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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Fr Dan was a priest of the people

CELEBRATION: Fr Dan Moore at his 50 years of priesthood jubilee.

A vibrant life remembered.

Mayor responds to union criticism over DV leave

Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes.

According to the Services Union, council is all talk, little action.

Coal mine takes the next step

FULL VIEW: The Olive Downs project.

A mine that will create more than 1000 jobs for CQ is a step closer.

Local Partners

First Muslim wins his Oscar

Oscars 2017: Live Coverage of the 89th Academy Awards.

Oscars guest’s shocking wardrobe malfunction

Blanca Blanco arrives for the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 26 February 2017.

ACTRESS suffers X-rated wardrobe malfunction.

Star style at the Oscars 2017 red carpet

Nicole Kidman arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Oscars 2017: Red Carpet Dresses and Outfits — Best Dressed Celebs.

Married At First Sight couple flouts the rules

Sean and Susan in a scene from Married At First Sight.

ONE couple is openly flouting the rules of Married At First Sight.

The one film that could beat La La Land

Mahershala Ali and Alex R Hibbert in a scene from the movie Moonlight.

OSCARS 2017 predictions: Who will win on the big night?

Actor Bill Paxton has died aged 61

Bill Paxton at the premiere of "Captain Phillips".

American actor and director Bill Paxton has died at 61 due

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films most likely to win at Oscars.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!