Canberra Raiders 25-6 in one of their finest ever displays. The Grand Final saw them up against the ARL's pin-up club Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in an ultimate Super League-ARL grudge match. The Bulldogs were never headed winning 17-4 with Lamb leading the way in an inspirational (and controversial) performance. One of the tryscorers that day for Canterbury was future club captain Steve Price who was starting in only his 3rd first grade match.

The Anderson-Lamb coach-captain era at the Bulldogs lasted six seasons and they worked on a very successful rebuilding programme that bore fruit at the end of the day. Lamb announced his retirement after the Grand Final but would play on for another year in 1996 to help the sudden loss of players due to the ARL departures. Lamb however decided not to stand for the leadership leaving it for Simon Gillies. When Gillies was injured, Lamb again opted not to be captain with Darren Britt taking control for the final nine matches. Lamb's six seasons as Canterbury captain saw the club rebuild and emerge back again as a force following the great 1980's era and Lamb in 2004 would be named captain in Canterbury's Greatest Ever Team. Lamb in his six seasons as captain led from the front and was one of the most inspirational leaders in the game.

Another era ended following the 1995 season with the retirement of Chief Executive Peter Moore after 26 years in power. Moore came into power in 1969 with the backing of captain-coach Kevin Ryan and brought in a complete reformation of the Bulldogs club, which saw it emerge as a competitive force in the 1970's and a rugby league powerhouse in the 1980's. Moore took on a position as Super League Australia recruitment officer and he would retain his position on the Canterbury Leagues Club board until 1998. He was first diagnosed with cancer in 1998 and beat the first round but it returned in 2000 and lost his battle of life on 5th July. Moore's record at Canterbury was five Premierships and nine Grand Finals in 26 seasons.

[edit] Super League War

The Bulldogs were one of the clubs most damaged by the Super League War and lost five key players for the 1996 season with Dean Pay, Jason Smith, Jim Dymock and Jarrod McCracken joining arch-rivals Parramatta Eels and Brett Dallas linking with North Sydney Bears. The Bulldogs were a shadow of their three previous seasons in 1996 and scrambled to finish 10th in the ARL Premiership. It was a season that never got off the ground but did show promising form later in the year before it was too late.

The 1997 season saw Canterbury play in the Super League competition and was the first without club legend Terry Lamb who finally hung up the boots after 349 first grade matches. The Bulldogs finished in 5th position in the weaker of the two competitions. Chris Anderson quit the club at the end of the 1997 after a lifetime of service as a player and coach. Anderson joined the newly formed Melbourne Storm with reserve grade coach Steve Folkes taking over the head coaching position.

Super League and the ARL compromised at the end of 1997 and formed the National Rugby League, which saw Canterbury playing arch-rivals Parramatta Eels, St. George Dragons and Western Suburbs Magpies once again.

The Bulldogs struggled in 1998 as the effects from the Super League War and the retirement of Terry Lamb were still being felt. Simon Gillies was replaced mid-season as captain by Darren Britt and that sparked a Bulldogs revival. Canterbury won their last four matches to scrape into 9th position as the National Rugby League that season used a 'Top 10' Finals format.

Just prior to the Finals, it was revealed that former Chief Executive Peter Moore was diagnosed with cancer. The Bulldogs lifted to new levels as an inspiration to 'Bullfrog' and in the first two weeks of the Finals defeated St. George Dragons 20-12 (ultimately their last match as a stand-alone club) and North Sydney Bears 23-12, both victories on away soil. The followed week without the inspirational Craig Polla-Mounter the Bulldogs came from 16-0 down to defeat the Andrew Johns Newcastle Knights 28-16 with the scores locked at 16-all at full-time.

