AFL great Kane Cornes has blasted the Western Bulldogs’ performance against Geelong, labelling their poor showing in the first quarter “a Luke Beveridge issue”.
Analysing the team’s opening term from their 13-point loss to the Cats for Nine’s Sunday Footy Show, Cornes called attention to the Dogs’ backslide from grand finalists in 2021, to a win-loss record of 6-6 midway through this season.
Pointing out small examples to illustrate just how “sloppy” the Dogs were on Friday night, Cornes also took aim at coach Beveridge’s leadership.
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“The amount of times the Western Bulldogs were off in this first quarter is a Luke Beverage issue,” he said.
“He’s had a really poor year as coach of this footy club.”
Cornes highlighted the Bulldogs’ inability to lock the ball in their forward 50m, making an example of their lack of pressure during kick-outs.
“Teams score one per 13 kick outs, that’s a (single) score,” he said.
“The Geelong footy club scored two goals from kick-outs in the first quarter alone, that’s just far too easy to play against.”
With Geelong key forward Jeremy Cameron the ultimate difference with 18 disposals, 11 score involvements and six majors to surpass 500 career goals, Cornes wondered why his influence was not reined in.
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“No one put a glove on him from a kick-out, he’s up at the contest and then he just drifts back (to take an) uncontested mark inside 50,” he said.
Also pointing out an unchallenged centre bounce clearance to Geelong and a predictable wrap around handball which resulted in a goal, Cornes underlined the inconsistency in the Dogs game.
“This is the early stages of the game, this is how (the Western Bulldogs) started, that’s why they conceded seven goals in the first quarter,” he said.
“That’s why (Geelong’s) forwards had so much space to work in and that’s why the game was over at quarter time – don’t worry about the fightback – this is a Western Bulldogs side who you cannot trust.”
Adding to the Bulldogs’ woes, young talent Bailey Smith has been offered a two-match suspension for his headbutt on Geelong defender Zach Tuohy.
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