Dogs not ready to unleash Thompson in NRL

Canterbury fans will need to wait at least another week to see Luke Thompson in action, with the Englishman ruled out of their NRL game with South Sydney.

Bulldogs coach DEAN PAY.
Bulldogs coach DEAN PAY. Picture: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Canterbury fans will have to wait at least another week to get a glimpse of new English bopper Luke Thompson who has been ruled out of Sunday's NRL clash with South Sydney.

On Saturday, Bulldogs coach Dean Pay said he wanted to give the new prop more time to train to a NRL standard before unleashing him in the pack.

Thompson, joining the team after serving a two-week isolation in Melbourne, was named originally on the extended bench as a chance to make his Australian debut this week.

"He hasn't trained for a number of months so I think it's a big ask for him to play (on Sunday)," Pay said.

"Hopefully, we've got a little bit of running in him, got into a little bit of contact work with him, just getting back into the groove of things so we could get him on the park next week.

"He's fitted in really well; he's a really quality player; he's come from a really strong club in St Helens. His work ethic and what he brings to the place is fantastic.

"He's brought a lot of energy to the place."

However, the Bulldogs need energy on the paddock after slumping to bottom on the ladder last week with just one win for the season.

Fullback Will Hopoate will also miss Sunday's game at Bankwest Stadium with an ankle injury, with Dallin Watene Zelezniak to fill in at the back.

South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett has a ready and willing James Roberts to slot into the side.

Roberts made his return from the bench in last week's loss to Penrith and was sin-binned shortly after running onto the field.

Bennett said he had seen an improvement in Roberts' fitness and, while not at his best, they needed to start the process of including him in the first-grade side.

After a scrappy effort against the Panthers, Bennett simply wants Souths to make better choices against the Bulldogs.

"I want to see that we don't beat ourselves - it's as simple as that," he said.

"Making errors and putting ourselves in a position that takes the pressure off them and puts the pressure back on us.

"They fix it by recognising what they need to do to get it right, by making better decisions on the field.

"That's the difference between the teams at the top level at the moment."

STATS THAT MATTER:

* The two teams have played at Parramatta only once, in 1995, when the Bulldogs won 46-10. Dean Britt's father Darren scored a double in that match, playing in the front row with coach Pay

* The Bulldogs hope to avoid seven losses from their opening eight games of a season for the first time since 1996 and seventh occasion overall

* The Rabbitohs have conceded the first try in five of their past six matches; all five tries came within eight minutes.