Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli has described Friday’s loss to Essendon as a missed opportunity.

The Dogs only trailed by eight points at half-time but could only muster three more goals in the second half, while the Dons stormed home.

Speaking to Channel 7’s Abbey Holmes post-loss, Bontempelli was honest with his reflection. 

“It’s obviously pretty disappointing,” he said.

“We saw this as an opportunity to hopefully add to our start to the season but credit to Essendon – I thought their pressure forced us into making a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes.

“I think each line will have multiple aspects they could’ve done better, but it really is disappointing. We wanted to come out here and obviously win, and play more of our style and brand. I felt like we couldn’t do that for a couple of reasons.


“I don’t think we used the ball well enough (in the forward half). We probably had enough opportunities at different points – we were getting territory inside 50 but for whatever reason we weren’t able to connect either by hand or by foot, and got forced to play down the line.

“Offensively I thought we really had an off night, and defensively they obviously work hard and run forward pretty well which we just weren’t able to stop at times.

“There’d be little bits and pieces we can take away from it into next week, but it was certainly a missed opportunity.”

Leader Taylor Duryea echoed Bontempelli’s sentiment.


“It’s a bit hard to digest straight away without seeing exactly where things broke down but it feels like in the contest, they were harder than us which is the most disappointing part,” he said.

“We feel like that’s been a really strong part of our game this season – our pressure and our physicality - unfortunately, they were better in those areas tonight.”

Duryea pointed to the upcoming Thursday night fixture as a blessing in disguise of sorts.

“A six-day break is probably ideal off a loss – we get straight back into it and give ourselves another chance to make amends,” Duryea said.

“The Saints – similar to Essendon – are a team that when they get their pressure game on are hard to beat.

“Their discipline and defence will make it hard for us, but it’s another challenge we’re going to have to rise up to.”