No joy in near miss for Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No joy in near miss for Bulldogs

By Sam Lienert 23/05/2009 12:08:31 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade has taken no satisfaction out of his AFL side going within a whisker of ending Geelong's unbeaten season start.

While Eade acknowledged it was the Bulldogs' best performance of the season - despite having won five of their previous eight games - falling two points short left an empty feeling.

Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson had a chance to clinch a comeback victory with a shot from close range after the final siren, but his checkside kick from the pocket flew across the face of goal, the Cats hanging on to win 17.14 (116) to 17.12 (114).

"At the end of the day we didn't win, honourable losses don't really count for anything on the scoreboard, do they?" Eade said.

"Playing a great shot in cricket and getting caught an inch off the ground doesn't mean you played a good shot, it means you're out."

Eade said the performance did show they could compete with the side he rates as the competition's benchmark and who knocked them out at the preliminary final stage last season.

But he said while the Bulldogs all but matched the Cats on the night, Geelong's performance in having won 51 of their past 54 matches still put them well above the rest.

"We would have, should have, could have won the game so we're not far away," Eade said.

"But we haven't got the consistency of Geelong and Geelong can do that every week and we need to be able to do that every week now."

He said it was vital that they maintained a similar intensity for next Saturday's clash with Sydney in Canberra, where a loss would drop them to a 5-5 record.

Among the positives was the starring performance of Jason Akermanis, who kicked four goals and picked up 25 touches in his 300th game to help pull his side back into the contest.

But Eade noted that Akermanis had also missed two set shots late in the third quarter at a time when the Bulldogs had just started reeling in a 37-point deficit.

Having kicked 8.3 when they trailed by 37 points, they kicked 9.9 for the rest of the match and the coach said missed set shots hurt them.

He said Johnson was "beating himself up" over his last-gasp miss.

"He probably rushed it a little bit," Eade said.

"It's all ifs, buts and maybes once it's gone, but once we heard the siren maybe he could have gone back.

"I don't know, it was certainly a tight angle, but he didn't kick it."

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