Bulldogs gear up for Geelong clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs gear up for Geelong clash

By Leonard Siragusa 16/09/2008 04:34:44 PM Comments (0)

Not many people give the Western Bulldogs much hope of bringing down Geelong in Friday night's AFL preliminary final at the MCG.

But the club knows if the players go into the clash with a similar mindset, there would be no point turning up.

So the key for the Bulldogs is to believe in their own game, which was good enough for 13 wins and a draw in the opening 15 rounds.

They then ended a late-season slump with a 37-point win over Sydney last weekend.

"We've got to concentrate on what we can do," Bulldogs assistant coach Leon Cameron said on Tuesday.

"We've got to acknowledge the opposition, but if we go in just purely concentrating on what they are and what they're like we'll lose by the first bounce.

"We finished third on the ladder and we deserve this preliminary final."

The `Dogs returned to their running game against the Swans, with an emphasis on adventure and quick ball movement.

"We had to take calculated risks and take the game on and I think we've done that," forward Daniel Giansiracusa said.

"Obviously it came off on the weekend and we executed it pretty well for the first time in a while.

"I just think we've got to worry about ourselves and take the game on (against Geelong)."

Cameron said star midfielder Adam Cooney will definitely play against the Cats despite suffering from a virus and patella tendonitis (knee soreness).

The club's No.1 onballer missed Monday night's All-Australian awards and Tuesday morning's training session.

He was ordered to rest up at home to not only shake off the head cold but to also not infect his team-mates with the illness.

"He'll be playing on Friday night - 100 per cent, guaranteed," Cameron said.

"It's not as if he's been bedridden for three or four days, he'll be over it by tomorrow sometime hopefully."

With Geelong renowned for playing a high possession game, the Bulldogs know they have to hit them with fanatical pressure.

Collingwood championed the cause, recording 85 tackles to hand the Cats their only loss for the year.

The Bulldogs believe they are capable of such aggression and had 65 tackles in last Friday night's victory over the Swans.

"If we come out with the same intensity like we did on Friday night, then we'll match it with anyone," defender Dale Morris said.

"We've just got to give it everything."

Last time the two sides met in round 16 at Skilled Stadium, the Bulldogs were even with the Cats for the first half before slumping to a 61 point defeat.

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