Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge hopes his team can learn something from a disappointing result against Fremantle in Perth upon their return for an AFL elimination final against West Coast Thursday week.
The Bulldogs made their first trip west for 2016 to play the lowly Dockers on Sunday but came up 20 points short. It made no difference to their finishing seventh on the AFL ladder.
They will face the sixth-placed West Coast in an elimination final back at Domain Stadium on Thursday September 8. Beveridge hopes his team learned some harsh lessons.
“Maybe from a rehearsal point of view and acclimatising, and getting used to a couple of days lead in it’s a good opportunity from what we didn’t do well and leverage off the things that maybe worked for us, which didn’t show out in the game unfortunately,” Beveridge said.
“Over the last couple of days that we’ve been here, we probably haven’t got our preparation right where we need it to be.
“We are learning all the time and we haven’t played in Perth this year until this one so hopefully the second time around we can do it better.”
Helping the Bulldogs’ cause is the likely returns of key players Easton Wood and Jordan Roughead to take on the Eagles.
But Beveridge isn’t happy about playing in Perth on a Thursday with that all but ruling out Jack Macrae and Tom Liberatore.
“Maybe in relation to getting some personnel back and available who might be able to play, the week off is good for us,” he said.
“Easton might be available but who knows, he might be the only one. We would probably prefer a Saturday night to give everyone the chance of an extra couple of days to be right from an injury point of view, but we can’t fight city hall on that.”
Beveridge remained non-committal on whether out-of-form and favour forward Jake Stringer will return after two weeks in the VFL.