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Hasler: State of Origin schedule must change

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SYDNEY - Frustrated Canterbury coach Des Hasler has joined the growing chorus of influential voices calling for dramatic NRL scheduling changes to limit the impact upon clubs during the State of Origin period.

Without their NSW halves the Bulldogs crashed to their third straight loss on Sunday, a 22-12 defeat to Parramatta, to fall from the top of the NRL ladder.

After seven straight wins, the Dogs have had to play two games without Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson, losing to Manly in the other fixture over the interstate period, and their season momentum has stalled significantly.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has been criticising the heavy toll Origin takes on the game's superstars and NRL clubs during the interstate series for years and earlier this month Wayne Bennett put forward an alternative scheduling plan which includes three stand alone Origin matches in successive weeks to minimise disruption.

Hasler has floated the idea of games being played on Mondays and flexible NRL scheduling to deal with the growing problem.

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