Bulldogs brave, but need to lift: Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs brave, but need to lift: Eade

By Sam Lienert 03/07/2010 12:07:49 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade says his club is showing the effort and courage, but not the polish, needed to beat the AFL's best.

While the Bulldogs have been renowned for their skills, Eade said it was that aspect which let them down in their 12.7 (79) to 11.10 (76) loss to Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday night.

"The effort was good, we won contested ball by 30-something, we were hard at it and very courageous, both teams were, both like it tough," Eade said.

"But if you want to compete with the best teams you've got to show a bit more than just your courage and your heart and your effort.

"We expect more and we need to be better than what we were at certain times."

Eade labelled some of his team's kicking into attack "substandard", particularly in the third quarter, and said their return of 2.5 in the last also hurt.

While Eade said the tightness of the match might have had an effect and opposition sides were generally applying more pressure this season than previously, that could not fully account for the Dogs' skill errors.

He said it was an issue that had also cropped up in previous games, most notably what he described as "terrible" ball use against Essendon in round 10.

Eade said the youth and lack of recent gametime of some players might have been an issue against the Hawks.

"A lot of (the skill errors were from) our younger players, which were there first games (back) and maybe the pace of the game (affected them), I'm not sure," he said.

"Even a player like Callan Ward, who's a good kick, I think he was running at 25 per cent efficiency at one stage, (Shaun) Higgins as well, it's been a constant this year with Shaun, so he needs to lift himself in that area."

Bulldogs youngster Sam Reid, playing his first game of the season after groin problems, dislocated both shoulders, most likely ending his season.

Captain Brad Johnson continued his troubled injury run, hurting an ankle, although Eade said it was only minor.

Ruckman Will Minson damaged ankle ligaments, ruling him out for at least next Sunday's crucial match against Carlton.

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