Patten-ted courage not enough for Dogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Patten-ted courage not enough for Dogs

By Steve Jancetic And Samantha Broun 26/09/2009 05:14:27 PM Comments (0)

If Luke Patten's groggy walk from the field summed up the Bulldogs' night in their preliminary final loss to Parramatta, then nothing typified the club's 2009 season more than his determined charge back into the action.

Patten was a sick and sorry sight as he was helped from the field by two trainers less than two minutes into Friday night's 22-12 loss to the Eels, his rubbery legs unable to hold the weight of his 87kg frame after he copped an accidental knee to the head from Eels prop Nathan Cayless in his first run of the game.

A reappearance seemed unlikely, especially when the 12-year veteran came to in the sheds and started begging the Bulldogs medical staff to let him back on because he didn't want to let the team down on grand final day.

Unfortunately for Patten and the Bulldogs, grand final day was still nine days away.

"I just remember getting the ball and slipping over and getting up then waking up in the dressing room," Patten said.

"I don't know how long that was. I woke up and was pretty scattered really.

"I struggled (to do the concussion tests) to start with, I actually thought it was the Sunday of the grand final and apparently I was blowing up that it was the grand final and things weren't going our way.

"I was a little bit worried when obviously I thought it was the grand final, I knew from previous experience if you can't remember stuff they won't let you back out there.

"So I just sat there quietly for a while trying to remember things as best I could because I wanted to get back out there."

By the time Patten returned just before the hour mark, the Bulldogs were down 16-12, the blue and whites eventually going down by ten points thanks to a stunning Daniel Mortimer try nine minutes from time.

But the mere fact both Patten and the Bulldogs were still standing on the penultimate weekend of the season said a lot about a club which collected the wooden spoon just 12 months ago.

After going through one of the worst seasons in the club's history both on and off the field in 2008, the Bulldogs were forced to cope with another list of setbacks this season ranging from docked points to crucial penalty decisions to the blocking by the NRL or a major sponsorship deal.

"Very enjoyable, but you don't feel that now," coach Kevin Moore said when asked to sum up his first year at the helm.

"You get this close, it's pretty hard to take.

"We'll sit back in a week or two an asses it but it's obviously been a very good season for the club both on and off the field."

And if Patten's mindset - as scrambled as it was after the game - is any indication, then the near miss and the manner in which it played out will undoubtedly provide motivation in 2010.

"It will annoy me that that's happened, it's something that will drive me in the off season," Patten said.

"I just (feel) robbed that I didn't get a chance, but that's footy."

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