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The scoreboard showed a thrashing, but Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge saw room for improvement after his team’s 72-point win over Brisbane on Saturday night.
Lions’ coach Justin Leppitsch could not even bring himself to speak to his players after they allowed the Dogs to kick nine goals in the final quarter at Etihad Stadium.
Adding to Brisbane’s woes, youngster Nick Robertson left the stadium with a fracture, thought to be in his shoulder, and will miss games as a result.
The Bulldogs have been criticised for fading towards the end of some matches this year, so Beveridge said it was good to finish on a strong note.
“We’re probably on a 50/50 finish base at the moment as far as our last quarters go,” he said. “To have the players respond like they did, it’s a real feather in their caps.”
Beveridge said the players should be satisfied with the win, but added that they gave away possession too many times.
It was a convincing win, but did not always feel that way, he said.
“It wasn’t until halfway through that last quarter that we felt the margin was where it should have been, but we still let them in and they kicked a couple of goals,” he said. “We want to be fussy because we want to be better.”
Forward Jake Stringer booted five, but that was not enough to win Beveridge’s full endorsement.
“He played OK today, he’s a brilliant footballer and we want a combination of his brilliance and a reliable component of his game with what we do as a team,” he said.
“Tonight we saw his brilliance, doesn’t mean he had the exact balance we need … but he’s growing all the time as a young player.”
Midfielder Jack Macrae had come back a better player after a stint in the VFL, his coach said.
Ruckman Will Minson — who has been trying to cement his place in the team — was subbed off, but Beveridge said he was not dissatisfied with his performance.
“We wanted to inject some run at that point, it was nothing to do with anything else but that.”
Leppitsch was measured as usual, but indicated the level of his anger, or disappointment, when he revealed he had not spoken to the group after the match.
“Sometimes these things are best left for Monday or Tuesday in review, because you don’t want to be shooting from the hip if you don’t have your evidence,” he said.
Leppitsch said the way the Lions fell apart in the last quarter showed a lack of leadership by his senior players.
He did not know how many games Robertson would miss, but said he would be out “a while”.
“I’d probably prefer to focus on the things we can control, there were plenty of things we could have (done) tonight,” Leppitsch said. “We got so close to doing it and playing how we wanted to play and then fell apart.” The Age SportThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.