Pies start perfectly by beating Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies start perfectly by beating Bulldogs

By Adam Cooper 28/03/2010 08:49:43 PM Comments (0)

It was good enough for a pre-season flag, but the Western Bulldogs' lapse in intensity brought a brutal reminder of what's needed in the AFL premiership season.

Their great results in the summer counted for little in round one on Sunday, when Collingwood produced an eight-goal opening, answered every challenge and won by 36 points at Etihad Stadium.

Not even Brad Johnson's 350th game could inspire the Bulldogs, as Collingwood won 19.15 (129) to 13.15 (93).

The Bulldogs fought back in the middle of the game and closed to within two points in the third quarter, but paid the price for jitters in the backline, a bad case of the fumbles in midfield and a lack of efficiency in attack.

Coach Rodney Eade linked his side's bad day with a lack of intensity, although he was unsure exactly why his players had not lifted from the pre-season final against St Kilda two weeks ago.

"You're dealing with humans, I don't know. You're better dealing with racehorses," Eade said.

"We can sit down and have a lot of theories and I can come up with one and you'll write it up, but it may be totally wrong.

"I don't think getting comfortable and thinking it was just going to roll on (was a factor).

"But obviously Collingwood are a good side, the intensity has gone up another step and like in our third NAB Cup, we got caught a little bit with the intensity that Port had, and maybe today we were two weeks ago's intensity, which was reasonably high but it's gone up another 10 per cent today.

"It's disappointing because they're (Collingwood) a good side and you can't afford to be off two, three, five per cent."

The Bulldogs badly missed defender Dale Morris (flu) given Collingwood's small forwards Paul Medhurst, Alan Didak and Leon Davis kicked 11 goals between them.

In contrast the Bulldogs lacked teeth in attack, as besides Barry Hall's three-goal debut for his new club, they could not capitalise on their pushes into attack during the third quarter, when they managed only two goals.

Robert Murphy and Matthew Boyd did their bit in the midfield, but Eade did not like what he saw during the crucial lapses.

"You can always tell when the intensity is off when you relate it to fumbling when you don't normally fumble and we fumbled a lot, and execution of skill," he said.

"Full credit to Collingwood, they played very well and they're a very good side.

"So you cop your medicine and you improve in those areas."

The Bulldogs ended up sealing their fate, when ruckman Will Minson made a howling error by running across the mark early in the last quarter, which gifted Collingwood's Travis Cloke a 50-metre penalty.

Cloke popped through an easy goal, and Eade said he had to wait for his emotions to subside before he spoke to Minson.

"Is he the dumbest smart bloke in the competition?" Eade said.

"It was just outside Cloke's range probably, so he was a chance not to get it.

"But the big fella had his blinkers on and just ran in a straight line ... it's a cardinal sin, isn't it?"

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