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POSTGAME: Rd 19 vs Western Bulldogs



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Umpiring was putrid but the Dogs were simply better than us. They used the ball well and we looked like a hot mess trying to move the ball inside 50.

When by some fluke we hit a target inside 50 we either couldn’t convert because our forwards are atrocious at goal kicking or because they were taking shots from 87meters out on a 90 degree angle. 
 

It’s obvious we have hit a form slump at the worst possible time of the year. We are getting nothing from Gawn or Jackson around the ground. Rivers and JJ well down as well. Langdon hasn’t been the same since his concussion. Harmes is a complete liability with ball in hand. 
We rely on too few to do too much. Oliver May Lever and Trac immense every week. But four players don’t win you games against a side that is stacked full of stars. 
We were out coached, out umpired and out kicked. 
They were a man down in the last quarter and still ran all over us. Bad signs. 

I hope we can find some form and fast so we can stay in the top 4. But I think tonight showed we are absolutely beatable unless everything goes right. 

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7 minutes ago, picket fence said:

Max Gawn is clueless in the centre bounce, rarely taps to our mids and decides more often than not to grab it out if the air and hack it forward. Shocking!

Glad someone else picked this up. So frustrating to watch.

We have a few issues at present but that is one of them. He’s been doing it here and there but last week he started doing it more often than not and butchered it. Who’s telling him to do it? It’s a plan Z option to randomly bully and scatter the contest once or twice a game if that, not a ligament tactic. Does he not trust his inside mids to get the job done? No one can read it, not our mids or forwards. You might get one lucky kick here and there but it’s under 9’s stuff.

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If your a tall you gotta take some marks and if you’re a small forward you must kick some goals.

Jacko, ANB and Spargo were very poor in that regard.

Unfortunately we got the Hollywood version of Harmes tonight , when the bread and butter version is much more honest.

Why does Max continue to tap the ball where our players ain’t?

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1 minute ago, DeeZee said:

If your a tall you gotta take some marks and if you’re a small forward you must kick some goals.

Jacko, ANB and Spargo were very poor in that regard.

Unfortunately we got the Hollywood version of Harmes tonight , when the bread and butter version is much more honest.

Why does Max continue to tap the ball where our players ain’t?

Yep why indeed WTF is going on

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I feel like we have been down on confidence for about 6 weeks. We just don’t seem to have that spring in our step that made the first 10 weeks so enjoyable to watch.

Our effort is, honestly, not in question. You can see the guys try so hard. I think next week we will see some changes forward of the ball. Melksham should be back. We need a couple of players who can finish. If we finished off our work in the first half tonight we would have been even at half time, and that score is the difference in the match.

I think our younger guys are looking tired too. It’s a long season for them, and it’s starting to take its toll.

And finally, I’m so over the way the commentators ALWAYS barrack against us. I do not understand how our team, which has one of the poorest long term success rates of any professional sports team in the world, is somehow never the emotional favourite. The Bulldogs won a flag in 2016. Half those players are still there. You could argue they’ve criminally underperformed since then, yet somehow they are the golden boys. I know it’s a small thing but I’m absolutely over it. We’ve had to cop a lot as a supporter base, but some of the garbage 7 trotted out tonight was embarrassing. They mentioned in passing in the last quarter that the Dogs had over 100% more free kicks. Had there been a crowd there they would have rioted.

Edited by The heart beats true
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The way I see it, we bolted too early, showed all our (limited) cards to the rest of the comp too early, and flew too close to the sun. We did it with a low-key arrogance that assumed we'd be contesting for the premiership and just needed to pass the time until September.

 

Clearly, the good coaches have figured out that if you pressure us hard around the ball and man-up on our defenders we crumble. Clarko did it to us last week, and reflecting on how the Bulldogs misjudged us in Round 11 there was no chance we'd see a repeat of that. Salem rarely gets space and doesn't have the gut-busting drive to break through. Hunt has the confidence, but not the finesse (though he was OK tonight). Hibbo has forgotten how to create.

