Canterbury coach Des Hasler says Newcastle caretaker coach Danny Buderus would be embarrassed by claims the Knights have turned their NRL form around solely because the club legend is now at the helm.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash in Newcastle, Hasler said that despite their lowly position of 14th on the ladder, the Knights have shown the evenness of the competition by producing back-to-back wins.
The Knights had lost 12 of their previous 14 games and fallen to last spot when Rick Stone was axed at the end of July, but under Buderus have won consecutive games for the first time since March.
A third straight win this weekend could see them rise as high as 10th, but Hasler said it wasn’t all to do with the former NSW No.9.
“I think Danny would be a little bit embarrassed that you might think that. He’s a great fella, Danny Buderus,” Hasler said on Friday.
“They’ve been playing some really good footy, actually. They’ve been pretty expansive.”
The Bulldogs have also found momentum at the right time of the season, winning three on the trot for just the second time this year, also in March.
Their scalps have included competition heavyweights Brisbane and South Sydney, however Hasler refused to get carried away with their recent run of form.
“We’ve had one of those years where we’ve been up and down so we’ve been a little bit inconsistent, really,” he said.
“And you look at Brisbane last night, wow. We just need to keep building that momentum, and that’s playing good footy.”
Prop Aidan Tolman (hamstring) and utility Josh Reynolds (knee) are unlikely to return this week, but are expected to be available for the final game of the regular season against the Warriors next week.