The sexy, attacking Bulldogs might get the headlines but it’s the defensive Dogs that are pleasing coach Luke Beveridge the most.
The Western Bulldogs defeated St Kilda by 57 points on Saturday night to make it two wins from two starts while restricting their opposition to just five goals for the second week running.
It’s a feat they only managed once all last season and it makes this year’s Dogs a much more dangerous prospect.
“To get that margin mainly because of the defensive element is something that we’re trying to establish consistently,” Beveridge said.
“We felt at various times last year that maybe let us down but we have put some mechanisms in place to help us there and it’s working ok at the moment.
“That’s not to say that at different times we won’t move away from that but two quality sides in Fremantle and the Saints … that’s a great team defensive performance.”
The Dogs led by 25 points at halftime at Etihad Stadium and restricted St KIlda to just two goals in the second half on their way to the 13.15 (93) to 5.6 (36) win.
Beveridge’s team famously gave up a 55-point lead to lose to the Saints at the same venue in round six last season and he was pleased with the clinical manner his players ensured history didn’t repeat.
The performance came after a week of plaudits in the media for the attacking style displayed in their 65-point demolition of the Dockers, which Beveridge said was part of becoming a premiership contender.
“I wasn’t worried but you do have to process it and at some point address it,” he said of the rave reviews of their season-opening win.
“The players play to live those weeks where they’re getting some credit and they can enjoy a victory, so you never want to take that away from them.
“But ultimately you have to compartmentalise it and move on and bring your best for the next challenge.
“There’s no doubt all 22 did that today.”