 
And to highlight our inability to adjust our game to the conditions and situation, Goody started Harmes on Libba again, who fresh from a week of rest laughed in his face and got his hands dirty.
 
In the first 10 minutes Daniel and Dale ran around on the half back line with freedom and cut us to pieces despite the slippery conditions. And just like in all previous years we couldn't address a critical need. Even when they lost Keath early and Richards in the last we were still unable to exploit that!
 
It feels as if we are incredibly reactive and scramble our way around searching for scores. Kicking efficiency is just not to a professional standard.
 
Other observations:
- At the start of the game they were comparing Bont and Trac as the two best in the league. Bont gave us all the finger - that's how a leader leads and adjusts to pressure
- Viney needs to be remade as a defensive forward (eg. shut down Daniel and put his body in to create when we're on the move).
- Jackson is giving us nothing. His time will come but it's not 2021. Bring back Mitch Brown - I still feel like he can become a no frills Cam Pederson type
- It's time to blood Bowey, Harmes back to VFL, and start rotating Salem between mid and halfback (like Crisp of Collingwood) to become a little less predictable.
 
We've been SO lucky with injuries that it's masked the poor state of our best 22. Unfortunately I don't think we'll be gifted such a clean bill on health in future campaigns. So take action NOW! 
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21 minutes ago, Earl Hood said:

68 hit outs to 18 yet we lost the clearances? You would think full time coaches would somehow turn that dominance to our advantage but no, for most of the season it has meant little. Max’s real value this year has been his contested marking in defence and forward, but recently and certainly tonight that wasn’t there but he did get 6 clearances but then other mids should be doing that. Our obvious strengths are being nullified by the opposition it seems. And given the Hawks got cleaned up by the Crows tonight it seems we are playing no better than a bottom 8 team since round 13. 

I think most in the know will tell you that hit outs don’t really mean in the overall scheme of things. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next 10-20 years the centre bounce isn’t scrapped/modified to further reduce stoppages. Maybe a modified netball/ soccer type of thing.

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3 minutes ago, The heart beats true said:

I feel like we have been down on confidence for about 6 weeks. We just don’t seem to have that spring in our step that made the first 10 weeks so enjoyable to watch.

Our effort is, honestly, not in question. You can see the guys try so hard. I think next week we will see some changes forward of the ball. Melksham should be back. We need a couple of players who can finish. If we finished off our work in the first half tonight we would have been even at half time, and that score is the difference in the match.

I think our younger guys are looking tired too. It’s a long season for them, and it’s starting to take its toll.

And finally, I’m so over the way the commentators ALWAYS barrack against us. I do not understand how our team, which has one of the poorest long term success rates of any professional sports team in the world, is somehow never the emotional favourite. The Bulldogs won a flag in 2016. Half those players are still there. You could argue they’ve criminally underperformed since then, yet somehow they are the golden boys. I know it’s a small thing but I’m absolutely over it. We’ve had to cop a lot as a supporter base, but some of the garbage 7 trotted out tonight was embarrassing. They mentioned in passing in the last quarter that the Dogs had over 100% more free kicks. Had their been a crowd there they would have rioted.

I have telly on mute so I don't have to listen to the commentators barracking for the opposition.

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As usual, there are some wildly big statements in here.

This game was so much more even than this thread or the 20-point margin suggest.

But yet again we lose because we miss shots on goal. The impact of those misses cannot be understated. Doing all the hard work up the ground but failing to put any scoreboard pressure on our opponent keeps our opponent in the game and makes our job psychologically harder.

Brown's two set shot misses plus a third out on the full, Pickett's missed snap in the first quarter, Viney missing from the goalsquare, Petracca failing to score from three different shots. 

Then after we'd kicked the two early goals in the third, Pickett gets the ball, has McDonald in a heap of space, but misses. Later, in the fourth, we're back to 4 points and a kick goes to the goalsquare but over Jordon's head.

Small things but in a game that was largely even, those moments lost it for us.

