‘Victor card’ on table for Bulldogs
PLAYING the “victor card,” not the victim card, could be the crucial approach the Western Bulldogs use to navigate more than 24 hours confined to a Brisbane hotel room before Saturday’s do-or-die semifinal clash with the Lions.
Ruckman Stefan Martin won’t play, and Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge ruled him out for the rest of the season as he struggles with a groin injury.
Neither will No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.
Beveridge revealed the club was happy with the 7.20pm start and had negotiated a captain’s run training session at the Gabba on Friday afternoon after flying from Launceston, where they have been based this week after an elimination final win over Essendon.
But that, and the players having lunch together on Saturday, are the only luxuries afforded the Dogs, who will otherwise be “domiciled” in their rooms up until the time they leave for the game.
Beveridge (pictured) said the strict quarantine rules had become a regular part of his team’s season that had already included road wins in Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast and last week in Launceston.
Having navigated the unusual build-up before, he said doing so again was well within his team’s capabilities
“To at least be able to stretch the legs and have a bit of a shuffle (on Friday) … ticking that one off is critical,” Beveridge said on Thursday.
“We’ve been able to organise for the players to at least have lunch together. That’s the biggest luxury we have been afforded, if you can call it a luxury. Other than that we are confined to three floors in the hotel.
“Our players have been extremely resilient, when you go away. You can play the victim card or you can play the victor card.
“I think we’ve been able to stay positive and galvanise a little bit on the road. This is another opportunity.”