Canterbury Bulldogs, Cameron Ciraldo, Josh Addo-Carr, Jacob Kiraz, Viliame Kikau, Storm

The Bulldogs’ 26-12 demolition of the storm on their home turf stunned everyone on Saturday night – all but one.

Rookie coach Cameron Ciraldo has been expecting that feat since the day he signed a five-year deal with the club last August.

Things didn’t start as planned in Round 1 last week when the Dogs were beaten 31-6 in Manly but Ciraldo said the defeat sparked their amazing excitement in Melbourne.

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The 38-year-old manager also promised there is more to come after Canterbury won in a fast-moving, free-flowing rugby league.

“You could see all week how they prepared and how they learned from last week’s game that they were going to come here and play to win,” said Ciraldo.

“So I wasn’t surprised but very pleased with their efforts. We were really confident coming here that if we could play our best game we could get a result.

“I don’t think we threw all caution to the wind, I thought we were playing a style of footy that we’ve been training for all preseason. We have good players with some attacking players, very skillful players and that’s how we’re going to play.

“We’re not going to play conservative footy, we’re going to play to our strengths and play a true Bulldogs footy style.

“I’ve believed all along that we’re capable of some pretty cool things this year if we focus on that and keep playing our style of football and approach it like we did tonight.

Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo. Image: Justin Lloyd.Source: News Corp Australia


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Former Storm star Addo-Carr returned to haunt his old club, finishing with a try, two line breaks and nine tackle busts in his 100 yards from nine carries.

“Josh is a good player and he has a lot of strikes and we want to put him in the game – he’s licensed to go anywhere,” Ciraldo said.

“He’s a quality player and we want him to be involved in the game and it was nice to see him come a little firmer and get involved in the game tonight and we’ll be dangerous if he continues to do that.

But it was the Bulldogs’ other winger who really stole the show, with Jacob Kiraz, who put on 213 yards, nine tackle busts, three offloads, two line breaks and two tries in a stunning show.

Canterbury Bulldogs Press Conference | 06:10

“Jacob is a winner, he’s going to fight to win everything and he’s what we want to build the Bulldogs on, someone like that,” Ciraldo said.

“I’m really happy with the way Jake has played but I’m not surprised it’s the way he trains and prepares every day and hates to lose.

“If we can get everyone to have that mentality, we’re going to be hard to beat.”

Star recruit Viliame Kikau bounced back from a quiet debut in Round 1 but was also reported for a second-half trip.

Melbourne Storm Press Conference | 07:38

“We knew all week that Kiks was going to have a big game. He came back late after the World Cup and was in Fiji for a long time after his father died,” said Ciraldo.

“He only played 15 minutes in trial practice, he didn’t have a great preparation for the season and last week we made it really difficult for ourselves and Kiks again.

“To see him go out there and do the things that he did, he really led from the front.

“I don’t know much about (the Trip incident) but I’m confident that whatever team we field over the next few weeks we’ll be hard to beat.” Canterbury Bulldogs, Cameron Ciraldo, Josh Addo-Carr, Jacob Kiraz, Viliame Kikau, Storm

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