WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has said there were too many players performing below their best in the side's blow-out 44-point loss to Geelong.
The Dogs stuck with the Cats for most of the game, a Mitch Wallis goal at the start of the fourth term cutting the margin to just nine points, but it was the last major the team kicked.
Beveridge said both sides "scored too easily" after 34 goals were kicked between the two teams, and that the move of Jackson Trengove to the ruck exposed the backline somewhat.
CATS GET THE CREAM Full match details and stats
"We defended really poorly, we were probably a tall down and we couldn't win one-on-ones. They just won blatantly nearly everything that went forward. At half time they kicked 10 goals from 23 entries, which is nearly unheard of for us," Beveridge said.
"Centre bounces are always critical, maybe [GMHBA Stadium] – I'm not sure – it seems to be more telling, the territory game and the opportunities to get back.
"We had a handful of guys who were really, really down on their output and it really hurt us. We can't afford to have anyone who's that far off. They're a good side obviously, they've only lost one, but it's really a shame for us."
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Beveridge suggested the contested component of the game was where the Bulldogs struggled the most (they lost that stat by 21), and the forward line structure also needed work.
"Maybe they upped the ante [in the middle] and we couldn't go with them, that might have been it. Bailey Smith, I thought, got us going again in that third quarter with some momentum," he said.
"We probably couldn't get Aaron Naughton in the right spots. Some of those balls inside 50 it seemed to be a small or Will Hayes, who's got a big engine, on those post runs when it should have been someone else. We've got to sort that out."
While the sides traded goals for most of the game, the Cats managed to build at bit of a buffer at the tail end of the second half with three goals in three minutes to Tom Hawkins, Mitch Duncan and Gary Rohan.
"The three goals at the end of the second quarter in red time were a bit hard to take. They just came out of the centre bounce too easily," Beveridge said.
"We'll go to school and we'll go to work on those things and just be better at them. The last couple of weeks we've been better for four quarters, not so much today."