Next weeks game bigger than a final

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Guido

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I don't even want to think about losing to Port, finishing 5th, and possibly handing Essendon their first finals win in 17 years.
Looking at it another way, we extend Essendon's non-finals winning run to 18 years (when they've had their hopes up) and from there, need 2 wins from 2 against top 4 opponents to make the Grand Final, which is exactly what would have been required had we finished top 4.

Know it's hard to imagine with what happened yesterday, but easy to forget after the Freo loss in 2016, we were paying $50 for the premiership. We're much more in the mix year than we were in 2016, even with this poor form for the last 2 weeks.

This week *is* like a cut throat final, but it's basically a first of two potential double chance games - win and we gain a double chance, lose and we face a team who's measure we've had for 6 of our last 7 games.
 
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Dogs Rule

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I don't give a s*** what happens in finals as much as I care about winning this week.

It's not just about the double chance, it's about responding to one of the most feeble, pathetic displays from a Bulldogs side since the McCartney era. It was genuine garbage and I would sooner see us go out in straight sets having a crack and after a strong win against Port than limp into an Elim Final against whoever it'll be and meekly pee our season down the drain.

It's a must we respond this week. A must. Yeah we said that after the Bombers loss, but it was another few notches up on the weekend.
 

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Doggy

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Can we just beat these pretenders

They're already talking about a home qualifying final. Yeah we've been crap lately but they should have lost to Adelaide 2 weeks ago, missing Walker amongst others... then we're down by 4 goals at home against Carltank before they tanked
 

ExRoyboy

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Looking at it another way, we extend Essendon's non-finals winning run to 18 years (when they've had their hopes up) and from there, need 2 wins from 2 against top 4 opponents to make the Grand Final, which is exactly what would have been required had we finished top 4.

Know it's hard to imagine with what happened yesterday, but easy to forget after the Freo loss in 2016, we were paying $50 for the premiership. We're much more in the mix year than we were in 2016, even with this poor form for the last 2 weeks.

This week *is* like a cut throat final, but it's basically a first of two potential double chance games - win and we gain a double chance, lose and we face a team who's measure we've had for 6 of our last 7 games.
I do tend to agree although I would much rather still win and secure a top 4 spot which is from where most Premiership teams come from. However if we do lose and end up playing Essendon I’m not as worried about them regardless of whether they beat us last week or not. That was a freak game. We hit the post like 7 times, completely missed everything another 10 times, couldn’t hit the side of a barn. We dominated inside 50’s, but they were just much more efficient with Peter Wright in a zone where he couldn’t miss, plus Keath didn’t play.

If we play them again I think we win no worries. GWS worry me much more.

But let’s just beat Port and take the whole thing out of the equation. Our destiny is still in our own hands.
 

Guido

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I do tend to agree although I would much rather still win and secure a top 4 spot which is from where most Premiership teams come from. However if we do lose and end up playing Essendon I’m not as worried about them regardless of whether they beat us last week or not. That was a freak game. We hit the post like 7 times, completely missed everything another 10 times, couldn’t hit the side of a barn. We dominated inside 50’s, but they were just much more efficient with Peter Wright in a zone where he couldn’t miss, plus Keath didn’t play.

If we play them again I think we win no worries. GWS worry me much more.

But let’s just beat Port and take the whole thing out of the equation. Our destiny is still in our own hands.
Totally agree with you re:Essendon and don't get me wrong, I absolutely want to win against Port this week and get the double chance, but more importantly I want indications of a massive form and hunger turnaround.

If we turn things around go toe-to-toe with a quality top 4 team and just get pipped at the line this Friday, some will be absolutely devastated, but that can't be the team's psychology going into finals - in reality, as long as we win week 1, we'll be facing a similar scenario to what we would have been facing had we made top 4 - a need to beat two teams to make the Grand Final.

Whether it's Geelong, Melbourne or Port in Adelaide, all of them are beatable if we get back into form and we're at our hungriest and best. We just need to seriously get out sh1t together across the next two weeks.
 

the dog's kennel

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Western Bulldogs players and coaches have been told they must prepare for their season-defining battle against Port Adelaide in strict quarantine conditions.
It can be revealed that as of Tuesday night they will be ordered into isolation either at home or, if their entire household cannot bunker down with them, in a Melbourne hotel that will be funded by the AFL.

They will only be allowed outside to train at Whitten Oval as part of the protocols which will ensure state governments and South Australian health officials sign off on the round 23 clash going ahead at Marvel Stadium.

Metropolitan Melbourne’s ongoing lockdown means the regulations enforced on the Bulldogs won’t be too much more extreme than those already governing Victorians.

