The Bulldogs' Michael Lichaa, offloading his side's round one match against the Melbourne Storm, says lapses in defence are costing Canterbury dearly.
The Bulldogs' Michael Lichaa, offloading his side's round one match against the Melbourne Storm, says lapses in defence are costing Canterbury dearly. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Woods tells Bulldogs to tough up

AARON Woods has urged his Canterbury teammates to be mentally tougher as they seek to turn around their winless start to the season.

Rookie coach Dean Pay was left frustrated after watching his team concede 30 points for the second consecutive week in last Friday's loss to the Sydney Roosters.

"We've got to be a bit more mentally tougher with things that we do,” Woods said on Monday.

"We had them (the Roosters) under the pump for a fair bit ... we were going set for set and just to let a soft try in, you just think, 'How are we back in this situation?'

"As a group we've got to be tougher and find our way out of those sorts of situations and I think we've got to have plans in place for things when those things do happen.”

Hooker Michael Lichaa narrowed their defensive problems down to fifth-tackle options, when opposition teams went on the counter from deep in their own territory.

Three of the Roosters' five tries came from inside their own half - a problem Lichaa said spilled over from their Bulldogs' round-one loss to Melbourne.

"They're not just rolling through us and getting down on our line or anything like that. It's just one lapse in defence and they're running the field,” Lichaa said.

"It happened about three times in the first half they scored from their own half.

"Melbourne as well, they scored three full-field tries as well, so it's pretty frustrating.

"They're things we've got to fix up - kick cross field and they catch and run the field.”

"Things like that are pretty frustrating, so we've got to get it right.”

Woods said it was important the playing group remained upbeat about their ability to turn things around.

Of the 38 teams in the past decade who have started 0-2, only 11 of them have made the finals.

"If you want to come in dragging your head, other players are going to react, they're going to do the same thing,” he said.

You've got come in, be upbeat; you've got to be positive,” he said.

AAP



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