Luke Beveridge has hailed the Western Bulldogs’ thrilling seven-point AFL victory over West Coast as monumental.
After starting the 2020 season with two straight defeats, the Bulldogs enter their Good Friday clash with cellar-dwellers North Melbourne 2-0.
The Bulldogs were challenged numerous times by the experienced visitors at Marvel Stadium on Sunday, but a host of heroes stepped up to recover from a 12-point deficit at the final change to pip the Eagles in an early-season classic.
Captain Marcus Bontempelli nailed the game-sealing goal after already being the most influential player on the ground, but Jack Macrae, Adam Treloar and Aaron Naughton all had their moments.
“You’re normally relieved when you beat a team you really think you should beat and maybe haven’t played your best,” Bulldogs coach Beveridge said.
“Against this team, the West Coast Eagles, they force you to play a certain way with their strengths.
“As the Eagles do, they’ll hang in there and force the issue.
“When the game was slipping away a little bit; definitely at three-quarter time for our boys to collect their thoughts and come again is monumental for us.
“It’s such an important win on our journey and the passage that we’re trying to dig out so really satisfied with the win.”
West Coast’s forwards were able to get on top of the Bulldogs” young defence despite having limited opportunities.
But Beveridge was proud of how the backmen stood up when the game was on the line.
“We’ve got a couple of key defenders (who haven’t played many games),” Beveridge said.
“Alex (Keath) played his 50th game today and Ryan Gardner has still played under 20 games.”