Expect to see a Western Bulldogs outfit that’s fiercer around the contest next time around.
That’s the message from influential Bulldog Caleb Daniel, after his side was comprehensively beaten by Collingwood on Friday night.
Daniel was among the Bulldogs’ better performers in defeat, spending more time around the ball to finish with 20 disposals.
“Definitely not the start that we were hoping for,” he said.
“We got beaten pretty comprehensively inside and they were able to stream forward and use the footy pretty well.
“Our source pressure, our tackling and hard, contested footy wasn’t at the level we wanted it to be.
“We didn’t come with an appetite to compete, which is really disappointing because we’ve trained all summer and that’s been something that we’ve been really good at.”
One bright spark from the Bulldogs was 24-year-old debutant Ben Cavarra – who finally got his chance at AFL level.
The small forward kicked his first goal – with his first kick – to help lead a mini-fightback in the second quarter.
“It was great to get around him,” Daniel said.
“We weren’t supposed to get around him too much (given the COVID-19 measures), but it’s hard not to when you’re really emotional about a guy who’s had his first kick and it’s a goal.”