Is it possible to get belted and not be that far off the mark?
That is what happened at Tatura Park at the weekend.
Kyabram kicked with the aid of a very strong breeze in the first quarter and bombarded the goals accordingly.
Its midfield was supreme and its forwards capitalised on the constant flow of footy into its attacking 50.
Tatura seemed unable to impact the contest and it looked as though it was in for a very long day.
The scoreboard said the Bulldogs did, in fact, succumb to a bigger and stronger opposition. However, a deeper look at the stats showed some important victories.
After a seven-goal blitz by Kyabram in the first quarter, Tatura matched its opposition in the midfield and contained its dangerous forwards to a further nine goals.
In fact, the Bulldogs actually won the second quarter, a feat only achieved on eight occasions in the previous 15 games.
Aided by a dominant performance in the ruck by veteran Paul Kirby, the Bulldogs midfielders began to win their fair share of the ball around the ground.
After a couple of positional changes by the brains trust, the Bulldogs’ backline began to defend more aggressively and, from then on, was able to contain the Bombers’ dangerous forwards to a respectable score.
Goulburn Valley representative and Bulldogs star Tom Miller was moved onto the dangerous Kyle Mueller and contained him to a solitary goal after quarter-time, while Jimmy Nihill was given the unenviable task of nullifying former Richmond star Kayne Pettifer, who booted a further nine goals.
The performance of Mitch Elliott in the midfield was outstanding as he gathered contested possessions at will and former Bomber Andrew Ciavarella was at the bottom of every pack.
James Wall and Chris Ryan won plenty of the ball and hard-running backman Che Walls again imposed himself on the contest.
Down by 70 points at three-quarter time, injured playing coach Jamason Daniels urged his troops to continue the pressure and reminded them that inaccuracy in front of goal was the only difference during that quarter.
While Kyabram had kicked five straight goals, the Bulldogs kicked five straight behinds, including three from directly in front of goal.
The final quarter saw the Bombers consolidate a strong win, however Tatura remained competitive.
The Bulldogs’ forward line currently consists of a young group and the addition of a big key forward would make the world of difference.
So the message to Bulldogs supporters is all is not lost, they are not far off the mark.
With some good recruiting, a climb up the ladder in 2018 is a distinct possibility.
Final scores: Kyabram 16. 13.109 d. Tatura 2. 9.21.
Best players: Mitch Elliott, Tom Miller, Jimmy Nihill, Andrew Ciavarella and Paul Kirby.
Final scores: Kyabram 11. 11.77 d. Tatura 1. 4.10.
Best players: Daniel Flynn, Corey Mallon, Simon Marshall, Daniel Maher, Luke Morris and Jake Chessells.
Final scores: Kyabram 16. 7.103 d. Tatura 2. 6.18.
Best players: David Comi, Jayden Armstrong, Ethan Moor, Mason Farley, Callum Minutoli and Cooper Eyles.