Under-siege Canterbury have been dealt another blow, with halfback Moses Mbye facing up to two matches on the sidelines after being cited for a shoulder charge.
Mbye was one of two players hit with the charge from Saturday’s games, Gold Coast captain Ryan James facing a similar suspension from his side’s 32-26 loss to North Queensland.
The pair will each miss one game if they enter plea guilty to the grade-one offences, while they will spend two weeks on the sideline if they elect to fight it and lose at the judiciary.
But it will be the potential loss of Mbye which could have the biggest impact on the competition.
The Bulldogs No.7 was charged for his first half hit on Manly’s Curtis Sironen as he was attempting to make a kick.
He was penalised at the time, opening the floodgates for the Sea Eagles as they scored their first of seven unanswered tries in the following set to begin the 36-0 romp.
The Bulldogs have lost seven of their past eight in a streak that goes back to the end of the last season, and they are pinned to the bottom quarter of the ladder with just one win, placing pressure on off-contract coach Des Hasler.
They also have a lack of experienced depth in the halves.
Uncapped reserve grade halfback Matthew Frawley looms as the most likely replacement, given he has been named on an extended bench throughout the opening month.
Second-rower Josh Jackson has also deputised in the halves before.
Mbye and halves partner Josh Reynolds have not missed a game since Trent Hodkinson’s departure from the club at the end of 2015.
James was cited for his 18th-minute hit on Cowboy Patrick Kaufusi. He was penalised at the time.