It was a tough afternoon in treacherous conditions for the Bulldogs, who suffered their second defeat in as many weeks against the reigning premiers Crookwell Green Devils, going down 26-8.

The defeat puts the Bulldogs in 5th position and in danger of missing the finals for the first time since their return to the George Tooke Shield.

The Bulldogs haven’t had an easy schedule thus far, having to play the top four sides all at the opposition’s home ground in the first seven weeks, however, the sides’ supporters may start to worry soon if results aren’t turned around.

Coach Mark Ward believes the side showed massive improvement despite the defeat, and is optimistic they can turn their season around following the bye.

“We kept the first half fairly tight, we scored two tries a piece but they converted their tries along with a penalty goal which made it 14-8, the second half we slowed down a little bit and they sort of ended up blowing us out,” Ward said.

“We’ve got to get better at playing mistake-free footy, too often we will be having a good run of field position and possession and then a silly error will kill all the momentum that we work so hard to build.

“I thought our defensive focus was a lot better on the weekend and our attack at times was not too bad but when you make mistakes one after the other and give a quality side like Crookwell that much ball, it’s always going to be an uphill battle.”

The Bulldogs will hope to recapture some form after the bye, and on paper will have every chance to do so with the side drawing UC Stars (8th) and Burrangong Bears (9th) in their two games back from the break.

“It’s crucial we don’t take our opposition lightly, to be in a finals spot at the end of the season these are the games we need to be winning, regardless of the side’s position on the ladder we know they’ll play their hearts out and we need to do the same.

“I don’t think we’re looking too bad at this point in the season, this next half is going to be crucial, they’re a young side with plenty of learning to do especially in mental preparation, we can definitely improve especially if we string a few wins together and get our confidence up.”

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