Now that the Bulldogs have a three point lead at the top of the table, I would like to know if people think the Dogs are the real deal or are they just doing a Parramatta like run to the finals like last year and come up agonisingly short? To me, they come across like Parramatta from last year with no real outstanding player or gamebreaker. They are solid in every position as Parramatta were but do they have that little bit extra or a player with the x factor that can produce something special in tight situations like a Johns or Tallis? They are workmanlike and clinical in their performance and havent been tested in a match for the last two months with a very favourable draw through the mid section of the competition. Friday night should give their faithful a better indication of where the Bulldogs stand with a clash against their arch rivals, the Parramatta Eels.
The Dogs will be at full strength whereas Parramatta will be missing Lyon and Vaealiki. The forwards pretty much cancel each other out but the Dogs have an edge in the halves with the Eels Dykes and Mcfadden too hot and cold at the moment and the void left in the centres could prove too big a hurdle to overcome for the Eels in front of what should easily be a crowd in excess of 20,000. It will still be a great match and the first big test for the Dogs in what is the best rivalry in Rugby League as they try and turn around a disappointing semi final record that has them with celebrate only one win from their last four semi final appearances. The Dogs have also had a great run with relatively few injuries. Is it all about to change? The beginning of what could be an intriuging journey starts tomorrow night at 7.30pm.