The most famous semi-final came the next week against arch-rivals Parramatta Eels with Pay, Dymock, Smith and McCracken in their line up. The Eels led 18-2 with 11 minutes remaining before Craig Polla-Mounter inspired the most remarkable comeback. Canterbury scored three tries in the space of seven minutes to bring it back to 18-16 with Daryl Halligan landing a sideline goal to level up the scores before Polla-Mounter nearly snatched a win in regular time with a heart-stopping field goal just falling under the cross-bar. It was all one-way traffic in extra time as Polla-Mounter steered the Bulldogs to an emotional 32-20 victory.

Brisbane Broncos won the Grand Final 38-12 (after leading 12-10 at half time) but the Bulldogs lost no admirers for the way they competed throughout the entire Finals series. The Super League War was now forgotten in a short space of time as they forged into a new era under the guidance of coach Steve Folkes.

The 1998 season also marked the farewell to Belmore Sports Ground as the Bulldogs home ground. The decision to leave Belmore upset many of the Bulldogs' loyal supporters as the ground had so much history to it. Belmore was Canterbury's home for 547 matches between 1936-98 and they had a great record on home soil. Belmore was also the home ground for the Parramatta Eels between 1982-85 as their new stadium was being built and St. George Dragons played at Belmore in 1988. Only the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Sports Ground and North Sydney Oval have hosted more Premiership games than Belmore Sports Ground. Overall Belmore hosted 602 Premiership games.

Despite opposition from many supporters, Canterbury moved to Telstra Stadium for the 1999 season and finished the Premiership rounds in 5th position with confidence gained from the Finals success in 1998 and signing new recruits Darren Smith, Bradley Clyde and Ricky Stuart. The Bulldogs were defeated in the second week of the Finals with Melbourne's Matt Geyer swooping on an ill-fated Stuart kick to seal victory in the dying minutes of the game.

[edit] The Salary Cap

The Bulldogs fallout from a disappointing 2000 season saw a "new breed" of players coming through for 2001. Canterbury's outfit aged badly in 2000 with many players past their best and a massive clean out happened with several new players on the way including Nigel Vagana, Luke Patten, Brett Howland and Darrell Trindall. The Bulldogs finished the Minor Premiership in 2nd position but crashed out of the Finals. The Dally M Rookie of the Year that season was Braith Anasta. Mark O'Meley was signed up for the 2002 season as the club said farewell to captain Darren Britt and his deputy Craig Polla-Mounter. With both of those gone, Steve Folkes opted for Steve Price as captain ahead of the more experienced Darren Smith.

Trouble, however, returned in a big way in 2002, with the Club being found guilty of salary cap breaches described by NRL Chief Executive David Gallop as "exceptional in both its size and its deliberate and ongoing nature". The club received a $500,000 fine, and was stripped of all 37 competition points. The latter action was particularly harmful, as the club were poised to take the Minor Premiership and had won 17 consecutive matches.

Club legend Steve Mortimer was brought in to save the club. He did much more than that, bringing much needed stability and passion back into the joint. The Bulldogs finished one game short of the Grand Final in 2003 as their season never really got going due to the fallout from the year before. But the hard and honest work of Mortimer allowed Canterbury to remain competitive and at the top of the tree as they were heading for a big 2004 season.

[edit] 2004 Premiers

The Bulldogs endured a nightmare start to the season only to bounce back in true Bulldog fashion to defeat new arch-rivals Sydney Roosters 16-13 in the Grand Final. The Bulldogs season started slowly but they worked their way into being genuine Premiership contenders, which included big wins against the Sydney Roosters, Penrith Panthers and Brisbane Broncos to finish the regular season on equal standing with eventual runners-up the Roosters, however due to points differential the Bulldogs were deemed to have finished second.

At the start to the 2004 season a major off-field scandal allegedly involving Bulldogs players in Coffs Harbour saw long serving Football Manager Garry Hughes sacked and Steve Mortimer step aside as Chief Executive. George Peponis was believed to be behind both changes with former Test forward Bradley Clyde the new Football Manager and News Limited Executive Malcolm Noad taking over from Mortimer. Both decisions were controversial but the Bulldogs performances on the field remained strong.

