Suns beat Bulldogs, Eade still eyes finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns beat Bulldogs, Eade still eyes finals

By Darren Cartwright 25/06/2011 11:20:00 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs' coach Rodney Eade still wants his players to talk and think finals after making it back-to-back wins with a 22-point victory over Gold Coast on Saturday.

The Bulldogs led by more than eight goals during the third quarter but had to settle on a 17.8 (110) to 13.10 (88) win after a spirited final term by the Suns who kicked six of the last seven goals.

It was only the Bulldogs' third win since early April and they were far from impressive, yet they remain in the hunt for September action.

"Most of it (finals aspirations) is in our own control," Eade said.

"We've made some steps forward the last three weeks.

"I don't think you are ever out of it (making the final eight), put it that way.

"We've got the ability. If we don't get any more injuries, we can win seven of the last nine and that probably gets you in."

By virtue of their polished skills, the Bulldogs led the Suns at halftime by 34 points, despite having fewer shots at goal and attacking 50m entries.

The home side sprayed their shots and paid heavily for their mistakes with the more experienced Bulldogs kicking some very cheap goals.

Suns' midfielder Michael Rischitelli made the schoolboy error of kicking the ball in the wrong direction from a clearance which gifted Bulldog Justin Sherman.

Gold Coast's promising ruckman Zac Smith had a centring kick out of defence picked off for a Bulldog goal.

At the other end, the Suns' forwards missed some easy shots. Instead of being 4.10 during the second term, they could have been 10.4 and eyeing their third win.

Put those errors aside and the Suns' 22-point loss was not a bad result and the Bulldogs' win not as juicy.

It underlines how far the Suns have progressed since losing to the Bulldogs by 71 points in round three and the work the Bulldogs need to do to be genuine finals contenders.

The next month will be telling for the Bulldogs against Melbourne, Carlton, North Melbourne and Sydney who are all vying for the finals.

Young Suns' forward Tom Lynch continues to impress, bagging three goals, and full back Nathan Bock contained Bulldogs' spearhead Barry Hall, as well as getting down the other end for a rare major.

Bulldogs' tagger Liam Picken had the better of Brownlow medallist Gray Ablett before the Suns' skipper broke free in the last term to inspire the stirring finish.

Coach Guy McKenna said he never gave up hope of pulling off a victory despite trailing by 49 points late in the third term.

"I thought all day (we were a chance of winning)," McKenna said.

"I know the scoreboard looked terrible.

"We wanted to play fast footy and we put them in the deep end and it was exciting.

"From where we have come from, it's (the result) a massive step forward."

Hall might come under scrutiny from the match review panel after appearing to give Bock a 'rib tickler' in the third quarter.

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