AFL Bulldogs focus on applying pressure - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL Bulldogs focus on applying pressure

By Roger Vaughan 22/08/2009 04:45:05 PM Comments (0)

The old saying about the fight in the dog, not the dog in the fight, will be particularly important for the Western Bulldogs forwards in the AFL finals.

The Bulldogs' outstanding 14-point win over Geelong on Friday night at Etihad Stadium not only set them up for the double chance, but also demonstrated how they could cause plenty of mayhem next month.

The knock on the 'Dogs is that without a power forward, they will not win the premiership.

As usual when the Bulldogs win, they spread their goalscoring efficiently against the Cats.

But what stood out more was their forwards' ability to force turnovers when Geelong was trying to clear the ball through half-back.

The Cats are masters of run-and-carry out of defence, but they repeatedly ran into a virtual brick wall across half-back in the first half - very un-Geelong.

Top side St Kilda have perfected "frontal pressure" and Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade says this facet of his side's game, not their personnel in attack, will be crucial through the finals.

"More than a power forward, that's going to be the difference, how far we go in the finals series," he said.

"If we're consistent with our pressure, it gives us a chance. If we're not consistent with our pressure and we drop off at any stage, we certainly can get beaten."

Earlier this week, Melbourne key forward Russell Robertson announced he was leaving the Demons at the end of the season, but wanted to keep playing in the AFL.

While there has already been speculation he might be a handy pickup for the 'Dogs, Eade is not interested.

"I will have a nice chat with Russell, but he won't be heading to the Bulldogs," Eade said.

Friday night's game probably should have been over at half-time, but the 'Dogs kept the door open with their goalkicking inaccuracy.

They kicked 7.12 in the first half, hitting the post four times, and Eade noted they should have had at least 10 goals.

Geelong rallied in the third term to hit the front by the last quarter.

But the Bulldogs withstood the pressure and eventually hit back in the final term.

It showed again that this side is never beaten.

"It was pleasing, in the last quarter, to be able to answer that and fight back," Eade said.

"There's a fair bit of belief in the group, they've got a fair bit of character and they certainly work hard for each other.

"Full credit has to go to them that they were able to take stock.

"To a man they really rose to the occasion, which was great."

The Bulldogs finish the regular season against Collingwood and, if the result fall the right way, could take third spot from the Magpies.

That would mean a qualifying final re-match against the Cats.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news