Finals newcomers North Queensland Cowboys upset the Bulldogs 30-22 in the first week of the Finals. The Bulldogs powered past the Melbourne Storm 43-18 in the second week of the Finals and three tries and five goals from Hazem El Masri saw the Bulldogs topple 2003 Premiers Penrith Panthers in the Grand Final Qualifier.

The Grand Final against the Sydney Roosters was always going to be a tense battle with neither club having much affection for the other. The Bulldogs came from 13-6 down at halftime to triumph 16-13. This victory saw desperate Bulldogs defence absorb much punishment and keep the Roosters scoreless for the entire second half. It was a sweet result for the Bulldogs after enduring a number of nightmare seasons on and off the field. It showed the great character in the club and the values that can't be bought or manufactured. To defeat the Roosters made it even sweeter considering the rivalry and backgrounds of both clubs. Matt Utai scored two tries with Hazem El Masri also scoring. Willie Mason was named Clive Churchill Medal Winner amongst a host of other good performers including Utai, El Masri, Sonny Bill Williams, Mark O'Meley, Brent Sherwin and stand-in captain Andrew Ryan, who ultimately make the winning tackle, stopping Roosters forward Michael Crocker from scoring the final seconds of the match.

Warriors bound club captain Steve Price missed the game due to injury sustained the week before in the semi-final victory against Penrith Panthers. Price's value and respect in the team was noticeable on Grand Final night when Ryan called up Price to hold the trophy and say a few words, whilst Johnathan Thurston gave Price his Grand Final ring.

[edit] Quest for the Ninth Premiership

The Bulldogs couldn't mount a serious defence of the title in 2005 as injuries and contract negotiations saw the year go down as a write off from the outset. The Bulldogs, due to the extent of injuries they had, couldn't at times put a full-strength team on the field. This eventually took its toll in the final six weeks of the season, the club suffering some heavy losses and missing the finals series.

In 2006, not much was expected from the Belmore club after a lacklustre 2005 season, but even with what was considered a weak halves combination in comparison to other clubs, the Bulldogs monstered teams during the season with their impressive forward pack - as a result the team has wrapped up second spot in the competition proper, and despite some late season losses, appeared primed for an assault on the premiership in the upcoming final series. They ultimately advanced to the final four of the competition, being eliminated in the penultimate week of the competition by eventual premiers, the Brisbane Broncos.

The Bulldogs' 2007 campaign will kickoff at EnergyAustralia Stadium against Newcastle on Sunday 18 March. Early betting odds see them at second favourite behind 2006 Grand Finalists the Melbourne Storm.

[edit] Culture

[edit] Playing strips

The Bulldogs have played in predominantly blue and white strip since the club entered the league in 1935. The only exception to this was during the Second World War, when rationing meant they had to wear a maroon jersey with a blue 'V'.<ref>[Canterbury Bulldogs ar]</ref>

There have been three basic strip designs since the club's inception in the top flight league competition:

  • Now known as the Vintage Strip, which has been used recently in occasional 'heritage' matches, this jersey had alternating thick horizontal blue and white bands with thin blue and white borders, with black shorts. This was used from 1935 until at least 1962.
  • From 1970 to 1972, the club adopted a jersey of thin blue and white stripes. This reverted to the 'V' from 1973 onwards.
  • The 'V' Strip, which was first used sometime before 1965. This consisted of a blue 'V' with a blue saddle over the shoulders on an otherwise white jersey with blue shorts. The current design is a little more 'aerodynamic' with the 'V' having a concave shape. the club also has an away strip in which the blue and white are reversed. There was an alternate design in the late 90s where the 'V' strip had a grey trim and was worn with white shorts.

[edit] Emblems and name

Image:Canterbury 1960.jpg
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs logo 1960
Image:Canterbury 1988.jpg
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs logo 1988

The initial emblem was a 'C-B' in a shield and nickname 'C-B's or (derisively) 'Country Bumpkins'. By the mid 1940s the club were nicknamed the Berries, a name which persisted until the 1978 season when the bulldog emblem was chosen. There have been at least two versions of the logo, although the latest version has seen two styles, the latest with larger 'Bulldogs' text to make it more friendly to the eye. The earlier style of the currently logo can be seen at the top of this page, and is characterised by the smaller lettering.

