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'You can't be slightly off'

Dogs felt 'the agony and the ecstasy' says coach

Luke Beveridge says Dogs turn the St Kilda tide in the second half.

WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has refused to blame a taxing win against the Sydney Swans in round five for the team's dramatic fade-out against St Kilda on Saturday.

The Bulldogs let a 55-point lead early in the third quarter slip at Etihad Stadium, losing by seven points in one of the most dramatic turnarounds in VFL-AFL history. 

Beveridge was keen to highlight St Kilda's gutsy effort in the second half and stressed the Bulldogs' emotion-filled win against the Swans seven days earlier had not been a factor for his team.

"We had an extra day to recover than the Saints, so that shouldn't be a factor," Beveridge said.

"There's a point where momentum goes the other way and I don't know whether you fall into a mindset where [you think] it's going to stop eventually, but in the end it didn't.

"It gets back to the Saints being able to withstand what we threw at them to try and get it back on our terms.

"We just weren't able to do that no matter what we tried."

Saturday's win for St Kilda was the fifth biggest comeback in VFL-AFL history and the equal third highest comeback from half-time (49 points).

Beveridge described the contrasting halves as "the agony and the ecstasy". 

"We had a good first half and then it was the polar opposite really in the second half," he said.

"We couldn't keep the ball in our forward line and got beaten at the source.

"When the ball went into our forward line and we lost one-on-ones, they had a look at who they wanted to give it to and we let them have too much of a look.

"They ran and they ran well."

Beveridge, whose team could have been facing Fremantle next Sunday in a top-of-the-table clash, said he would not focus too hard on his team's mistakes.

"There have been lots of positives already this year and we need to dwell on them as much as we can," he said.

"We've just got to keep looking at the sunlight and seeing the positives.

"That was the main message, let's learn from it and it doesn't matter who it is in the competition, you can't be slightly off."

The coach conceded the Bulldogs needed to improve their ability to slow the tempo of the game after periods of "high-octane" football.

"You can't do that for four quarters and we don't intend to," he said. 

"We're growing in that regard, but we didn't get it totally right tonight, there's no doubt about it."

 

Saints comeback stops Dogs

A second half St Kilda fightback has overrun the Dogs, with the homeside going down by seven points.
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