That puts Shane Flanagan, whose son Kyle is contracted to the Bulldogs on a lucrative deal for one more year, in the box seat alongside former North Queensland premiership-winner Paul Green.
St Helens coach Kristian Woolf and Penrith assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo will also come into the equation should Barrett and the club part ways in coming weeks.
Canterbury supremo Phil Gould (left) has publicly backed Barrett but former Panthers caretaker Cameron Ciraldo (right) will come into contention should the Bulldogs board see things differently.Credit:NRL Photos
Gould has a strong voice at the club and recently backed Barrett to remain as the long-term coach.
“Trent Barrett will be the coach of the Bulldogs long after I’m gone,” Gould said on Nine’s 100% Footy. “He’s a long-term coach for the club.”
Not everyone at the Bulldogs agrees with that notion. Some want Barrett to be given extra guidance and assistance, while the patience of others has worn thin.
The Bulldogs don’t have a difficult draw over the next fortnight. They take on the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval this Friday night, followed by a home game at Belmore Sportsground against St George Illawarra.
A lot could hinge on the results of two matches Canterbury officials believe they should be winning.
Campbell in demand
Titans fullback Jayden Campbell has proven himself to be a superstar of the future. He was pivotal in Gold Coast’s match-winning try against the Dragons in golden point on Saturday night.
It’s why several clubs contacted his manager last week when news of Kieran Foran’s deal with the Titans surfaced.
Clubs are wondering whether Campbell will be the odd man out next year if Foran’s arrival shifts five-eighth AJ Brimson back to the No.1 jersey. If that is to be the case, clubs are already lining up for his services.
Tyrell Sloan didn’t have the NRL return he would have hoped for.Credit:Getty
Sloan targeted by Dragons fans
Tyrell Sloan’s return to the NRL didn’t go to script on Saturday night, making a number of critical errors in his side’s golden-point loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium.
Unfortunately, some disgruntled St George Illawarra fans made their displeasure known by abusing the teenager on social media.
It led to Sloan, who was dropped by coach Anthony Griffin after round three, shutting down his social media accounts. The pressure on the youngster has been enormous. To be fair to most Dragons fans, they were celebrating his return when the Herald broke the story on Friday.
While Sloan was disappointing in his comeback game, there were plenty of other reasons why the Dragons failed to close out a match they should have won.
Dolphins continue Penrith raid
There was a lot of talk during the week about some of Penrith’s biggest names being targeted by the Dolphins. Behind the scenes, they’ve made a massive play for teenage fullback sensation Sunia Turuva.
The Panthers won’t be able to throw around the kind of money on offer for him at the NRL’s newest club. It’s a constant problem the high-flying Panthers seem to be facing as they try to keep their unheralded stars from the advances of the cashed-up Dolphins.
Turuva has also attracted interest from the Wests Tigers. He is the younger cousin of Api Koroisau, who will link with the Tigers from the premiers next year.
Former Sea Eagle caught up in Suncorp melee
Former Manly player Owen Cunningham was caught up in a wild brawl in the stands of Suncorp Stadium during the opening night of Magic Round.
Cunningham’s son Ethan was attacked by a group of men during the match, finishing the night in hospital with facial fractures. Owen and his other son jumped in to protect Ethan and his partner.
Gagai to return for Knights
The Knights are hopeful Dane Gagai will be back from a fractured cheekbone against the Broncos in Newcastle on Thursday night. Gagai was close to playing against the Bulldogs in Magic Round, but the club opted against rushing him back.
Dragons hang around
A number of the Dragons’ Queensland-born players took the opportunity to remain in the Sunshine State after the game, including injured forward Josh McGuire. Coach Anthony Griffin instead flew home with the rest of the squad.
Cleary phones it in
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary wasn’t at Suncorp Stadium to see his side’s convincing victory over the Melbourne Storm, but he still managed to join in on the team song.
Trainer Shane Elford was carrying the phone with Ivan FaceTiming in to be part of Cameron Ciraldo’s post-game talk and the ensuing victory song. Ivan is still battling a knee infection and had a second surgery on it during the week.
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