Blues bracing for hungry Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues bracing for hungry Bulldogs

23/07/2008 07:54:13 PM Comments (0)

Carlton are expecting to face a fired-up Western Bulldogs side in their round 17 AFL clash on Sunday at Telstra Dome.

The Bulldogs were totally out-classed by reigning premier Geelong by 61 points at Skilled Stadium last Saturday and meet the Blues coming off a demoralising two-point loss to Sydney.

Coach Brett Ratten admitted he was in awe of the way the Cats had torn apart the Bulldogs - a team many are tipping to be premiership contender this year - and concluded his side was bracing for the Dogs to return to their best.

"I think the Bulldogs will bounce back and they'll come out pretty hungry and try to get that momentum going into the finals in the last six weeks," Ratten said.

"They're a very good team and they play Telstra Dome very well.

"It was just amazing what Geelong could do to the second-best or third-best team in the competition.

"To have 400-odd possessions and 130 more than the Bulldogs and to still out-tackle them - that ratio is just amazing."

Ratten said utility Andrew Walker remained in contention to play against the Bulldogs despite suffering deep bruising to his left shoulder.

Walker was playing in his first game back from two operations on his right shoulder and appeared visibly despondent following the solid bump on his "good" shoulder.

Ratten said he understood why Walker had feared the worst after the game.

"Walks should be right - he just had deep bruising in his shoulder," Ratten said.

"It was so deep, that's what caused the problem.

"He's already had two operations this year on his shoulder and maybe to have a third after his first game back I think he was sort of thinking `I wonder what it is?' and you do worry about those things as a player."

Ratten also said he would persist with last year's No.1 draft pick Matthew Kreuzer in the ruck despite him struggling to maintain his form, because fellow young ruckman Shaun Hampson had not done enough in the VFL to warrant promotion.

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