A focus on applying and navigating pressure has enabled the Western Bulldogs to get their season back on track over the past fortnight.
The Bulldogs’ intensity across the four quarters has noticeably lifted from the opening two rounds and led to impressive wins against the Sydney Swans and GWS Giants.
On Thursday night, it was the Bulldogs’ sustained pressure on the ball and opposition which set up the match with a six goal to one opening half against the Swans.
Rising star Tim English said it was pleasing not only to put things together in the first half, but to hold off the Swans when they challenged after the main break.
“Coming off last week, where we brought that physicality and source pressure around the contest, I think we brought that back into today and it is awesome to get the win over here,” he said post-game.
“We knew they were going to come out firing after half time.
“To be able to absorb that pressure and then be able to put the pressure back on them and hold out for the win was really good.”
Not only has it been the Bulldogs’ ability to create pressure on the opposition, but also to withstand it when those roles are reversed and make good decisions with the ball.
“Early in the year we were a little bit fumbly around the contest and maybe over-using it,” English said.
“For the inside mids to be really clean, take the ball and then dish it out and clear it when we could, I think it was a big emphasis.
“It goes a long way. Our forwards do a really good job at keeping it inside 50 and applying their pressure and I think that showed tonight.”