If you listen to coaches talk, one thing you’ll often hear them say is that the team needs to have a smaller gap between their best and worst.
I’m not sure this applies to a team more so than the Western Bulldogs.
A week after one of the more stunning quarters of football tore Richmond to shreds at Marvel Stadium, the Dogs headed down to Tasmania to take on the Hawks. And against a young but determined side, they fell over in spectacular fashion.
Not that the Dogs weren’t in the game – they were, right up to their eyeballs, in fact. However, when the team was placed under pressure by the hungry young Hawks, they went to water. Poor execution, half-hearted efforts, and terrible decisions left their supporters both confused and angry. That was the story of the Dogs in Launceston – it was the Western Bulldogs at their worst.
Much focus will be on the fact that Tim English was left to take the kick-in duties with under a minute remaining and the game in the balance. Not the greatest decision, but one that is very ‘Bulldogs’ if that makes sense? English is as skilled a big man in the league, but to have him play on, take three bounces whilst running nowhere meaningful, and go to a contest with the kick… it wasn’t the greatest moment of the season for this club.
But focusing solely on that aspect of the game would be lazy – let’s leave that to someone else to run into the ground, shall we? There are bigger problems at the Dogs than who takes kick-ins and they all start in the middle.
How many Western Bulldogs midfielders does it take to win a clearance?
That’s not a joke, in case you’re waiting for the punchline. It’s a genuine question.
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