Western Bulldogs forward Riley Garcia says Sunday’s commanding win over West Coast will give the group plenty of confidence as they approach the back half of the season.
Playing in front of an empty Optus Stadium, with crowds disallowed just hours before the first bounce, the Bulldogs stunned the Eagles on their home deck to record their second win in Perth in just three weeks.
It was the perfect end to an otherwise unusual build-up, with the Bulldogs making the most of their week in quarantine in WA.
“It’s been a strange week, but to be honest I’ve loved every bit of it,” Garcia told westernbulldogs.com.au post-match.
“We played a lot of cards, and just built on our relationships. From my end, I couldn’t fault it – it was a lot of quality time with everyone, so it was actually an enjoyable week.
“We knew that coming over here was going to be a big ask, so for us to get the win was huge.
“It instils more belief amongst the boys of what we’re capable of. It’s exciting times ahead.”
After making his debut in round 11 against Melbourne – albeit subbed out with concussion in the first quarter – the 20-year-old was determined to make his way back into the side.
And that he did, collecting 13 disposals against the Eagles, while recording his first career goal in his home state.
“It’s always unfortunate to get injured, so my mindset was regardless of what level I was playing at, to attack the next game to the best of my ability,” Garcia said.
“I put in a good performance against Geelong VFL and put my hand up for selection.
“I was pretty pumped (kicking my first goal) – all the boys were pretty excited for me. I don’t remember too much so there was probably a bit of adrenaline.”
The second-placed Bulldogs returned to Melbourne yesterday evening, and will now look ahead to hosting North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium this coming Sunday.