Barrett facing sack as Bulldogs call emergency meeting on coach’s future with another spoon looming

League, NRL, NRL 2022, Rugby League, Trent Barrett



Trent Barrett’s future as Canterbury coach is on the line with the top-ranking club officials set to meet as early as Monday to decide whether he will survive in the role.

The Dogs are anchored to the bottom of the NRL ladder with a 2-8 record after their 16-6 loss to Newcastle in the Magic Round opener on Friday night and are staring down the prospect of their second straight wooden spoon under Barrett.

Club chairman John Khoury is expected to meet general manager Phil Gould early in the week to discuss whether Barrett should continue in the role. Gould, who coached Barrett in the State of Origin arena at NSW in the early 2000s, has been a staunch advocate of the former Kangaroos five-eighth and recently said he would coach the team for a long time.

He is contracted until the end of next year but despite an influx of high-priced recruits this year including Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Tevita Pangai jnr, Brent Naden, Paul Vaughan, Matt Dufty and Braidon Burns, he has been unable to turn the team’s fortunes around.

Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett looks on

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Canterbury have Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney coming to the club next year.

They were a distant last with a 3-21 record last season in Barrett’s first season at the helm after a successful stint as Penrith’s assistant under Ivan Cleary.

“I sound like a broken record,” Barrett said after Friday night’s loss when his team went down to a Newcastle side which had gone seven matches without victory.

“It’s the same every week and it’s not good enough. I think everyone does (need to step up). We’re just making too many errors and making it too hard for ourselves.”

Former Raiders coach David Furner is on Barrett’s staff as an assistant and could be parachuted into the head role if the Bulldogs’ powerbrokers make a change.

The Dogs take on fellow strugglers Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval next Friday so if Barrett remains in the gig, a loss to another team down the bottom of the ladder would surely be the final nail in the coffin on his time at Belmore.

There are several former first-grade coaches on the lookout for a new job with North Queensland’s 2015 premiership-winner Paul Green and Cronulla’s 2016 grand final-winning mentor Shane Flanagan among them.

Flanagan’s son, Kyle, was recalled to the Canterbury NRL side in controversial circumstances in Round 5 but his form has been unimpressive as the Dogs have been poor at scoring points.

Barrett’s previous stint as an NRL coach ended in acrimonious circumstances at Manly in 2018 after a conflict with management over resources at the club.

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