Review The beating - what effect will it have

Libba39

Premiership Player
Mar 10, 2008
3,976
3,564
Murrumbeena
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
In the aftermath of the weekend's game I've been wondering what scars it might leave moving forward. The title of this thread is of course a dual one. We were beaten on the scoreboard and took a physical beating as well.

The Demons capitulation to West Coast last year appears to have had a profound impact on that group. Their fall from grace has been astounding, although I'm sure there were other factors such as injuries etc. Still, it made me wonder how badly our young team's confidence has been damaged moving forward.

While Melbourne were put to the sword on the scoreboard in the most devastating way, the Dogs were physically bullied and the score was almost secondary, a result that flowed on from GWS rubbing our faces into the dirt, literally and figuratively. While I feel that we have a right to be very angry about the lack of protection that our ball winners received from the umpires (rubber-stamped by the tribunal), what's done is done.

Where to then from here? Does the current group simply 'move on' or are there going to be some longer lasting scars? We are essentially a team of ball-players and have been so since after the days of Terry Wallace as coach and the 'them or us' pack mentality that came about under his tuition.

We are a young team (the youngest side fielded in round 23) who failed to make a stand on the big stage. Not just a stand on the scoreboard. We failed to stand up for each other. I'm not saying that we should have engaged in similar tactics, but at some stage you need to look a bully in the eye and say enough is enough.

We didn't do that. We stuck to our game plan, stuck to the script of the disciplined ball-winners while our opposition rained elbow after elbow down on our necks and heads after each tackle. We were bullied and didn't fight back.

I wonder how you move on from here. Is there going to be a sense of shame or doubt that we carry with us for the next few years? Does a victim always remain one?
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

BallaratBulldog

Premium Platinum
Aug 5, 2007
12,780
13,297
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray VFL.
A few preseasons wil see some of these lighter bodies withstand tougher physical games.

Another mature player or two would help even the balance with experience.

Getting another KPD, winger and a forward.

Review the game, relaise we need to help each other.

I doubt we would be like Melbourne that have been MIA for the most part of the decade.
 

Dogs Rule

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 27, 2005
9,558
11,582
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray
Young people are far more resilient than older people. Our group is young.

What Bevo needs to do is show them the vision and just say ‘Is that us? Are we going to accept that?’ It has to burn in their guts all summer.
 

Testekill

Don't look at me like that
Dec 3, 2009
13,428
11,125
Brisbane
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray Bulldogs, Williamstown
I have a feeling that it'll teach us that we can't just be the nice team anymore. The instant GWS tries that bullshit again then we need to be more than ready to respond in kind since the umpires won't do anything about it.
 

Dogs 13

Premiership Player
Nov 13, 2003
3,593
2,252
Werribee
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Western Bulldogs
I have a feeling that it'll teach us that we can't just be the nice team anymore. The instant GWS tries that bulls**t again then we need to be more than ready to respond in kind since the umpires won't do anything about it.
The problem is when the physical stuff isn't your natural game it just doesn't come off and just looks clumsy resulting in frees. Look at the way Greene goes about it, he's calculating all the time, he doesn't care about the outcome or the person he hurts. Have a look at when he was wrestling with Woody on the ground, he cooly brings the knee up into Wood's head. He's always looking for a chance to hurt, looking for an edge, he's just a natural.

No, I don't want us to play like him, but we need players that the physical game comes naturally to.
 

ScragCity

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 7, 2015
8,642
16,278
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Honestly I think it's just a symptom of fielding such a young side. You leave yourself a bit vulnerable to stuff like that. Having said that I don't think our selection was poor like some have suggested. Maybe Trengove could have played and that would have helped, but he's only one bloke and it wouldn't have changed much. Our young blokes will never forget this game and they will be ready for it next time. A few mature recruits over the offseason will help too.

It's bloody hard watching your team get bullied like that and to barely give a yelp. I have to admit though, I do love this little rivalry and these fiery games. I'm sure we will come out on top of plenty of these battles over the years.
 

The Slitherin' Snake

Club Legend
Apr 8, 2005
1,541
1,239
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
It will be the making of us. Nothing but positive for me after the initial disappointment.
Hopefully the club will use it to manage the list a little more tightly as well.
Agree 100%.