But the Dogs have already had Josh Dunkley and Ryan Gardner ruled ineligible to play due to government regulations in recent games, with the desperately unlucky Dunkley forced into quarantine after visiting a Tier 2 exposure site in Kew.

The Dogs must knock off Port on Friday night to secure the double chance, having occupied a place in the top two since round 3.

They were ladder leaders after round 20, but consecutive losses to Essendon and Hawthorn, compounded by the crushing loss of Josh Bruce to an ACL in the dying seconds last week, have stalled their momentum on the eve of September.

This might sound weird, but good. I want all the little things to stack up against us in the lead-up (no injuries though please!). The team seems to respond in those situations. They can't seem to get themselves up for doing things easily!
 

The Inbetweener

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He has a point about the catastrophic scenarios being talked about. Port played really poorly in the first half, so did Geelong. They are not that good. I doubt we lose against them. Also, Brisbane have to win in Perth by at least 26 points and we need to lose by around the same margin to drop out of the 4. A question: will there be a week's break between the last round and the first week of finals? have the afl changed the rules?
Unfortunately your margins aren’t correct - it’s 24 points total or there about. So if we lose by 1 we need Brisbane to win by less than 20. If we lose by 20 it’s essentially game over.

I think the fact Geelong etc played so poorly is what has most people upset - there is no dominant team and if we don’t finish top 4 we may have wasted a genuine shot at a flag.

Yeah If we finish 5th we probably draw Essendon and I doubt we lose to them again, but we then more than likely have to beat Brisbane in Brisbane then Port in Port to make the GF. As opposed to finishing 4th and beating Geelong to make a PF. Fair to say the 2nd option is an easier road. So this game is a must win and we shouldn’t be in this position if we didn’t miss 6 shots from inside 20 metres v Essendon or simply showed up against a bottom 4 side in Hawthorn.

I think we can beat Port through the midfield and that is where the game will be won and lost.
 

ScragCity

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With the prefinals bye no longer going ahead i think the two top four teams who win week one and get a week off will certainly both be making the GF.
 

Dogs Rule

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Can we just beat these pretenders

They're already talking about a home qualifying final. Yeah we've been crap lately but they should have lost to Adelaide 2 weeks ago, missing Walker amongst others... then we're down by 4 goals at home against Carltank before they tanked
Let's hope the team share the same cocksure mindset.
 

ExRoyboy

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Unfortunately your margins aren’t correct - it’s 24 points total or there about. So if we lose by 1 we need Brisbane to win by less than 20. If we lose by 20 it’s essentially game over.

I think the fact Geelong etc played so poorly is what has most people upset - there is no dominant team and if we don’t finish top 4 we may have wasted a genuine shot at a flag.

Yeah If we finish 5th we probably draw Essendon and I doubt we lose to them again, but we then more than likely have to beat Brisbane in Brisbane then Port in Port to make the GF. As opposed to finishing 4th and beating Geelong to make a PF. Fair to say the 2nd option is an easier road. So this game is a must win and we shouldn’t be in this position if we didn’t miss 6 shots from inside 20 metres v Essendon or simply showed up against a bottom 4 side in Hawthorn.

I think we can beat Port through the midfield and that is where the game will be won and lost.
Thanks for the response and your views align with mine. While I was disgusted with the way we played against Hawthorn, I was definitely more frustrated with the game against Essendon. Hawthorn had been playing like a top 4 team for the last month. Anyone who thought we would waltz down to Tassie and just win that game easily was fooling themselves. In fact I tipped Hawthorn in my work tipping comp and I was always worried about that game for a few weeks. Clarko’s last game down there and everything else. Then we lost Bruce….

But that game against Essendon was as frustrating a game as I have seen in recent memory and I knew it would come back to bite us. Missing 6 shots from inside 20m, hitting the post so many times, we invented new ways to f**k up so many goal scoring opportunities. We dominated the first quarter with nothing to show for it. We should have been 6-7 goals in front. Then Essendon couldn’t f**king miss and Peter Wright and Jake Stringer just ripped us apart with efficient kicking. We should never have lost that game. We didn’t play that poorly for the majority of it, but were massively let down by our forwards. (And resting Weightman was a mistake by the match committee, well intended but still a mistake given his efficiency up forward could have been the difference) Bruce was probably the best forward and then the heartbreak at the end with his knee injury was worse than the loss itself.

Can’t think of a more disappointing frustrating loss in recent memory. Stuffed it up at all levels of the club and now we pay for it.

But, it’s not terminal yet. We can win against Port and I believe we will. Season on the line, maybe we needed that to happen to sharpen us up in our mindset leading into the Finals.
 

