Paul McGregor was in a pressure cooker before the game but the heat was cranked up again after St George Illawarra’s 22-2 loss to lowly Canterbury.
After just two wins from their past 14 games, time is running out for the Dragons’ coach to save his job as they lumber through their worst season start since 2005.
And after the Bulldogs scored their first win of the season on Monday at Bankwest Stadium, the Dragons sit last on the ladder as the only team not to taste victory yet in 2020.
A team stacked with representative talent, the Dragons could not form a winning combination despite several changes to the spine which McGregor had hoped would spark improvement.
However, it’s been two consecutive weeks without a try for the Dragons, last scoring against the Panthers in round two back in March.
Corey Norman’s move to fullback did not have the desired result, while it was a tough debut at halfback for Adam Clune who made the team’s only line break.
It sets McGregor up for another week of speculation over his future at the club after six seasons in charge.
And while the disappointment intensified for the Dragons, the Bulldogs rallied for Kieran Foran’s 200th NRL game. Foran made his return from a shoulder injury which had threatened to end his season.
Although he was physically spent at times during the game, Foran helped to steer the Bulldogs out of a sloppy opening 10 minutes to a near-perfect completion rate.
A try to Adam Elliott through the middle put the Bulldogs on the board in the first half, while Nick Meaney and Reimis Smith polished off the win with second-half four-pointers.
The Dragons will play Cronulla on Sunday at Campbelltown, while the Bulldogs will face the high-flying Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium.