Bulldogs, Tigers vie for Ciraldo as Gus rejects Walker brothers ‘gamble’, Eels’ attitude problem



Phil Gould has put a red line through Shane and Ben Walker as potential candidates to fill the vacant coaching position at Canterbury and thinks no NRL club will take the gamble on their unorthodox methods.

The Canterbury general manager has spoken with Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo about potentially taking over as the full-time coach next season after caretaker Mick Potter guides the team through the rest of the season.

Gould said “it’s never been discussed” with Potter about taking over the gig beyond this season and that he had never indicated he was keen on the role.

On his Six Tackles with Gus podcast, Gould said he was aware the Wests Tigers were keen to lure Ciraldo to Concord and was not surprised they had rolled out the red carpet for him.

Panthers assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“I can understand why them wanting to give a young coach like Cameron Ciraldo every opportunity to help make his decision. It’s a big decision for Cameron, it’ll be his first job as a full-time head coach,” he said.

“Now because there are so many clubs looking for coaches and there are so many coaches who have failed in the NRL and lost their jobs, people like Cameron Ciraldo are in hot demand.”

Gould said Ciraldo was “meticulous” with his due diligence about what he described as one of the most important decisions of his life and also floated the possibility of the 37-year-old staying at Penrith to potentially succeed Ivan Cleary down the track.

When quizzed about the Walker brothers, who have achieved premiership success in the Queensland Cup but have been passed over for NRL vacancies in recent years, Gould said he doubted whether they would ever be given a chance.

Canterbury Bulldogs players celebrate a try

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“You would have to be pretty brave to do it,” he said.

“I for one, as a coach, tried to be as innovative as possible. I didn’t want to follow, I didn’t want to copy what other coaches, teams were doing. I felt that if we were copying people then we would always run second, we would never be the leader.

“But at the same time, probably through tried and tested philosophies and methods which have stood the test of time, the Walkers situation would be a gamble.

“It would be a gamble to introduce them to a playing group that had been developed in the traditional way.

“And as to whether or not you could run a development system based on some of their concepts and beliefs, I think would be a major turnaround.

“It’s easy for people like Benji Marshall or Andrew Johns to say it would be exciting to watch, and it would be exciting to watch, but as to whether or not that’s how you want to portray your football club and your business in the long term, it would have to be a major gamble for a club to go down that path.”

“My head just doesn’t go there, I don’t consider it. That’s got nothing against the Walkers, I wish them all the success in the world.”

Mitchell Moses offloads the ball.

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Eels split over attitude adjustment

Parramatta’s leading names are divided over what contributed to their capitulation to Canterbury on Monday that handed the Bulldogs their biggest upset of the NRL season.

The Bulldogs played the Eels off the park on Monday to claim a 34-4 victory and lift themselves off bottom place on the table. 

Former Parramatta assistant coach Mick Potter masterminded the win, securing his first victory as interim head coach of the Bulldogs to leave Eels boss Brad Arthur scratching his head.

The Eels have beaten competition heavyweights Penrith and Melbourne away this season, but also lost to the Wests Tigers on Easter Monday and the Bulldogs when both sides were at the bottom of the ladder.

“I think it’s an attitude thing, going into the game and thinking it’s going to come easily. Hopefully we’ve learned from our lessons,” said halfback Mitchell Moses.

“It’s more of an attitude thing and not trying to do individual things by yourself.

“When we play the top teams our 1 to 17 is on fire and against the teams everyone is expecting us to beat everyone is trying to do their own thing.”

Moses insists the Dogs didn’t get under Parramatta’s skin.

His comments were in contrast to hooker Reed Mahoney, who claimed the Eels fell apart because they weren’t willing to stay patient after having a try chalked off in the opening 10 minutes.

“It’s not an attitude problem, it just wasn’t our day and we didn’t turn up,” he said.

“It happened once before when we came up against the Tigers. The good thing is we have talked about it and we can put it away now.

“It’s things early in the game where we flow pretty quickly, we didn’t have intent or patience with the ball and they capitalised on it.

“I wouldn’t say any team is lower than us, we need to treat every team with respect and turn up.”

The Eels currently sit in sixth spot and face the Roosters at CommBank Stadium on Saturday.

“We’re excited, they’re a quality side and they got away from us at Suncorp Stadium,” Mahoney added. “You’ve got to start fast with them and do our team actions and the rest will come.”