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Aussie Rules: Bulldogs under fire after poor start

Week two of the AFL season is done and the pressure is mounting on the Western Bulldogs, while all is calm at Geelong despite them also being 0-2 for the campaign.

Geelong’s premiership defence has not got off to a great start after they slipped to defeat against Collingwood and Carlton, but no-one at the Cats is panicking just yet.

The same cannot be said about the Bulldogs with the fans far from happy with the performances of their side this season. 

Elsewhere Collingwood march on following a big win over Port Adelaide, Brisbane bounced back to beat Melbourne, while Richmond won away from home at Hawthorn. 

There were also wins for North Melbourne, Sydney, Essendon and West Coast. It was an eventful week so let’s take a look at the main takeaways.

Western Bulldogs need to respond

The Western Bulldogs season is in danger of being over before it has really begun after they slipped to another defeat at the weekend.

They were hammered by 50 points against Melbourne in round one and backed that up by losing 92-41 against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium in round two.

With tough games to come against Brisbane Lions, Richmond, Port Adelaide and Fremantle, there is a real chance they could be 0-6 unless there is a dramatic improvement. There were high hopes for the Bulldogs heading into the new season and finals football would have been the minimum requirement.

However following the defeat against St Kilda and the manner of it, big questions are being asked regards where the club is heading this season. The Bulldogs have issues all over the park, particularly in defence, while the attitude of the players is also being called into question.

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Luke Beveridge is under pressure with claims he may have lost the dressing room already. The decision to secure the coach to a contract extension before the season even began is also being questioned.

There is only one way to silence the critics and that is by putting on a show against the Lions in the opening game of the round on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs are priced at 2.75 to win, while the Lions can be backed at 1.45.

No panic at Geelong

The Cats have also lost the first two games of the season but there is no panic from coach Chris Scott who is in no doubt that his side will bounce back.

Geelong lost on home soil to Collingwood in week one before Carlton edged them by eight points on Thursday evening. Both of those sides could be top-four this season so there is no real shame in losing to either. But the fact they came back-to-back is not ideal when looking to start the season strongly.

However Scott is remaining calm and after accepting some of his key players are under-performing, believes they will hit form soon.

Despite not being at their best, Geelong did not let Carlton run away with the game and showed great spirit to stay in the hunt. On another night they may have actually won.

Next up there are games against Gold Coast, Hawthorn and West Coast which presents the ideal opportunity for them to find form and get on a winning run. Geelong are priced at 7.50 to go on and win the Grand Final.

Teams still finding their feet

It is very early days in the 2023 AFL campaign and a lot of teams are still finding their feet. That is reflected in the mix bag of results we have had in the opening games.

It is difficult to get a read on a lot of the teams. Brisbane were thrashed by Port Adelaide in week one before bouncing back to beat Melbourne in week two. Port on the other hand came crashing back down to earth as they were thumped by Collingwood.

Only five teams have won both games so far and one those is North Melbourne, who only won two games in the entire 2022 season. 

Fremantle are 0-2 but will be confident of climbing the ladder sooner rather than later, while the same can be said of Geelong. At the other end of the ladder both St Kilda and Essendon are flying high and the aim will be to build on their opening two wins and stay there after missing out on finals in 2022.

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