Easton Wood: Dogs ‘grittier’ in defence

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Defender Easton Wood says although his teammates aren’t getting carried away with Friday night’s win, the team has gained some confidence from closing out the game — something they struggled to do in 2012

With an extra pre-season under their belts, the young Bulldogs team came back from deficits twice in the second half —  18 points and 14 points down respectively — to run out one point winners.

“It is great to get the win – I think each game we come into… there’s just things we want to work on [and]… we took steps to improve and execute in those areas,” Wood said.

“It was good to be involved in a few contests but there’s a lot of areas that we still need to clearly address and work on.

“[I’m] just glad… the boys stuck in there late and we were able to execute and work on the things we really wanted to.”

As senior coach Brendan McCartney looks to solidify the back six, the athletic defender was buoyed by the relatively inexperienced group’s progress even from NAB Cup round one.

“It was disappointing in our first NAB Cup games we leaked a few goals late in quarters and we made a focus… through training to really hold on towards the end of games and just get a bit grittier in defending late and holding on for the whole quarter,” he said.

“So it was nice to be able to execute in that – the more that we can cut the ball off up the ground, gives us the best chance to one set up and then to rebound off that.

“The less we can have the ball coming back, it’s fantastic.”

Wood looked to have found more confidence his football over summer, with his ability to exploit his speed and create a marking contest on show on Friday night.

Just eight games off his 50 game milestone, the 23-year-old will be looking to build on his form in the coming weeks before the Western Bulldogs season kicks off against Brisbane Lions on 30 March 2013.

CLICK: For full interview with Western Bulldogs defender Easton Wood