Western Bulldogs senior coach Luke Beveridge has lauded its side for its composure and ability to adjust in Saturday night’s win against Melbourne.
The Bulldogs made some tactical changes after the Dees got the points earlier in the season.
“Definitely last time we played it was advantage them, through us probably not dealing with some of their tactics – which we normally deal with pretty well,” Beveridge said post-game.
“Even at the start of this game… with our planning and what happened through our midfield, I wasn’t happy. We had to make alterations to get the game back on our terms around the footy.
“Our forwards played a pretty good tactical game. They brought a lot of balls that were intercepted last time we played them to ground and gave us a chance to keep it there.
“Our forward half turnover game was reasonably strong and we scored from it. We scored, I think, five goals from forward-50 stoppages and that’s shooting the lights out. That’s the game right there.”
Beveridge praised his side for its fight, against a Dees outfit that charged late to cut a 20-point deficit to less than a goal in the final term.
“It’s a win full of heart, really, in the end when you consider Melbourne got within that goal.
“We steadied ourselves and came again and showed some pretty good composure. I’m really proud of the boys and the way they went about it.
“All our midfield, when it got tight in that last quarter they rose. They rose above the situation, really dug in and said ‘righto, here we go, jump on my back and we’re going to win this game’.”
Josh Schache was recast as a key defender and was extremely influential in the outcome – particularly after the Bulldogs lost Alex Keath early to a hamstring injury.
"He gets to the right spots, his positioning is where we want it to be and I couldn't be any more rapt for Josh tonight,” Beveridge said.
"He's spent some time down back in recent games with Footscray… but by and large he's probably learnt the defensive craft from playing against his teammates in pre-seasons and over his journey.
"It's kind of a new chapter for him and that versatility now that we can use in his game becomes even more critical with Alex going down.”