The Bulldogs started life as Canterbury-Bankstown. The club had the semi-official nickname of the Berries up until 1978 when the name was changed to the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs. In the 1990's the official name was changed around a few times. From the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, it went to the slightly grander title of the Sydney Bulldogs for two short seasons, then returned to simply 'Canterbury', before becoming the geographically indistinct "Bulldogs" in 1999 - an attempt to broaden their appeal across the Rugby League community. Despite this, many supporters, TV and radio commentators continue to refer to them as 'Canterbury'.

[edit] Back to Belmore

In August 2005, the Back to Belmore campaign was launched in support of upgrading Belmore Sports Ground for a select number of the Bulldogs' NRL home games in the long-term future. The campaign's protest is mainly aimed at the Federal Government to grant funding to an upgrade of the Canterbury-Bankstown district's premier sporting facility and the Bulldogs to allocate a select number of their home games at an upgraded Belmore Sports Ground in the future.

[edit] The Bulldogs and Australian society

The Bulldogs are known to have some of the most devotes fans in Australian Rugby League. There are a small group of supporters which are known as the 'Bulldog Army'. Their fans behavior has also been highlighted in recent years with fans causing trouble at Bulldogs matches. The Bulldogs club is trying to stop the fan violence by re-naming and moving the Bulldog army into a season ticket only bay 'The Kennel' as well as a campaign to encourage Bulldogs fans to dob in people causing trouble. They have dedicated fans and a huge fan base.

The Bulldogs players' off-field behaviour have also come under the spotlight, for both good and bad reasons. In early 2004, six Bulldogs players were accused of gang rape; although all the players were subsequently cleared of the charges, this incident had placed considerable strain on the club and its supporters alike. One of the leading detectives in the investigation, Detective Gary McEvoy, has come out publicly and stated that he believes there was no credible evidence to support the allegations but there were members of the New South Wales Police Force who acted inappropriately in the conduct of the investigation. The New South Wales Police Force Internal Affairs division is currently investigating the conduct of the Bulldogs gang rape allegation with particular focus on the unauthorised disclosure of police reports to radio shock jock Ray Hadley.

However, Hazem El Masri, a current Bulldogs player of Lebanese descent, has been considered a role model for Sydney's Muslim community.

[edit] Home Grounds and Stadiums

In the clubs first season, they were not allocated many home games, and instead took what clashes they did have to Marrickville or Pratten Park.

Belmore became the spiritual home of the Bulldogs for the formative years of the club, right until the NRL era, where criteria issues meant they had to shift to the newly constructed Stadium Australia in Homebush Bay. They varied between this venue and it's neighbouring RAS Sydney Showground until 2005, when overwhelming demand from fans saw them ditch the Showground, thought to be a very poor Rugby League venue, to move full-time to the Olympic venue.

The clubs training and head office remain at Belmore Sports Ground, however in 2007 it is believed all facilities will be shifted to Homebush Bay's Olympic Park Site.

[edit] Current squad

As of 30 June, 2006:

