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NRL Profile: Canterbury Bulldogs

After finishing down in 15th place on the ladder last season in the NRL, there’s plenty of room for improvement at the Canterbury Bulldogs ahead of the 2024 campaign.

With some impressive new arrivals and lessons learnt from last season, head coach Cameron Ciraldo and his side will have ambitions to be competing back in the top eight this time around.

Canterbury are 3.50 to finish in the top eight and 41.00 to cause a major shock and claim a ninth title in 2024.

A season to forget in 2023

Finishing well down the standings with just seven wins all season, the 2023 NRL campaign was one largely to forget for Bulldogs fans.

The wait for a Premiership title continues, with Canterbury last winning a grand final back in 2004.

Canterbury have come close since, when finishing as runners-up in 2012 and 2014.

There will be many more fancied teams heading into the new season but the Bulldogs have pedigree in this competition and perhaps their new arrivals can have the impact necessary to be back competing at the top of the ladder.

Crichton can play key role

The signing of Stephen Crichton from the Penrith Panthers looks set to give everyone involved with the Bulldogs a real lift ahead of the 2024 NRL season.

Crichton is clearly raring to get going at Canterbury after joining up with members of the squad a month ahead of his designated start date.

Ciraldo was delighted by Crichton’s decision to get embedded in his new surroundings early and feels it’s a good sign of things to come.

"It shows what type of person that he is, that he wants to come back and contribute right now and sort of form into a leader,” Ciraldo said.

"He is going to be really good for our group, the energy he brings every day, the professionalism he brings and then what he can do on the field as well. I am really excited to have him here."

New signings

The Bulldogs have been busy in the off-season and their squad has been given a significant boost with the recent arrivals of Drew Hutchison, Kurt Mann, Jake Turpin, and Poasa Faamausili.

Fellow new signing Connor Tracey is also a strong addition, although the Bulldogs will be without the former Cronulla Sharks fullback in the first few rounds of the new season after he suffered an ankle injury in training.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of excitement on what three-time Premiership winner Crichton will bring to the squad and how much progress this team can make in the coming months.

Opening fixtures

Canterbury will kick-start their 2024 campaign on Saturday 9th March when they make the trip to the Western Sydney Stadium to take on the Parramatta Eels.

The Bulldogs are available at 2.65 to win their opening game of the season, while the Eels are the 1.48 favourites to get off to a winning start. 

Canterbury are also on the road in their second game against the Cronulla Sharks on 15th March, before their first home game arrives on 23rd March when the Bulldogs play hosts to the Gold Coast Titans.

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