Revenge not driving Western Bulldogs

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge wants rapid improvement rather than revenge on Saturday.

The Bulldogs host Adelaide at Etihad Stadium and the obvious narrative is that the AFL sides haven’t met since a classic 2015 elimination final.

Adelaide won that contest by seven points to end Beveridge’s first season in charge of the Bulldogs.

Beveridge believes the bitter defeat, in which a total of 30 goals were kicked, helped his Dogs become a better defensive side.

“There’s no doubt we learned a lot out of that game last year,” he said on Friday.

“But we’ve definitely moved on.

“The Crows have really improved again this year.

“A different set of circumstances, different personnel. We’ve got seven players who didn’t play in that game last year and we’re just trying to build.”

Stung by the way Eddie Betts and Taylor Walker fired in last year’s final, the Bulldogs have become the league’s most miserly side this year.

In the opening six rounds they’ve conceded an average of 8.3 goals.

But last week’s top-of-the-table tussle highlighted the Bulldogs’ struggles at the other end of the park.

They managed just six goals in a 16-point loss to North Melbourne, a product of the side’s delivery as much as it was their forwards.

“We came out of last week’s game with so many things that we need to work on,” Beveridge said.

“This week’s been all about correcting a few things. Particularly the way we use the footy.

“It’s not like we feel like we’ve gone all defensive, we just haven’t been able to capitalise on the opportunities we’ve created.”

Beveridge noted his charges needed to lift in that regard if they are to challenge the best sides in the league.

“It’ll be a work in progress,” he said.

“But we know we need to be better at it to beat the biggest contenders.

“Saturday night presents a challenge again because the Crows have been scoring extremely well.”

Adelaide have been the most productive side in the competition this season, averaging 17 goals a game.

“We want to play attractive, attacking footy,” Crows assistant coach Matthew Clarke said.

“But it might be an alternative version, that we have to get it done in more of a grind fashion.

“So be it.”

Beveridge confirmed Lachie Hunter, who was taken to hospital after Lindsay Thomas’ coathanger, would be right to face Adelaide.

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