I'm sure ANB's pressure acts were up there but he is reverting to pre-2021 momentum-killing football. He fumbles and get smothered far too much. If Harmes isn't tagging someone out of a game he's useless right now. We can do better with his spot in the side. Jordon and Jackson both really struggled tonight too. A few headaches again at selection.

May and Lever once again fantastic, Oliver's first half was incredible, Petraccca did a lot right outside of the missed shots, Pickett worked his way into it, and I thought Viney made a hell of a lot of Demonlanders look silly. 

A loss like this isn't anything to be too upset about. Our top 4 spot is in jeopardy not because of tonight, but because of the Adelaide, Collingwood, GWS and Hawthorn games. Still need two wins minimum from the last four to make the top 4, and possibly need a third. 

And a final note: the umpiring was unbelievably Dogs-biased. Tackles on the shoulder were called high for them but play on for us, they were throwing it out of tackles, and don't get me started on the HTB call on Brayshaw right before half time. Just could not get any momentum when 50/50 calls were going against us at every turn. Genuinely terrible and it's not sour grapes to note how bad it was.

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10 minutes ago, Win4theAges said:

Our back half game work, stoppages inside F50 and clearance work was garbage tonight.

Dogs much cleaner tonight in the wet conditions.

Alot to work on eg. Goal kicking accuracy  set shot and on the run, thought BBB grew into the game and became a target inside 50.

JV had moments along with Kosi, Clarry and Trac. Hunty impressed me with his attack on the ball.

Not good enough tonight energy was lacking, we will gain some learnings from this result.

I did notice that no hard tags were applied like the last game eg. Libba, Daniel, Bont. Trac or Gawn didn't spend time fwd. 

Dogs played their best possible game tonight good for them, lots of cards kept up our sleeve. 

We will see in September.?

If I hear another [censored] post about learnings ill boot the next cat I see into eternity

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I said last week we looked gone and got derided for it. Well what we saw tonite sums it up perfectly. We look gone. Just think about making practically no changes all year. Some of them look tired and now it is getting too late to start resting players. I have seen  it all before.

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I agree with most of what has been written. The free kick difference was inexplicable but I was more annoyed with the ones they didn't pay. Especially the throws .

Endeavour and tackling will only get you so far, as Hawthorn showed us up last week. I think the Dogs had a bit more class on the park and around the midfield. Bailey Smith on the wing dominated whoever he was on (Gus or Langers). Dale, Daniel and Duryea all deliver the ball better than we do as Salem and May are our best kicks out of defence. Hunter, Bont, Macrae & Libba bat deeper than our midfield guns in Trac and Oliver.

Despite this we had the same scoring shots, identical disposals with even kicks and handballs, more contested football, the same number of tackles, kicked 2 out of bounds on the full and 1 that didn't make the distance. With 9 minutes to go we trailed by 4 points. They took their chances, English kicks a miracle goal from a stoppage that somehow makes it over the line. bailey Smith gets the ball on the flank and kicks one on the run from way out

There wasn't much difference between these 2 teams. I think Keath getting injured assisted them as they replaced a tall with a small and gave them better balance. Schache did well at full back when the opportunity arose

We aren't that bad! We lack some class in some areas but we are trying to build a team and culture that plays finals and is in the top 4 for the next 5 years.

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Zero wins from three return bouts so far this year... clearly other teams are going to school on us.

We need to bring both our A pressure game and decent disposal efficiency to beat anyone. When we do we can absolutely beat anyone.
 

But we also need to take our chances in front of goal and haven’t for a long time. Ben Brown was a culprit tonight but I thought he showed glimpses of what he can be for us. He feels a bit like Lever in his first season to me… NQR but could be a real weapon if he gets back to full fitness and confidence.

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10 minutes ago, Tom Dyson said:

Can someone please explain, I genuinely don't understand how the dogs consistently get the rub of the green from the umps. Everytime we got a run on, they got borderline free kicks that weren't paid both ways. This wasn't one or two contentious calls, they had 14 more free kicks than us and its happened all year.

I think someone opened a thread about it but were there any compelling conclusions because i'm lost for words??  