Losing the way we did - being physically beaten up and our midfield destroyed is the best possible way to lose. imo.

If we had of dominated the midfield but didnt convert inside 50s leading to lots of quick goals out the back - it would have been more of the same and our mindset would be that incremental improvement and 1 or 2 trades will get us over the hump.

That didn't happen and the whole club knows we need to develop a more physical game. We can't just bank on incremental improvement and more preseason, we are going to have to come up with plan. And i reckon this is where Bevo will shine - the narrative writes itself "we got bullied out of the game and didnt stick up for our mates". I don't think we will see anything similar happen again for a long time.

On another note, this is why making finals this year was so important. The difference in intensity between H&A and finals is massive - the group now know this and can attack preseason hungrier than ever.
 

Yojimbo

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
8,287
6,950
On the "Sweet Wagon"
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Key statistical take-aways:

Inside 50's: GWS 76, Bulldogs 37.
Clearances: GWS 47, Bulldogs 35.
Contested Possession: GWS 167, Bulldogs 125.
Disposals: GWS 395, Bulldogs 319.
V.O.S.S: GWS 33, Bulldogs 15. (Volume Of Scoring Shots)
Match Order: GWS 427, Bulldogs 563. (Lowest Wins)

There are lessons to be learnt here and we saw them ourselves in 2016 when we were humbled by the
Fremantle Dockers in round 23 only to make massive changes for the first final versus the Eagles.
This time the Giants got back multiple players and effectively did to us what we did in 2016. Will
Bevo learn from this or think by god we were close only time will tell, honesty is the best policy.

Matthew Suckling: 729 Metres Gained, most from either team.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

WallyStringhaus

All Australian
Aug 27, 2015
896
3,551
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Key statistical take-aways:

Inside 50's: GWS 76, Bulldogs 37.
Clearances: GWS 47, Bulldogs 35.
Contested Possession: GWS 167, Bulldogs 125.
Disposals: GWS 395, Bulldogs 319.
V.O.S.S: GWS 33, Bulldogs 15. (Volume Of Scoring Shots)
Match Order: GWS 427, Bulldogs 563. (Lowest Wins)

There are lessons to be learnt here and we saw them ourselves in 2016 when we were humbled by the
Fremantle Dockers in round 23 only to make massive changes for the first final versus the Eagles.
This time the Giants got back multiple players and effectively did to us what we did in 2016. Will
Bevo learn from this or think by god we were close only time will tell, honesty is the best policy.

Matthew Suckling: 729 Metres Gained, most from either team.
Do kick ins count towards metres gained? GWS kicked an awful lot of behinds...
 

fitzroybowiedog

Pedestrian at best
Mar 13, 2007
22,434
25,862
New Jak City
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
FFC, CFC, GSW, Oilers, Roys FFC
I look at the players missing from the team, and I think Libba may have sparked a bit of nasty in us, and maybe even Gowers (but he wasn't best 22)
Sometimes you need a spark plug. Greene does what he did to Bont, and rather than just a dog pulling him off, Libba runs straight through him. Probably melee ensues, but that can also embolden the players.
Picken would have done the same.

Add that to the hunger and even the shame of being bullied, plus a stronger preseason. I doubt we'd be so easily pushed over in the future.
 

Dancing Dougy

Club Legend
Apr 13, 2008
1,687
1,039
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
As bitter a pill it was to swallow, the loss is going to be far better for ya in the long run. In such a young team, having tasted finals footy for the first time (for most), the desire to do everything they can to get back there will go through the roof. Aggression at the man and ball will be in the wall in neon lights!

Can’t wait!!
 

Lex22

Club Legend
Jun 8, 2011
2,045
1,691
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
We were missing our rookie 'triers' from the 2016 prelim in M.Boyd, Picken and Morris. That's a fair whack of toughness not to mention C.Smith and Libba from that team.
Spot on, we lacked all that campaigner from our side which was so important in 2016.

Libba and to an extent Trengove would’ve been a massive help in that regard on Saturday.
 

