Tyson Stengle prepares for a kick on goal after a score review during the round four match between Western Bulldogs and Geelong at Adelaide Oval, April 06, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says he accepts the umpire's decision after a controversial goal went against his side in Saturday night's narrow four-point loss to Geelong.

Cats forward Tyson Stengle was the beneficiary after marking a long Mark Blicavs kick that appeared to just cross the line for a behind.

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But Stengle was paid the mark after a score review and converted the goal 26 minutes into the third quarter to extend the Cats' margin to 22 points at the time.

The game didn't appear destined for a single-kick margin at that stage, especially after he kicked his fourth minutes later, but the Bulldogs kicked the final three goals of the game to make a late play for the four points. 

Beveridge didn't dwell on the decision in his post-match press conference after the Cats maintained their perfect start to 2024.  

"With the goal review, you make a commitment to yourself as a coach not to get caught up in it. It is what it is," Beveridge said. 


"At the time, I can see the replay, but you just accept whatever decisions that have been made are the right ones. 

"If it was actually a mark then they deserve the goal; that's the way I look at it. I don't know if there is any conjecture outside of that. 

"At the time, I thought if he's marked it in front of the line or any part of the line, then they deserve it. That's the way I processed it."

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Geelong coach Chris Scott said he believed it was the right call.

"When we saw the replay we thought it was pretty clear," he said.

"In my mind, that's exactly how it should work.


"No one could accuse me of being a sycophant for the AFL, but when they do a good job I'm prepared to acknowledge it."

Despite a midfield masterclass from Tom Liberatore (35 disposals, 28 contested possessions and 19 clearances) and Marcus Bontempelli (35 disposals, 10 tackles and seven clearances), the Bulldogs never had control of the game, falling to 2-2 after consecutive wins over Gold Coast and West Coast. 


"When you play a fairly good side like the Cats, you need a fair bit to go right. It was a night that we never really had any momentum. It was pleasing that our boys persevered and they changed on the run a little bit. They challenged the Cats," Beveridge said. 

"We probably didn't get enough supply early in the game and Geelong owned the territory a little bit with what they were doing. Ultimately it's a loss that could have been anyones, even though the margin was three goals in their favour for most of the night, I'm really pleased we didn't go away. Obviously it's a woulda, coulda, shoulda. If the game goes for a bit longer you never know."