Jake Stringer knew what was coming when his night of AFL extremes reached its lowest ebb.
The Western Bulldogs star is a mercurial player and he started badly on Saturday night in their scrappy game against Richmond.
Eventually, coach Luke Beveridge resorted to an old-school measure in the third quarter, dragging Stringer to the bench.
Stringer had just missed a tackle on Anthony Miles, leading directly to a Richmond goal, and Beveridge let his star have it over the telephone.
“I thought he handballed it, so I let him go and then he still had it,” Stringer said of the missed tackle.
“I was pretty flat – I knew it was going to come.
“After they kicked the goal, my rotation was about five minutes later and the runner was like ‘Jake, come off’.
“I was like ‘oh no’.”
Stringer was asked on Channel Seven’s Game Day what Beveridge said to him.
“I don’t know whether I can say much on TV,” he said.
“He just told me that a couple of my efforts were pretty poor and I needed to give the boys something in the second half of the third quarter and into the last quarter.
“I needed to lift my intensity and try and lift us a little bit.”
Stringer responded brilliantly, returning to the field and playing a match-winning role as the Bulldogs held off Richmond by 10 points.
All of Stringer’s four goals in the match came after his benching – including the last two of the game.
“It was nice, considering I didn’t get a kick for three quarters,” Stringer said.
“I was just rapt that Bevo would be a little bit happy with me in the last quarter.”