Luke Beveridge won't give up on his 'Dinosaur Dogs'
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge admits his tall forward line looked "disjointed" during the round-one thrashing from Melbourne but he hasn't given up hope on the experiment reaping rewards.
Aaron Naughton, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Sam Darcy and Rory Lobb all lined up at the MCG on Saturday night in an attacking quartet labelled by media as the 'Dinosaur Dogs'.
Naughton battled manfully and kicked 1.2, while Ugle-Hagan (1.3) also had chances to do damage on the scoreboard.
But teenager Darcy and new recruit Lobb were rarely sighted, managing just six disposals each.
The forwards weren't helped by poor ball use from teammates under pressure - both real and perceived - further up the ground.
"Naughts competed like hell and did everything he could but we were a bit disjointed," Beveridge said.
"These are some of the teething problems with the two young bucks (Darcy and Ugle-Hagan).
"We just need to work through it and work out whether we continue to persevere with that approach."
The four talls were rarely all on the field at the same time, with one usually rotating through the bench.
It meant that the Bulldogs sacrificed a position that would have been used on a small or medium-sized utility player.
"You don't throw the baby out with the bath water," Beveridge said.
"It's a very small sample size and we've played one of the teams that everyone's probably tipping to be there at the end of the year," Beveridge said.
"We've got to process that and we've just got to build confidence and belief into the boys that probably didn't have their best nights.
"They know that they're better and more capable than probably what we gave tonight, but we didn't help them too much with the way we used the footy at times."
On a dirty night for the Bulldogs, Liam Jones was substituted out before halftime in his comeback game following a collision in a marking contest.
Jones, who has returned to the Dogs after a stint with Carlton and a year out of the AFL, was sent for scans on his sore neck.
"We're hoping it's OK. I haven't seen how it happened," Beveridge said.
"Taylor Duryea had one a couple of weeks ago and he was alright, so fingers crossed that he'll be OK."