Pay remains without a win in his short coaching career after the Sydney Roosters sent his Bulldogs back to their kennel with an 18-point loss and their tails between their legs on Friday.
The Bulldogs conceded three tries in 38 minutes and never got within striking distance as they allowed Roosters pair James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk to click into gear at their new club.
It was the second week in a row Pay’s side gave up 30-plus points, following their heavy defeat to defending premiers Melbourne in their season-opener.
Not since the old ‘Berries gave up 93 points in 1971 have the Bulldogs allowed as many points over the opening fortnight of a competition.
“It’s becoming frustrating, that’s for sure,” Pay said.
Roosters backline stars Blake Ferguson and Latrell Mitchell joined Tedesco in combining for 562 metres, 15 tackle busts, four line breaks and two tries.
“In the first half their back five rolled out of their end too easily. We said we were going to try and nullify that, but I just thought we didn’t do a good enough job of that,” Pay said.
Pay was also unhappy with their restructured attack, particularly during a crucial 10-minute period in the first half when the Roosters had forward Isaac Liu in the sin bin.
Pay was left to rue the bunker’s decision to overturn a Marcelo Montoya try due to an obstruction, but was otherwise unimpressed by their play with the ball.
“We’ve worked hard in the off-season with how we want to attack and we didn’t get that on tonight, so that side’s frustrating as well,” he said.
Bulldogs captain Josh Jackson refused to use the daunting task of facing the Storm and Roosters first up as an excuse.
“It doesn’t matter who they are, 30 points isn’t good enough,” he said.
“If we want to be there in September we’ve got to match it with every team in the competition, regardless of how good of a footy team they are. Very disappointing in that aspect.”