Western Bulldogs forward Laith Vandermeer says it was pleasing to see the group respond against Sydney on Thursday night, after a disappointing opening fortnight of football.

Despite a late Swans scare, the Bulldogs were able to hold on to an 11-point buffer to register their first win of the 2022 season.

“We’ve obviously had a disappointing couple of weeks – I think the themes that have probably come out of that is the aspect of not playing 120 minutes of footy which is required to (win) at this level,” Vandermeer told Dwayne Russell on SEN 1116 on Friday.


“We all know how hard it is and how quick the game can be, so just the concentration aspect of that was a big focus for us going in.

“I think our first half particularly really set the tone – we made it hard for them to score. For us to (hold them to one goal) and then hit the scoreboard, and get the result we wanted is a huge step in the right direction.

“There’s obviously still a few things to work on, but it’s everything we need so now we can gain some momentum and put a good season in ahead.”

Bouncing back to some form himself, Vandermeer finished the night with 18 disposals, six marks, a goal and seven score involvements – one being a handball which led to the Marcus Bontempelli match-winner.

“I probably haven’t been as good as I wanted to in the early days, but it was a good game to (put in) a good performance,” Vandermeer said.

“It’s always a credit to the teammates around me – the forwards group is always a tight group, and we get around each other for the little one-percenters and stuff. The win always helps too.”

The Bulldogs will look to make it back-to-back triumphs when they meet Richmond at the MCG next Saturday night.