Bulldogs finish in a rush to snatch draw - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs finish in a rush to snatch draw

By Sam Lienert 20/04/2008 07:49:37 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Terry Wallace believes inexperience showed in his AFL side's botched effort to run down the clock, allowing the Western Bulldogs to escape with a draw at Telstra Dome on Sunday and remain unbeaten.

While the two clubs shared the points, it was Richmond that would have felt like the bigger losers out of the 19.16 (130) to 20.10 (130) result, after they led by as much as 25 points during the final quarter.

"This very very much felt like a loss today because that's the natural reaction when you've been in front late in the game and all of a sudden someone comes at you," Wallace said.

The Tigers still led by 19 points deep into time-on before giving up three late goals, as they tried but failed to stall the game by holding possession deep in defence.

The tide started to turn when defender Jake King rushed a behind, then failed to clear the ball from defence with a short kick-in, Bulldogs midfielder Daniel Cross pouncing on Richmond's Nathan Foley to win a free kick and close the gap to 12 points.

Bulldogs half-forward Robert Murphy kicked the next with a clever checkside snap.

The levelling goal was kicked by Will Minson, the ball handed to him after defender Brian Lake took a strong pack mark about 40m out, but hobbled off the ground and failed to take his kick.

Wallace praised the "heart and soul" his team displayed, but said they had some lessons to learn about the "mechanics" of maintaining a lead.

"We spoke after the game, probably the thing you've got to do most in that sort of situation, if you're playing at working down the clock ... you've got to get the ball out into the open spaces, so you've got the ability to go forwards, sideways, backwards," Wallace said..

"But we just virtually concertina-ed ourselves into a situation where we had nowhere to go and I think that was probably evident with Jake King stepping back through (for a behind) ... that's a learning experience, but a very harsh lesson."

Wallace was dubious about Lake's "injury", which Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade said was a hamstring spasm.

"Was he injured, was he? I bet you he plays next week," Wallace said.

The Bulldogs' best kick, Lindsay Gilbee, attempted to take the shot in his place, with the Tigers coach joking Gilbee "almost got a stitch running from one end of the ground to the other to try to accept it".

But when the umpires eventually awarded the kick to Minson, Wallace still knew his side was in trouble.

"I've seen him kick some pretty good goals in recent times ... I would have rather Brian have it," he said.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade was also left to rue some missed opportunities, with his side kicking 4.10 to 4.2 in the first quarter.

Full-forward Scott Welsh had a terrible day in front of the big sticks, kicking 0.5, mostly from very gettable set shots.

Eade said while his side showed plenty of heart with their late comeback, they could not be satisfied.

"Top teams don't think like that, top teams are going to be disappointed with a game they should have won and should have iced close to half time," Eade said.

"We know we have got a lot of work to do, we are not in the top echelon yet."

Bulldogs skipper Brad Johnson, who came into the match under a cloud with a hip injury, got a knock on the calf in the first quarter and Eade said he would need to be monitored ahead of Saturday night's match against West Coast at Telstra Dome.

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