Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says he would rather his club play both of their Ballarat games in the first half of the season and in an earlier timeslot, after the Dogs lost by 44 points in a wet, windy, cold and sometimes dimly-lit encounter at Mars Stadium yesterday.
Temperatures dropped to about four degrees for the 3.20pm bounce, while in the third quarter and fourth quarter it was difficult for fans to see play on the far side of the ground due to inadequate lighting.
The Bulldogs usually play earlier in Ballarat, but the AFL had extra lighting brought in for this clash.
Beveridge said the ground held up well given the amount of rain that fell before and during the match. Combined with the strong wind, the rain and cold conditions turned the game into a scrap with a modest but committed crowd of 6450 attending.
‘‘We probably prefer to play our two Ballarat games in the first half of the year I’d say. That’d be a good thing. But ultimately Victoria’s weather is pretty fickle,’’ Beveridge said. ‘‘I’d probably prefer a day game,’’ he replied when asked about the possibility of night games at Mars Stadium. ‘‘Maybe the 1pm timeslot. I think that’d be the best.’’
The 2016 premiership coach was measured when talking about the lighting problem. ‘‘It’s just probably the timing of the game, the lighting didn’t seem to be too bad, obviously they were makeshift ... no real complaints. Obviously it got pretty dark in the end,’’ he said.
His Port Adelaide counterpart Ken Hinkley said it was tough to see the play from his vantage point.
‘‘I couldn’t see the game in the last quarter,’’ Hinkley said. ‘‘When I was in the box it was pretty dark and I was watching it on the monitor the best I could.
‘‘The players were fine, it was more from where we were sitting.’’
Beveridge said injured duo Tory Dickson and Lin Jong might be available to play against St Kilda, but Tom Boyd wouldn’t be back as ‘‘he’s struggling a bit’’ with a lower back injury.
Kieran Collins and Roarke Smith will be assessed. Both were in a car accident on Friday.
‘‘[They were] pretty shaken up. They spent the week at home with their families,’’ Beveridge said.
The Dogs coach said his team’s inexperience was telling in the result against a physically demanding and classy Port Adelaide side, but declined to use that as an excuse.
- The Age