Club Report – Canterbury Bulldogs


The Canterbury Bulldogs have always been pretty good. Founded in 1934, the Bulldogs are one of Western Sydney’s four NRL clubs. Success came early, finishing runners-up in 1998 to the Broncos. Success continued until massive salary cap rorts were uncovered in 2002 while they were close to securing  a minor premiership. Fortunately, they achieved little of import during this period and, unlike the later Storm, weren’t stripped of a bunch of titles. The Bulldogs managed to recover and made the finals in 2003 and took out the top prize in 2004.

A leaner period followed in the back end of the 2000s, featuring a scandal or two and culminating in a 2008 wooden spoon. Canterbury returned to form circa 2012 and since then, the Doggies have made the finals each season. This season is a mixed success but a good run to the end of the year may see them make it six in a row.


Using the Eratosthenes system, we measure the long term class – their structural competence – of NRL clubs.

The Canterbury Bulldogs’ current rating is 1518. Canterbury have had an average class rating of 1548 since 1998. This average has only been bettered by the Broncos and the Storm. Over the last decade, their average rating has been 1521, well above the average rating of 1500 and fifth best in the NRL, after Melbourne, Manly, Brisbane and St George Illawarra.


The Bulldogs achieved a maximum rating of 1663, after the opening round of the 2005 season, which is equal third best with Parramatta and only behind Melbourne, and Sydney City. After the 2012 preliminary final, Canterbury were rated 1572, their highest in the last ten years.

Canterbury’s lowest ever rating was 1451, suffered at the end of the 2008 season. This is the best record of any club after Melbourne, Brisbane and St George Illawarra (ignoring pre-merger clubs).

NRL Honours

  • Premierships – 1 | 2004
  • Runners-up – 3 | 1998, 2012, 2014
  • Minor Premierships – 1 | 2012
  • Finalist – 13 | 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Wooden Spoons – 2 | 2002 (salary cap breach), 2008

Record (rd1/1998 – rd10/2017)

  • Games 503
  • Wins 285 (56.7%)
  • Draws 11
  • Points For 11,227
  • Points Against 10,286
  • Net F/A +941
  • Pythagorean expectation 54.1%


Using the Archimedes system, we measure the short term form of NRL clubs.

Canterbury have averaged a form rating of 1516 over the last 26 games. Their current rating is 1466.


The Bulldogs highest rating was 1617 after round 23 last season. The lowest rating was 1405, after round 4 this year.

Record (last 26 rounds)

  • Finished 2016 in 7th
  • Games 26
  • Wins 12 (46.2%)
  • Draws 0
  • Points For 425
  • Points Against 474
  • Net F/A -49
  • Pythagorean expectation 44.8%

Stocky Projection

We use the Stocky to predict what might happen in the season ahead. This is what the Stocky has predicted for Canterbury so far in the 2017 season.