Thanks Thanks:  4
Likes Likes:  5
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    20,474
    Post Thanks / Like

    Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    By Dermott Brereton

    ROCKY III famously gave us The Eye of the Tiger. It’s become a cliche, but at its core, the message holds true.

    In a contest measured on physical brutality, never lose the eye of the tiger. Or bulldog.

    There is no alarm siren wailing across Whitten Oval, rather an amber light suggesting that Luke Beveridge’s boys proceed with caution. Perhaps to even look back to see what made them great last season.

    Even though they finished seventh on the ladder at the end of the home and away season, the statistics showed that the Doggies were one of the greatest contested ball winning teams we have ever seen.

    In the finals, only the Eagles of 2005 had bettered them off the combination of contested ball and clearances.

    Looking in at them from the outside, I can’t name a team that showed more “buy in” to the team mantra and coach’s direction.

    At every stoppage, an opposition player literally held his breath, because he knew that at any moment he received the ball, or just gets his hands on it, the tackle from the Doggies and the physical pounding would be immediate.

    This season, either the coach has changed his directions, or the “buy in” is not as absolute as last season.

    In reality, some of the midfielders are leaving the contest early. And that is a pet hate of every coach that believes in honest hard work.

    I have been told that the NRL has new vests that measure the pounding, the physical trauma that players are put under and indeed inflict on the opposition.

    Should one of these vests have been worn by any one of the Bulldogs’ hardcore midfielders last season, and especially during their finals campaign, the data would have been through the roof compared with any other outfit.

    In Round 1 the Doggies’ premiership midfield was outdogged by Collingwood. But being the team that they are, they held out the Magpies.

    In Round 2 the desperately young Sydney Swans broke even with the Doggies midfielders in clearances and even managed to hit the front thanks to some Buddy Franklin magic in the last quarter.

    The Dogs scrapped their way back into a win with some of the most committed gut running from Liam Picken that our cameras have ever captured.

    In Round 3 the Doggies edged out the Dockers for contested possession, but only broke even against Fyfe & Co. in clearances. But in reality, the Dockers’ share of clearances more often than not resulted in real quality possessions that gave their players clear air and nothing but cut grass immediately in front of them.

    What was very unusual was that the Dogs allowed them to breathe.

    They simply didn’t contain the Dockers at the stoppage if the Doggies didn’t win the ball.

    Against Sydney, Libba and Lin Jong racked up 30 tackles between them, leading the way to a modest tackle count of 84. Against the Dockers their combined total was 12. (Libba eight and Jong four)

    For a talented team that prides itself on a blue collar work ethic, the Bulldogs laid only 63 tackles against Fremantle. And only six inside its own forward line.

    Tackling isn’t always the “golden key” reading of a team and its pressure, but it has for ever been and will always be a great indicator for a team’s controlled hostile intent.

    Especially a team that gives up four goals in an opening quarter and five in the final quarter when will to win is most required.

    There is no doubt that the organisational skills that Dale Morris provides was missing last week.

    There is mounting evidence that ruckman Jordan Roughead is much more important to their midfield than many would believe.

    But their injury status, although unfortunate, is not out of whack with the majority of the league.

    Indeed they have reintroduced their captain Bob Murphy. So this team is not wildly different in make-up from the one that held up the cup.

    Success can be wonderful for you, but sometimes success sneakily invites complacency into your household.

    I wouldn’t say complacency has a foot in the door at the Kennel, but Beveridge should maybe put on a sniffer dog at the gates just in case.

    Don’t lose the hunger, Dogs. Don’t lose the eye of the Tiger. Not after just one flag.

    This team is good, real good. But they need more than their ability alone and a good effort. They need to play on the edge if they want to do something extraordinary.
    "Lets roll and hey...lets do it to them before they do it to us"

  2. Thanks redders70, choconmientay thanked for this post
    Likes Go_Dogs liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    20,474
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    If some players or supporters are looking for some inspiration or motivation then I hope they read this article.
    "Lets roll and hey...lets do it to them before they do it to us"

  4. Thanks redders70 thanked for this post
  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    E.J. Whitten Stand
    Posts
    8,602
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    If some players or supporters are looking for some inspiration or motivation then I hope they read this article.
    Dermie picked us to miss the finals before the start of last year, then picked against us in every final last year.

    His opinion holds little weight in my eyes and I would hope our players also don't care what he thinks.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  6. Likes Raw Toast liked this post
  7. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    12,925
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Fair call, but just a little premature to be honest .
    We need to get hungry around the footy again , but it's early doors

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    20,474
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    So on what we have seen in the first half of our game against North does it look like we are hungry enough or are we just lacking in talent?
    "Lets roll and hey...lets do it to them before they do it to us"

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Kyabram
    Posts
    10,553
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Definitely hunger.
    The curse is dead.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    E.J. Whitten Stand
    Posts
    8,602
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Seemed pretty hungry to me.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  11. Likes chef, Raw Toast liked this post
  12. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Hawforn
    Posts
    7,511
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    How much more hungry does our first half look if we convert a few opportunities?

    The second half looked pretty hungry.

    We're hobbling, but still in a very good position.

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    20,474
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    How much more hungry does our first half look if we convert a few opportunities?

    The second half looked pretty hungry.

    We're hobbling, but still in a very good position.
    I think our performance underlines what Brereton said and we are a far more competitive side when the hunger is there. Our 2nd quarter was a woeful performance.
    "Lets roll and hey...lets do it to them before they do it to us"

  14. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Hawforn
    Posts
    7,511
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    I think our performance underlines what Brereton said and we are a far more competitive side when the hunger is there. Our 2nd quarter was a woeful performance.
    We played horrendously in patches throughout the season last year, and still won. I think some of us are looking at the overall grind that it was with some fairly rose coloured glasses due to the finals campaign, without acknowledging it's difficult to be in tip top shape at all times in a very even home and away season.

    North and Fremantle are in better condition physically than we are, as was Collingwood, and we're to some extent playing catch up due to our later start. The gap should close over the coming weeks, but in the meantime we need to expect this to have an impact on how we compete physically and mentally.

  15. Likes hujsh liked this post
  16. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Flemington
    Posts
    1,984
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Think he has gone a bit early, though there is an element of concern there for me. We aren't showing any of the men of mayhem type footy that caught all of our imaginations in 2015, or the balanced, ruthless smothering of the TARDIS in 2016, but I wonder if that is a shift in coaching instruction as much as anything else. Time will tell. It is a long season to be smashing in week after week against teams who all set themselves for a crack at the premiers.

    We could use a lift in aggression, as much as we could do with Roughie back out there to improve our marking options around the ground and ruck work in the middle.

  17. Thanks GVGjr thanked for this post
  18. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    E.J. Whitten Stand
    Posts
    8,602
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Let's see how we're tracking with our #1 ruck, #1 defender & most efficient forward back in the line up.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  19. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,397
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Western Bulldogs not playing with the same hunger

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    We played horrendously in patches throughout the season last year, and still won. I think some of us are looking at the overall grind that it was with some fairly rose coloured glasses due to the finals campaign, without acknowledging it's difficult to be in tip top shape at all times in a very even home and away season.

    North and Fremantle are in better condition physically than we are, as was Collingwood, and we're to some extent playing catch up due to our later start. The gap should close over the coming weeks, but in the meantime we need to expect this to have an impact on how we compete physically and mentally.
    Yeah we only ever looked like superstars for parts of the 1st 2 rounds. Rest were mostly grind fests.

    Even Essendon wasn't the belting we all expected.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •