NYC Preview: Bulldogs v Raiders
Sunday 15 September 2013 8:39 AM
The Bulldogs Holden Cup side finished the regular season in fourth position and after a heavy loss in round 25 and an improved performance in round 26 against the Brisbane Broncos, full-back Patty Templeman feels it’s been a reality check for the side after going on a nine game winning streak which also included two byes.
“We weren’t at our best against Brisbane last week…having those two games leading into the finals has certainly been a reality check,” said Templeman.
Finishing in the top four is a great reward for the young side and with this in mind it gives the side two bites of the cherry. It’s not easy to finish in this position, but it just goes to show if you work hard and commit to your teammate, the rewards will come.
“We have worked hard all year and especially the back half of the season…we have really given ourselves a great opportunity to have two cracks at the prize,” said Front-rower Lloyd Perrett.
The Raiders are a quality side and deserve their position as minor premiers. They have been the most consistent side all year, have some of the most promising youngsters in the game and have only loss four times all year and one of those defeats was at the hands of the Dogs in round 23, when the Bulldogs piled on 62 points to run away with a convincing win.
The Bulldogs can take plenty from this game, because there hasn’t been many teams who have been able to produce that type of footy against the top team, especially when you consider the Dogs defeated them in Canberra.
“We can take plenty of confidence out of the game in round 23, but it will be a completely different Raiders side on Sunday…it will be a tough game for us,” said Templeman.
It will be one hell of a game before the first grade match and for the young Bulldogs side getting back to what they do best will certainly be a focus. Finals footy is a whole new competition and it requires an attention to detail to the little things and the ability to commit to your teammate for the whole 80 minutes, an area the side knows they need to improve on.
“We need to play for the 80 minutes, limit lapses in concentration and really put in a committed performance against a Raiders side who will be looking to better perform than they did in round 23,” said Half-back Jaelen Feeney.
It’s a huge challenge for the team and a great opportunity to perform in front of the loyal Dogs supporters and really show what they are capable of, because if the result falls their way, they will be one win away from the big one.
Dogs by 6