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Dogs outmuscled Roos: Laidley

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minicatogorey Dogs outmuscled Roos: Laidley

Post by Stocky on Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:19 pm

STRONGER bodies and more experience helped the Western Bulldogs claim a 15-point win over North Melbourne, according to Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley.

"The reality is, and this is not a message in a bottle, 25 games ago we lost the preliminary final," he said after the game yesterday.

"Out of that side, or either off our list, we've lost about 1600 games of experience in (Glenn) Archer, (Shannon) Grant, (Jess) Sinclair, (Nathan) Thompson, Leigh Brown, Casey Green."

He said other players who were still at the club but who didn't play yesterday included Corey Jones, Shannon Watt and Daniel Harris.

Laidley said such experience had been replaced with the likes of Todd Goldstein, Jack Ziebell, Lachie Hansen, Gavin Urquhart, Scott McMahon, Josh Gibson and Andrew Swallow — all had played less than 50 games.

The Kangaroos got to within two points of their opponents in the final term, but the Bulldogs had then won several critical contests.

"I think they won them with bigger, stronger bodies. We haven't dropped too many close games and this is not an excuse, this is the future," Laidley said.

"We'll learn a hell of a lot from that, we'll study the last five or six minutes and make sure we get better."

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade said he was impressed with his side's ability to step up when under pressure from a tough opponent.

"At the end of the day we tried to lose it, but the pleasing thing was the maturity of the group," Eade said.

"(North Melbourne) are renowned for their grit and determination, and to be able to fend that off and kick those last two goals was really pleasing. To win a tight, close game because of the weather and opposition we had, I think that will cement more belief within the group.

"Sometimes you've got to win ugly. I know that's an old phrase but we certainly did that today."

Eade said the players were tired after their trip to Perth the previous week but he had been confident they had enough conditioning to swing the momentum their way when threatened.

He praised first-gamer Liam Picken, who lined up against Kangaroo captain Brent Harvey and kept him to 18 touches.

"He's a good kid, he's got a lot of determination, he's a tough individual and I think having played against men for a while helps as well," he said.

"He's a fit character and I think at some vital stages he won a couple of tight balls as well, which was good and will give him a lot of confidence."

Eade said he was also pleased with Ryan Griffen's performance in the wet and Josh Hill's second half, but denied suggestions that Adam Cooney was still recovering from his pre-season knee operation.

"He's fine. He just didn't adapt to the wet weather today as well as we would have liked," Eade said.

While the Roos scored a goal due to Dylan Addison's confusion about the new rushed-behind rule, Eade was disappointed he hadn't gone in with more intensity.

"He just had to go hard at it and that's one we gift-wrapped and that's obviously a thing we'll show our players," he said. "We've done practice in those sorts of situations so that was disappointing."

http://www.theage.com.au/news/rfnews/dogs-outmuscled-roos-laidley/2009/04/05/1238869836409.html
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