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Hasler scare will lift Canterbury: Klemmer

AAP logoAAP 3/11/2016 Ian McCullough

The near exit of coach Des Hasler from Canterbury will serve as a warning to the Bulldogs players in 2017 according to prop David Klemmer.

Echoing the sentiments of club skipper James Graham last week, the Australia and NSW forward admitted he was shocked to hear the two-time NRL premiership winner was fighting to save his job last month.

The former Manly mentor survived an emergency board meeting that resulted in the resignation of Bulldogs great Steve Mortimer, a fierce Hasler critic, following a tame NRL finals exit.

But Klemmer claims the players, not just Hasler, need to shoulder a share of the blame for last season's under-achievement.

"None of us were happy with how last season finished," Klemmer told AAP.

"I was surprised to read they were trying to get rid of Des and it's good that he'll be there next year.

"It's easy to blame the coach when things go wrong, but we as players have to share responsibility too.

"I wouldn't say we let Des down, we let ourselves down. We didn't execute as well as we should have and we can and we will be better next season."

Klemmer is in line to face New Zealand on Saturday in the Four Nations and credits Hasler's handling of him early in his career for helping become a regular for both NSW and the Kangaroos.

"In my first season he would leave me on the bench sometimes for up to 60-65 minutes or longer," he said.

"It meant I got to watch and learn a lot from the sidelines, but when I did get on I would really go flat out.

"I think it was a good way to handle me at the start of my career. Now I am starting and playing more minutes. It's been a great last two years for me personally and Des has really helped me."

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