Player Position Height Weight Previous Club
Trent Cutler Image:Flag of Australia.svg Full Back 175cm/5'9" 83kg/183p Milperra Colts
Luke Patten Image:Flag of Australia.svg Full Back 189cm/6'2" 86kg/190p St George Illawarra Dragons
Hazem El Masri Image:Flag of Lebanon.svg Wing 178cm/5'10" 87kg/192p Enfield Federals
Matt Utai Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg Wing 171cm/5'7" 98kg/216p Berala Bears
Namila Davui Image:Flag of Fiji.svg Centre 188cm/6'2" 95kg/209p North Sydney Bears
Andrew Emelio Image:Flag of Australia.svg Centre 186cm/6'1" 100kg/220p Widnes Vikings
Cameron Phelps Image:Flag of Australia.svg Centre 178cm/5'10" 88kg/194p St Christophers
Willie Tonga Image:Flag of Australia.svg Centre 183cm/6'0" 95kg/209p Parramatta Eels
Daniel Holdsworth Image:Flag of Australia.svg Five Eighth 186cm/6'1" 95kg/209p St George Illawarra Dragons
Ben Roberts Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg Five Eighth 181cm/5'11" 89kg/196p. Western Suburbs Magpies
Billy Ngawini Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg Half Back 169cm/5'7" 86kg/190p North Sydney Bears
Brent Sherwin Image:Flag of Australia.svg Half Back 175cm/5'9" 85kg/187p St Christophers
Chris Armit Image:Flag of Australia.svg Prop 186cm/6'1" 103kg/227p Parramatta Eels
Roy Asotasi Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg Prop 184cm/6'0" 102kg/225p Auckland Marist
Ben Czislowski Image:Flag of Australia.svg Prop 186cm/6'1" 103kg/227p Brisbane Broncos
Jarrad Hickey Image:Flag of Australia.svg Prop 195cm/6'5" 114kg/251p St Christophers
Nate Myles Image:Flag of Australia.svg Prop 188cm/6'2" 107kg/236p Southern Suburbs
Mark O'Meley Image:Flag of Australia.svg Prop 180cm/5'11" 104kg/229p Northern Eagles
Jamie Small Image:Flag of Australia.svg Prop 184cm/6'0" 105kg/231p Balmain Tigers
Corey Hughes Image:Flag of Australia.svg Hooker 175cm/5'9" 88kg/194p St Christophers
Daniel Irvine Image:Flag of Australia.svg Hooker 173cm/5'8" 86kg/190p Parramatta Eels
Adam Perry Image:Flag of Australia.svg Hooker 170cm/5'7" 100kg/220p Junee Diesels
Daniel Conn Image:Flag of Australia.svg Second Row 183cm/6'0" 105kg/231p Wellington Cowboys
Jon Green Image:Flag of Australia.svg Second Row 190cm/6'3" 108kg/238p Cronulla Sharks
Willie Mason Image:Flag of Australia.svg Second Row 196cm/6'5" 114kg/251p Toronto Scorpions
Brad Morrin Image:Flag of Australia.svg Second Row 182cm/6'0" 97kg/214p Moorebank Rams
Andrew Ryan Image:Flag of Australia.svg Second Row 186cm/6'1" 105kg/231p Parramatta Eels
Tony Grimaldi Image:Flag of Australia.svg Lock 184cm/6'0" 93kg/205p Hull FC
Nick Kouparitsas Image:Flag of Australia.svg Lock 184cm/6'0" 95kg/209p Western Suburbs Magpies
Sonny Bill Williams Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg Lock 191cm/6'3" 106kg/234p Auckland Marist
Reni Maitua Image:Flag of Australia.svg Lock 180cm/5'11" 100kg/220p Coogee Wombats
Dallas Mcilwain Image:Flag of Australia.svg Lock 178cm/5'10" 91kg/201p Inverell Hawks

[edit] Noted former players




New Zealand

South Africa


See Also: All Time Player List

[edit] First Grade Captains (since 1975)

[edit] Player Records

[edit] All-time Top 5 Bulldogs tryscorers

Player Tries
Image:Flag of Lebanon.svg Hazem El Masri (*)126
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Terry Lamb123
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Chris Anderson94
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Steve Mortimer79
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Chris Mortimer79

(*) player still active in the Canterbury Bulldogs team.

[edit] All-time Top 5 Bulldogs Appearances

Player Appearance
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Steve Mortimer272
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Terry Lamb262
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Steve Folkes245
Image:Flag of Lebanon.svg Hazem El Masri (*)238
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Chris Anderson230

(*) player still active in the Canterbury Bulldogs team.

[edit] Coaches

[edit] Famous Bulldogs Fans

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes


[edit] External links

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