Here are three lessons to take from Thursday night’s 41-point loss to Brisbane.
1. Forward forays need better connection
On paper, the Bulldogs outplayed Brisbane - winning the clearances (44-31), contested possessions (132-125) and inside 50 count (57-50).
Despite this dominance however, they produced just nine goals from 25 total scoring shots, to travel at 44% efficiency inside the arcs.
The Dogs’ scoring in recent weeks has been impressive – averaging 120 points from their last four games while combining for triple-figures on six occasions this season.
That forward connection will need to be rectified ahead of their next match-up in Sydney, which is conceding an average of just eight goals in their past three outings.
2. Bedendo can impact
For his first appearance at AFL level, debutant Dom Bedendo certainly impressed.
The 19-year-old collected 11 touches to go with four intercepts, 12 pressure acts and a goal, with his endeavour to hunt the footy a key highlight of his game.
From chasing down Lions to his vertical leap and aerial abilities, we’re pretty excited to see what’s to come for the Myrtleford teenager.
3. Belief is everything
With four of their final seven games to come against current top-eight sides, there’s no denying the Bulldogs will be challenged in the run home.
Reinforcements are on the way though - with Josh Bruce, Toby McLean and Mitch Hannan returning to fitness via the VFL, while Tim English, Ed Richards and Bailey Smith will be available for selection soon.
But in the meantime, belief is everything according to senior coach Luke Beveridge.
“All we can do is apply ourselves, believe in ourselves, and that was my main message to our players after the game,” Beveridge said in his post-match press conference.
"I won't stop believing in them and people around them won't.”