Western Bulldogs defender Bailey Dale says it was disappointing to let one slip in Saturday’s narrow loss to the Giants.

The Dogs held a 29-point lead at the main break, but couldn’t stem the Giants’ second-half surge – eventually going down by five points at Mars Stadium.

Dale was one of the Bulldogs’ best, accumulating 37 touches, eight marks, 11 rebound 50s and one goal.

He said the Giants’ momentum after half-time was difficult to stop.

“They really brought the pressure in that second half – we just couldn’t cope. They just ran in their numbers and we couldn’t press up and stop their run through the middle,” Dale said.


“It was a really disappointing day. It’s going to hurt us a little bit.

“It was a pretty scrappy game out there - the deck was pretty wet so it was a bit of a surge get-it-forward sort of day.

“In Ballarat, the wind is always going one way so we just had to try and take as much territory as we could.

“I thought we did that really well in the first half, and then they just outnumbered us in that second half.”

Coach Luke Beveridge had a similar reflection in his post-match press conference.

"That was probably one of our best halves for the year, that first half," Beveridge said.

"If we're kicking those set shots in the second quarter, we're not sitting here worrying about the loss.

"We just didn't capitalise on our opportunity. To take nine marks inside our forward 50 in the first quarter, we were well on top. All the things we were doing well, particularly around the contest and being able to contain the ball in our front half and through the midfield, that escaped us in critical moments in the last half. 

"I think they kicked 7.5 from those situations out of their back-end, with us getting ahead of the ball. We hung our backs out to dry. We didn't manage that well which is really disappointing.

"We're trying to process it. Everyone is a bit numb.

"Credit to them being able to come over the top in the end. It's one that got away.


"I'm not going to make excuses. Ultimately, I feel like we had enough opportunities and control of the game to get it done. That's why there's that numb feeling at the moment."

Amid a round of upsets, the Dogs remain in the top eight – half a game clear of Geelong, Sydney, and their next opponent, Richmond, who they will host in Retro Round this Friday night at Marvel Stadium.

The 2023 ‘Diamond Dog’ retro guernsey can be purchased now via the Bulldogs Shop, along with woollen long-sleeve jumpers, scarves, caps, beanies and more as part of this year’s retro merchandise range.