Autopsy Post 2021 Grand Final Western Bulldogs game review, the good the bad and the ugly, come talk about it here!

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Jul 3, 2021
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I am optimistic on what our list can achieve moving forward. Ala Hawthorn 2012 - just need this result to burn us and spur us to bigger and better things! A partner for Keath in defence (Lake in 13’) and a full fit ruckman to partner English would be ideal. Sad to say Wood has seen the pace decline and probably the game move past him too - not the way a premiership captain sjould see his career out. Anyway heart beats ❤🤍😘


Dec 6, 2005
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray, Coney Island Warriors
like if you look at the recent track record Crows in 2017, Dees in 2018, Gws in 2019 all didnt make finals the next year its a fair call i hope its wrong and it could just be the dead inside of me talking but im not overally optimistic
They all lost players which contributed to that though.
I don't think we're losing anyone who played tonight, save for Stef Martin perhaps and almost any experienced ruck will be an upgrade.

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Club Legend
Sep 28, 2009
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Leeds, Leeds, Leeds. MOT.
On paper I thought this side was better than the 2016 team. The ones who played in 2016 were just kids and now that they are a mature bunch, I expected a lot more. We lost the desperation somehow.

We need to fix our forward entries, they were putrid tonight. No contested marks for Naughton says it all. Players looked like they were playing for the cheap spill, nothing really taken on the lead. It was awful and scrappy and it looked like it may work for a while but ultimately we couldn't keep the ball in forward fifty.

Still not sure if we are wasting Naughton in the forward line. I guess we have to keep him there next year until Bruce is back.

We certainly didn't get a Tom Boyd performance tonight from our rucks.

go you pups

Hall of Famer
Jun 27, 2013
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, SSC Napoli, ESH
Im still trying to figure out if we made any changes in the centre of the ground when Petracca and Oliver took over the game with that blistering final 10 minutes of the 3rd. All I recall and Im not going to ever view it again is that we had Libba on the defensive side and the rest of our mids at or around the ruck mans feet. Once the ball was knocked wide of the centre circle which was clearly a deliberate process on Melbournes behalf. Well...we know the rest.

Anyways, Petracca and Oliver were both phenomenally aggressive and just way too good for us from that point on. Im not sure that any coaching move by Beveridge would've had an effect. I dont know if we finally run out of puff or it all just got a little too hard for our mids, but those two in particular just tore us a new arse. From then on it was just an avalanche that completely buried our defence.

Im not going to freak out and call for the heads of all and sundry at the club. Apparently there are worse things in the world than losing a grand final to a red hot and very complete side. Its just that right now Im struggling to think of anything. Perhaps in a few months...
Nope, we did nothing aside from Bont was off for about their first 3 goals as he must've came off after kicking that goal, the he went in there and did nothing to stop the rut

Some of the worst defensive work I've ever seen from this mob out of the guts

Richmond second half was like that, but we clung on due to defending the high ball, we had no answers, no pressure, no one stood up in those moments, pathetic

The club has alot of soul-searching over summer, can only hope this will give them motivation to go one better and not drop their bundle like Port after 2007, St Kilda after 2010 replay, Adelaide after 2017, GWS perhaps after 2019 etc


Team Captain
Dec 28, 2003
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I really, really wish we'd put Dunkley in the middle when Melbourne kicked those first 3 goals. Desperately needed that extra pressure around the ball, and he was huge doing just that in the first half. Was hard to tell on TV, but I think he was sent to mind Salem at half forward instead...

We'll come back strong next year.

Oliver Gigacz

Premium Platinum
May 14, 2009
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
It’s easy sitting from the couch, but at least go defensive after they kicked those 2 directly from clearances.

It’s a concern when our midfield is meant to be our best weapon but can be so easily beaten like that.
We seem to be fixated on moving the ball forward from the centre at all costs. It's a glass cannon though it can work really well, especially against the poorer sides but come up against a similar midfield in Melbourne and even Essendon it can easily blow up.


Club Legend
Apr 20, 2008
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Bolton Wanderers Football
Melbourne were the best team all year.

They overran us tonight but we played four finals in four different states and spent most of that time in in strict lockdown. That’s a massive achievement in itself.

