Big win grants Western Bulldogs a luxury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Big win grants Western Bulldogs a luxury

By Adam Cooper 05/07/2009 03:23:43 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs could reap the benefit of producing such an impressive first half against Hawthorn almost a week later.

The Bulldogs' first-half demolition of the reigning premiers on Saturday night, when they led by 84 points at half-time after keeping the Hawks goalless, granted coach Rodney Eade the luxury of managing his players in preparation for Friday night's clash with Collingwood.

During the second half, Eade chopped and changed his players regularly to keep them fresh for the clash between the third and fourth-placed sides.

"We put Shaun Higgins away at the 10-minute mark of the last quarter," Eade said after the 19.19 (133) to 6.9 (45) win at Etihad Stadium.

"He was the only one we were mindful of.

"I haven't checked how many (interchange) rotations we had, but we're rotated reasonably heavily in the last half, a bit more than usual to give players a bit more of a break." Eade said the thrashing was one of the Bulldogs' best performances of the season, and the first half the best alongside the one they produced against Sydney in round 10, when they kicked 13 successive goals.

Despite such an emphatic victory, Eade said there was still room for improvement within his side, which has now won five successive games and is a game clear in third spot.

"There's some individuals who can get better," he said.

"Our consistency of the defensive pressure, we're getting better, but we're still nowhere near where we want to be.

"The top two (sides, St Kilda and Geelong) have set the standard in that area ... we're making some ground and we're improving in that area, consistency." The game against the Magpies is one of six the Bulldogs play in the run-home against sides which are currently in the eight, and Eade said his side could not yet consider itself safe in the top four.

"It's (the double chance) not locked away," he said.

"The top two have cleared out, but there's some other teams chasing and we're one of them and a couple are not far away.

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