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  1. #1
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    How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

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    FORGET the pretty football the Western Bulldogs played last year.

    It's all about turning grit into disorder and turning disorder into efficiency in the forward line for coach Luke Beveridge at the moment.

    Beveridge had built the League's most efficient offensive engine, with sharp inside 50 entries to leading medium sized forwards a hallmark of the way the team played in the latter stages of 2019.

    The Dogs have a bevy of those lead-up types in Sam Lloyd, Bailey Dale and Tory Dickson, all of whom have either been out of form when they've been healthy, or unable to even crack into the team.

    That 2019 style is not going to work while the Dogs are in the hub, and Beveridge has thrown around the magnets to adapt.

    The dewy conditions in Queensland haven't suited the way they typically like to play at their usual home of Marvel Stadium, but the Dogs have tilted towards a different focus to try and generate scores.

    "When you can really lock it in there and create some chaos in damp forward 50 arc, you might just luck out on a goal or two from the ball spitting out in your direction," Beveridge said.

    "The more you can create those opportunities just through stealth more than anything, the bigger chance you are to grind away and have a margin at the end of the game."

    With Aaron Naughton missing plenty of time with a syndesmosis injury, Beveridge inserted Josh Schache into the side, but the Dogs couldn't lock the football inside the forward 50.

    Since Schache was dropped after the round six loss to Carlton, the Bulldogs have gone with Josh Bruce as the lone key target, while Marcus Bontempelli, Matt Suckling, Mitch Wallis and even Laitham Vandermeer have played as the 'pseudo full forward' at times.

    Bruce's goalkicking radar has been way off, but Beveridge says he's got a different criterion to how he judges the former Saint's performance.

    From a team perspective, it's allowed other players to blossom.

    Western Bulldogs
    Western Bulldogs Round 6 Rank Round 7-9 Rank
    Kick Inside 50 Retention % 41.3% #11 50.0% #4
    Kick Inside 50 Mark % 10.9% #15 19.6% #5
    Score per Inside 50 % 30.2% #17 44.2% #5

    J. Bruce 21 33.3%
    M. Wallis 15 46.7%
    M. Suckling 7 42.9%
    M. Bontempelli 5 20.0%
    B. Dale 4 0.0%
    B. Gowers 4 0.0%
    T. English 4 50.0%
    L. Vandermeer 3 33.3%

    Wallis has been a shining light as a medium forward.

    Only Josh Kennedy (54.8 per cent) has had a higher retention rate inside 50 across that three-game stretch, with Wallis' leading patterns and sticky hands making him the most efficient Dog up forward.

    Vandermeer has been another player to thrive through capitalising on that chaos, kicking eight goals from his eight games this year.

    With no Naughton and Schache, Beveridge has occasionally used Vandermeer as the deepest forward in transition.

    The Dogs clear out the forward half for him off turnovers so he can beat his opponent with pace to run into an open 50, much like how the Lions use Charlie Cameron.

    Beveridge has been throwing a heap of options against the wall to see what will stick.

    It's been ugly at times and the goals have dried up against excellent sides like Richmond, but there's some light at the end of the tunnel.

    Once Naughton returns in round 11 or 12 we might finally get a read on what the 'real' Bulldogs look like.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  2. #2
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Wait, is this article trying to claim our forward line is working?
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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  4. #3
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Wow talk about glass half full. Canil's either crazy or a genius, or both.
    Josh Schache >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jake Stringer

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  6. #4
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by 1eyedog View Post
    Wow talk about glass half full. Canil's either crazy or a genius, or both.
    I think Bevo sums it up best:

    "When you can really lock it in there and create some chaos in damp forward 50 arc, you might just luck out on a goal or two from the ball spitting out in your direction," Beveridge said.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  7. #5
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    I suggested in the other forward line thread that we were beginning to find a way to manufacture goals in the manner described in the article, but the timing of this after maybe our worst forward and mid defensive game of the year (the Saints game was probably worse) is bizarre.

    Our surest avenue to goal was through the play of our “key” forwards and we put next to no effort into containing Short or any of their rebound. I think this one might have been in the clip in anticipation of a win last week.
    Free Ferg

  8. #6
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    I think Bevo sums it up best:
    Haha does that go on the whiteboard?

  9. #7
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    I think Bevo sums it up best:
    Problem is when we make a mistake, the opposition knows to run it out quick and there are easy goals catching us napping on the rebound.

  10. #8
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    I think they are encouraging numbers. Forget just looking at the table with just the Richmond game. Have a closer look at the improvement over a number of rounds.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  11. #9
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    I think they are encouraging numbers. Forget just looking at the table with just the Richmond game. Have a closer look at the improvement over a number of rounds.
    I don't put any stock into stats that are padded against average and below-average sides.

    I'm interested in what we do against the better teams in the competition. Even the win against GC is being made to look less impressive by the week.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  12. #10
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    I think Bevo sums it up best:
    Sounds like a promising new strategy.
    Josh Schache >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jake Stringer

  13. #11
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by 1eyedog View Post
    Sounds like a promising new strategy.
    New?
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  14. #12
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    New?
    Right you are. We can certainly use more good luck with our scoring.
    Josh Schache >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jake Stringer

  15. #13
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    This aged well.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  16. #14
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Sneak pic of our forward plan?

    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

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  18. #15
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    Re: How the unstylish Dogs found a new way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by comrade View Post
    This aged well.
    The article is about locking it in the forward 50, which we did in the first half and the last, but failed to do in games against Collingwood, Saints and Tigers. The trouble was converting to goals.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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