We need a ruck, we need another key defender and we need to see genuine improvement across the list.

All of the above we can improve. We’ll be back.

Norm De Guerre

Left of the dial.
Mar 27, 2004
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Australian Farnarkling XI
I think tonight highlighted that Wood's days are surely over, lost his pace & Fritsch embarrassed him.
Martin is a stop gap short term fix but we desperately need a younger & fitter option, English aint it.
Cordy was again exposed 1 on 1 & I'm not sure Gardner is any better.
Not sure where we will get Ruckman & intercepting defender from in the short term given our lack of trade & draft pick options this year.
Hopefully Richards can have a decent run at it next year and add some pace to our side.
I made this point in the Retire Wood thread and I'll make it again here.

Name a defender in the competition who could've done anything about the avalanche of inside 50 that they had coming their way when the game turned on its head in the 3rd? Richards, Gardner or Jesus ******* Christ himself wouldn't have made a lick of difference tonight when the Demons got on a roll.

It needed to be stopped in the middle and we couldn't do it.
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Premiership Player
May 21, 2008
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
NZ Breakers / New York Knicks
I honestly in my heart of hearts thought that we were going to win the game. Won't go into it, but there were a few stars lining up and a few personal omens. I'm still honestly in disbelief as I was utterly convinced we were going to win.

Totally guttered..
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Bazzas Lovechild

All Australian
Apr 18, 2010
Hiding in a bush
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Martin was underdone English is at best a backup ruck. If there's ever a glaring deficiency about list weaknesses, that's it. They need to sort that out fast
Another key back just as important…and with Woody falling off the proverbial cliff we need to replace him too. We also need a defensive mid. I think Dunkley could do the job but it doesn’t seem to be Bevo style.


Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 15, 2012
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
like if you look at the recent track record Crows in 2017, Dees in 2018, Gws in 2019 all didnt make finals the next year its a fair call i hope its wrong and it could just be the dead inside of me talking but im not overally optimistic
Teams lose grand finals every year. Some by a little bit, some by a lot. They then get the opportunity to respond the following year, sometimes they even win, eg Hawthorn in 13, Geelong in 09, West Coast in 06. It sucks but it's not a death sentence, and I'd back Bevo to let it spur them on.

fred cook

Premiership Player
Jan 14, 2005
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Exactly. It's one friggen game. It was crap, but it was one game. Next year we start again. We get aggressive drafting and trading and rejig the assistant coaches and start again.
Has no one told you Bevo does not like the idea of assistant coaches unless he is to choose them and they have never any great experience regarding coaching

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Not a mod
May 23, 2009
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I've gone from resignation, to disappointment. For some reason I now feel like I should now wildly lash out, even though I'm not even really angry. Weird. I can't be magnanimous to the winners though. Bunch of campaigners on BF really don't deserve a flag.
As a team the Dees deserved it. Played an outstanding game, and i'm more than willing to give them plaudits for that. They were unrelenting in that second half. But I still hate the club, hate a bunch of their players, and they've got a large contingent of massive flog supporters. So this is very unfortunate.


Club Legend
Apr 3, 2014
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
The combination of undersized backline + woeful ruck department, with the 6-6-6 rule, just invites disaster. Bev's solution has been to roll with a very deep midfield rotation, and just use that sheer talent to win out. It worked almost all season. But really Essendon/Hawks/Port really showed up how to get it done against us. Not easy to do, or else in the three prior finals someone would have, but in the end all too possible for a team as good as Melbourne.

I think 2020 was pivotal in Bev growing as a coach in terms of not constantly trying to reinvent the wheel. Ryder smashed English, we went and got Stef. A few years too late, but it was a concession that we would be playing an actual ruck. We rolled with Gardner over Cordy at the start of the season because the club would be very well aware of how physically limited Cordy is.

I expect Power and co will do everything they can to plug those two holes to make us a more complete team. Slightly challenging with Darcy coming in, but we don't need to pull off a superstar trade. The bar is incredibly low for our ruck and 2nd kpd positions. Just need to go from uncompetitive to competitive and it goes a long way.

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