Luke Beveridge’s mysterious reply in a press convention has led to questions on what the Canines coach was actually alluding to on Saturday.
The Western Bulldogs have gained consecutive matches for the primary time in 2022 after defeating the Gold Coast Suns by 19 factors in Ballarat.
Nonetheless, the match was not with out controversy with blocking incidents involving Aaron Naughton sparking curiosity post-match.
Naughton and underrated Suns defender Sam Collins performed an enthralling head-to-head battle, however Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge was coy as to why Naughton dropped off within the second half.
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“I’ve got to be really careful here,” mentioned Beveridge. “He’s been so dominant, there are reasons why he wasn’t in the second half.”
Beveridge specified that Naughton’s quieter second half had nothing to do with a knee niggle the celebrity key ahead has been coping with.
“We’ll do some follow up, he kept fighting and bringing the ball to ground which is what he does.
“He was just outstanding in that first half.”
Requested if Naughton’s output within the second half was affected by blocking from Collins, Beveridge mentioned once more he needed to be “really careful”.
“After the game what happens is you are pretty sure you know what happened, but you’ve got to go back to have a look just to make sure,” he mentioned.
“I can’t really comment, I’ll just go back and have a look.”
While Beveridge was maybe alluding to the off the ball incidents involving Naughton, Suns coach Stuart Dew believed that his midfield “cranking up the heat” was the important thing cause the Suns have been capable of quell Naughton’s affect.
“We just changed the mix… the ball was coming down pretty freely in the first,” he mentioned. “I think we got more pressure on the ball and heat on the delivery.
“Sam Collins’ ability to rebound from the first 10 minutes where things weren’t going his way… he fought it out.”
The Canines levelled their season ledger at 5-5 and Beveridge hoped that the victory would lay the platform for the Canines to burst within the again half of the season.
“Our mandate is to try and establish consistency,” mentioned Beveridge.
“Throughout the course of the game we had momentum and then they spiked, credit to them they kept coming. Their perseverance was strong and they’re improving all the time.
“There were some fundamentals where we let ourselves down, for our lads to hold their nerve and come again… it was encouraging.
“Hopefully we can establish ourselves as a team who can string a few more together.”
The Canines monstered the Suns on the coalface, successful the clearance battle 49-34 and Beveridge believed that proved a key consider deciding the Ballarat thriller.
“Our midfield was always on edge and did a pretty good job, for our guys to be influential through that area was so important for us today,” he mentioned.
The Bulldogs’ checklist depth has been examined in latest weeks, with the likes of Tim English, Cody Weightman, Mitch Wallis and Jason Johannisen all having been unavailable.
Beveridge was happy with the performances from children Luke Cleary and Jordon Candy who stepped up within the absence of a number of common contributors.
“To see Luke [Cleary] play the way he did today, he had a really good game,” Beveridge mentioned.
“Jordon [Sweet] fought a terrific fight against big [Jarrod] Witts, leading into the day he had had 43 more hit outs to advantage than any other ruck in the competition.
“It’s great for our club and our team that those boys can come in and play really important roles.”
Beveridge additionally sang the praises of Bailey Williams (two objectives) who featured in a brand new position on the wing and Ed Richards, who repelled quite a few Suns advances ahead.
“We’ve had a lot of change through our wings. We are virtually playing inside midfielders and defenders on our wings and they’re doing a good job of it,” he added.
“[Williams] won his wing; we haven’t been able to say that about too many of our wingers over the past ten games.”
Tim English is prone to be out there subsequent week, however Beveridge is uncertain how the English-Candy ruck combo would possibly look saying that Candy’s kind has offered the teaching workers with a “challenge” as English returns.
Dew was happy with the preventing spirit his Suns confirmed, however rued the lack to achieve any vital momentum.
“We never quite got going, but never gave up,” he mentioned.
“You can look at those two ways, but we were up against a formidable opponent.
“We feel like we are building a consistent brand that our players and supporters can expect when we come to play.
“We’ll just keep chasing improvement and look forward to the next opportunity.”
Joel Jeffrey, who suffered the lack of a member of the family in the course of the week, was one of many Suns finest gamers in simply his sixth AFL recreation.
“For a young lad to kick five goals in those circumstances, we are proud of him, and his family should be proud of him as well.
“He’ll get more from that than we will, we know he’s a good player… he’ll get more belief.
“I think we saw today what he is capable of.”
Dew additionally revealed that Rory Thompson appears to be like to have escaped an ACL harm however will obtain scans within the coming days.