I can go back to one of the early Pink Lady games several years ago they got 2 clear goals of ours overturned and there wasn't even video review back then. Ever since I've kept an eye on the free kick stats when we play them and can't remember one time when we've come out ahead. Posted in one of the pre game threads , get ready for free kick Bulldogs. But it's not just us if you look at their stats they're the umpires darlings. Questions need to be asked.

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I thought ANB was improving early in the year, but he is a completely ineffective, stupid player. I don't care if you can't hit up a player, but at least kick it to our advantage. Give us a more than 0% chance to compete. Doubling back into traffic to get on right foot = stupid, no left=stupid. At least medical sub him and list mentally and physically limited on the injury report. I've put up with him long enough running around with his mouth wide open gasping for air and looking like he is sucking a vacuum nozzle. Enough!

So many players in form earlier in the year and we got teams at the right time with injuries. The lack of form of too many is taking its toll. Time to rest some. Goodwins reluctance to change things up or make hard calls is showing. 

 

Wow! I don't normally vent.......

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Deefensive Language said:

The way I see it, we bolted too early, showed all our (limited) cards to the rest of the comp too early, and flew too close to the sun. We did it with a low-key arrogance that assumed we'd be contesting for the premiership and just needed to pass the time until September.

 

Clearly, the good coaches have figured out that if you pressure us hard around the ball and man-up on our defenders we crumble. Clarko did it to us last week, and reflecting on how the Bulldogs misjudged us in Round 11 there was no chance we'd see a repeat of that. Salem rarely gets space and doesn't have the gut-busting drive to break through. Hunt has the confidence, but not the finesse (though he was OK tonight). Hibbo has forgotten how to create.

 
And to highlight our inability to adjust our game to the conditions and situation, Goody started Harmes on Libba again, who fresh from a week of rest laughed in his face and got his hands dirty.
 
In the first 10 minutes Daniel and Dale ran around on the half back line with freedom and cut us to pieces despite the slippery conditions. And just like in all previous years we couldn't address a critical need. Even when they lost Keath early and Richards in the last we were still unable to exploit that!
 
It feels as if we are incredibly reactive and scramble our way around searching for scores. Kicking efficiency is just not to a professional standard.
 
Other observations:
- At the start of the game they were comparing Bont and Trac as the two best in the league. Bont gave us all the finger - that's how a leader leads and adjusts to pressure
- Viney needs to be remade as a defensive forward (eg. shut down Daniel and put his body in to create when we're on the move).
- Jackson is giving us nothing. His time will come but it's not 2021. Bring back Mitch Brown - I still feel like he can become a no frills Cam Pederson type
- It's time to blood Bowey, Harmes back to VFL, and start rotating Salem between mid and halfback (like Crisp of Collingwood) to become a little less predictable.
 
We've been SO lucky with injuries that it's masked the poor state of our best 22. Unfortunately I don't think we'll be gifted such a clean bill on health in future campaigns. So take action NOW! 

We rely to heavily on our defensive setup to win our games. It maybe would have worked 10-20 years ago but the AFL clearly have changed the rules to reward attacking high risk footy because it’s entertaining. The Doggies fit this to a T. 
 

I don’t mind having Bowey work off half back for the remainder of the year but not sure on his form line in the VFL.  I wouldn’t bring in Weid for LJ. Let Gawn play his original role from years back and let Brown / Tmac do some of the rucking duties. Maybe have Bowey for LJ to give us some skill off half back. 

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I don’t mind this tonight, sure, you can pick holes in our forward delivery, our kicking at goal, and the fact that the umpiring cooked us. But to be within a kick with 10 minutes left. And then We were on the wrong end for about 5 minutes. So we lost. This should give us something to work on leading into finals. Win 3/4 on the way home and we are guaranteed top 4. We can do that, based on tonight’s effort. All these people saying we’re no good, we’re still  good team. Capable of winning a flag… let’s see how we go…

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18 minutes ago, cantstandyasam said:

I have telly on mute so I don't have to listen to the commentators barracking for the opposition.

You miss out on some great insights.

BT worked out that our forward line isn't functioning so we'll.

Amazing football brain

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