Optimistic Dog

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If we win and that is a big IF and dees win we play the cats. What are the chances this is at Ballarat with limited crowds from the regional areas. Problem is the cats will have 80% plus of the supporters.
 

X_box_X

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If we win and that is a big IF and dees win we play the cats. What are the chances this is at Ballarat with limited crowds from the regional areas. Problem is the cats will have 80% plus of the supporters.
No chance.

I reckon a decision will be made in the next couple of days where the AFL will announce the finals will be played in SA and WA.
 

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Dog 36

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No chance.

I reckon a decision will be made in the next couple of days where the AFL will announce the finals will be played in SA and WA.
I think if Victorian clubs have earnt the right to play a home final then it should be played at the G or Marvel and if it means no crowds so be it.
 

X_box_X

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I think if Victorian clubs have earnt the right to play a home final then it should be played at the G or Marvel and if it means no crowds so be it.
I know that's what you believe, but what you believe, or what I believe, is irrelevant.

I'm telling you what is likely to happen, in response to the previous question beginning with the words, "What are the chances this is at Ballarat..."

* I note that wasn't you who asked that question.
 

DognBones

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The loss of Josh Bruce is a massive negative. Without his contesting and physical work let alone his goal-kicking, it leaves us with 1 marking forward who will be double-teamed at every forward entry. We will probably need English to be a key forward for most of the next two games but how that will be accomplished even if Martin returns is problematical. You would expect Martin to be gassed after one or two quarters spending large amounts of time on the bench. How Bev balances this ruck/key forward situation will be crucial in us being competitive. Of the other forwards against Hawthorn, only Weightman looked capable of doing much damage, the rest were completely ineffective. Obviously, we have problems in other areas of the team but if we can't kick enough goals, we will struggle. Perhaps Schache or JUH could come in as possible forward targets or, miraculously, Wallis could return to his 2020 goal-kicking success. It will be very interesting this week, more so than previously, how Bev structures the forward half.
 
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X_box_X

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The loss of Josh Bruce is a massive negative. Without his contesting and physical work let alone his goal-kicking, it leaves us with 1 marking forward who will be double-teamed at every forward entry. We will probably need English to be a key forward for most of the next two games but how that will be accomplished even if Martin returns is problematical. You would expect Martin to be gassed after one or two quarters spending large amounts of time on the bench. How Bev balances this ruck/key forward situation will be crucial in us being competitive. Of the other forwards against Hawthorn, only Weightman looked capable of doing much damage, the rest were completely ineffective. Obviously, we have problems in other areas of the team but if we can't kick enough goals, we will struggle. Perhaps Schache or JUH could come in as possible forward targets or miraculously, Wallis could return to his 2020 goal-kicking success. It will be very interesting this week, more so than previously, how Bev structures the forward half.
If Bruce is crucial to our success, should we also be worried about our premiership chances next year?

We can only hope in 12 months that Bruce is playing at a similar level to what he has produced this season, but I wouldn't count on it.

JUH is unlikely to be good enough by next year to replicate Bruce's 2021 output.
 

Dogs Rule

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If Bruce is crucial to our success, should we also be worried about our premiership chances next year?

We can only hope in 12 months that Bruce is playing at a similar level to what he has produced this season, but I wouldn't count on it.

JUH is unlikely to be good enough by next year to replicate Bruce's 2021 output.
It's Bruce's energy as well. Some of our lot look like they're smoking weed (and playing like it) sometimes. Spaced out. Get enthusiastic, get up and about - it rubs off and it has an impact on the way you play.
 

hutchy31

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I don't give a s*** what happens in finals as much as I care about winning this week.

It's not just about the double chance, it's about responding to one of the most feeble, pathetic displays from a Bulldogs side since the McCartney era. It was genuine garbage and I would sooner see us go out in straight sets having a crack and after a strong win against Port than limp into an Elim Final against whoever it'll be and meekly pee our season down the drain.

It's a must we respond this week. A must. Yeah we said that after the Bombers loss, but it was another few notches up on the weekend.
I would agree with all of this. The Essendon performance was frustrating - missed easy shots and allowing them to walk out of centre clearances being the main contributors to the loss. But the hawks performance was just deflating. I have no earthly idea how a team with top four on the line dishes that up against what can be generously called half a VFL team. Hawks played well, they have a great coach etc etc but Howe, Bramble, Newcombe and others towelled up our so called best midfield in the comp.

If that’s the effort brought on Fri night they’ll get deservedly thumped. My guess is it won’t be, but we can only hope it’ll be enough.
 

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