The premiership hangover from 2016 that dogged the Western Bulldogs in 2017 should be cured by now, at least that is the thinking, based on the play of the Dogs in week two of the JLT Community Series.
The forward line gets much of the blame for the dismal performance in 2017, but there is blame aplenty to be shared.
Still, the forwards are somewhat conspicuous, as the team averaged only 84 points per game last season, so fingers were pointed in that direction, even while ignoring the fact that 84 points can win many games in the AFL, provided the defence holds the opposition to fewer than 84 points.
Bulldogs Coach Luke Beveridge has developed a strategy to alleviate the side’s scoring woes, one of those being bringing Easton Wood into the forward line.
Wood has a well-earned reputation of being one of the most reliable defenders in the AFL, but one of the Bulldogs assistant coaches, Daniel Giasiracusa said that there is a decided intention to transform Wood into a swingman.
“Bevo especially likes swingmen in his team,” he said after the game, a 100 – 78 affair that supplied a win over the hawthorn Hawks. “We’ve probably been looking for one.He’s (Wood) the captain, so he’s going to do everything right and he always does wherever he plays, but he’s a pretty powerful and quick player so he’s going to put defences on edge as well.”
Wood kicked a goal from seven touches in the forward line, as the Dogs played the first half without endangering any of their senior list from the key positions, since this is just pre-season, a risky time, but also one where some creative thinking can yield new combinations, along with increased dividends.
The idea of Wood in the forward line seems simple enough. He has made his trade playing against the best forwards in the league. It is inevitable that he pick up a trick or two along the way.