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



8 things you didn't know you could do at North Straddie

NORTH Stradbroke Island is the perfect getaway whether you plan to stay for a day, a week or even a month.

A whisky-lover's blurprint to Brisbane's best bars

Check out The Gresham for some old-school fine drops.

SCOTCH, Whiskey and Whisky; it all gets a bit confusing.

Your guide to the best Brisbane markets

Enjoy the beautiful offerings of one of Brisbane's many markets.

WHO doesn’t love a good market!?

Ain’t no mountain high enough

No Caption

Brisbane's dishing up the mountain-hiking goods!

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

She's Deb and she's here to help

ACROSS THE BORDERLINE: Deb Frecklington and Tony Perrett join at the dividing line of their electorates.

'Roads, health and council': Woolooga's new MP listening.

UPDATE: NBN responds to criticism of Gympie service

CUT OFF: Roadcraft chief executive officer Sharlene Makin has had a terrible experience with the NBN.

Has Gympie got the worst NBN in Australia?

'We live in a state of autism apartheid'

CONTROVERSY: Pauline Hanson has earned the ire of the public after she said children with disabilities were putting a strain on teachers and schools and should be educated separately.

'We live in a state of autism apartheid'

Local Partners

Millionaire’s riches to rags experiment

Businessman discovers harsh realities of homelessness in new SBS TV series.

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson dead after long illness

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died.

Celebrity chef died after battle with an alcohol-related illness

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Britain's Prince Harry.

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Rebel Wilson to give away her defamation payout

Actor Wilson says she won't keep a cent of her defamation payout

What's in store for Nina and Billie on Offspring?

Kat Stewart and Asher Keddie star in season seven of Offspring.

Proudman sisters return, but their lives aren’t slowing down.

What's on the big screen this week

Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager in a scene from the movie Transformers: The Last Knight.

STUDIOS begin to roll out their school holiday offerings.

MOVIE REVIEW: Rough Night is rude, shocking and funny

Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Illana Grazer and Kate McKinnon in a scene from Rough Night.

FOUR best friends reunite for a wild weekend, what could go wrong?

Mining giants in fight that could spell disaster for NQ town

STAND OFF: There are perfectly good homes for workers, but mining company QCoal could be forced to build a camp and the deserted streets and empty houses of Glenden would remain.

How two mining companies could ruin this small town

Home owners settling to make way for Mackay Ring Road

The Clarkson family's home was moved just down the road from their former land at Stotts Road, Te Kowai, which was resumed by TMR.

But some are still clinging on, fighting for a better deal

Three historic M'boro hotels on the market

The Lamington Hotel Motel, Maryborough. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Three historic Maryborough hotels are on the market.

Renters warned about online real estate scam

The scam ad for a property for rent in Albert Park.

Australian renters have been warned about an elaborate scam

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!