Dogs Rule

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 27, 2005
9,558
11,582
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Footscray
Bailey Smith has the potential to turn into a campaigner. We’ve seen flashes and I hope he follows through.
 

Hobdog

Club Legend
May 20, 2007
1,151
789
Canberra
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I don’t think it will leave any more scars than other beatings we received on the scoreboard in the last couple of years. This group seems to be able to maintain its belief despite setbacks. From a physical stand point, I think there are guys now that know what you need to bring to a final in order to win. It’s the competitiveness from contest to contest to contest. I think the easier more free flowing games we played in the lead up might have been a bit detrimental to our preparations. I’m optimistic overall that the group will learn valuable lessons from the game rather than being damaged by it. If you look at Melbourne, they have a history of getting ahead of themselves and crashing as a result. Look at the Daniher years, it was almost one year on and one year off!


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

josh the gent

The Pieman
Sep 25, 2008
2,133
1,513
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
2010, Hawks were just 1 win after 7 rounds. They then clicked, and win a further 11(.5) games from 15 - to finish in 7th on 12 wins.

They beat top 4 fancies (including us) along the way, and OBLITERATED Freo by over 100 points in their penultimate game.

Freo finished 6th, and played Hawthorn in finals week 1 in Perth.

Freo was up by 42 points at 3qt, and ended up winning by 5 goals.

The similarities are amazing........


Our response to the GWS loss will be critical. It highlighted our biggest flaws, and did it brutally.

But it also means these flaws are clear, and our guys will no doubt address them head-on all off-season.

Bring on 2020.
 

Snake Livermore

Club Legend
Oct 7, 2007
1,331
1,883
Stage Left
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I like the way the club has taken it. I'm sure behind closed doors they are seething about some of the treatment dished out, but publically bevo just said they were harder and our boys didn't take their chances to apply the same heat back. No-one has sooked about the Toby Greene thing. Peter Gordon hasn't taken anyone to the supreme court. But I bet it is burning and I'm super glad the kids have had a taste of it. They'll be ready next time.

As a side note, I reckon that's why gws didn't pick Tomlinson. They had a plan of entire team physical assault in the most campaignery fashion possible, and Tomlinson isn't the type to dish that out.
 

Jeff 1975

Senior List
Mar 29, 2018
178
122
Footscray
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
In the aftermath of the weekend's game I've been wondering what scars it might leave moving forward. The title of this thread is of course a dual one. We were beaten on the scoreboard and took a physical beating as well.

The Demons capitulation to West Coast last year appears to have had a profound impact on that group. Their fall from grace has been astounding, although I'm sure there were other factors such as injuries etc. Still, it made me wonder how badly our young team's confidence has been damaged moving forward.

While Melbourne were put to the sword on the scoreboard in the most devastating way, the Dogs were physically bullied and the score was almost secondary, a result that flowed on from GWS rubbing our faces into the dirt, literally and figuratively. While I feel that we have a right to be very angry about the lack of protection that our ball winners received from the umpires (rubber-stamped by the tribunal), what's done is done.

Where to then from here? Does the current group simply 'move on' or are there going to be some longer lasting scars? We are essentially a team of ball-players and have been so since after the days of Terry Wallace as coach and the 'them or us' pack mentality that came about under his tuition.

We are a young team (the youngest side fielded in round 23) who failed to make a stand on the big stage. Not just a stand on the scoreboard. We failed to stand up for each other. I'm not saying that we should have engaged in similar tactics, but at some stage you need to look a bully in the eye and say enough is enough.

We didn't do that. We stuck to our game plan, stuck to the script of the disciplined ball-winners while our opposition rained elbow after elbow down on our necks and heads after each tackle. We were bullied and didn't fight back.

I wonder how you move on from here. Is there going to be a sense of shame or doubt that we carry with us for the next few years? Does a victim always remain one?

Great post

I don't think we have the players to go hard at the ball (code for player)

Our players tend to be slightly introverted which is a problem

How do you fix this, I not sure

We saw a similar thing 2 years ago when a number of teams start pushing JJ around. From memory nothing happened then either

Maybe we need to do a bit more of this


744346
 

Top Bottom