Home » Bulldogs coach Beveridge says Ryley Sanders on ‘steep learning curve’ after angry reaction to being sub in Bombers loss

Bulldogs coach Beveridge says Ryley Sanders on ‘steep learning curve’ after angry reaction to being sub in Bombers loss

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has said he would take a patient approach with young talent Ryley Sanders, after his angry response to being subbed out in the team’s loss to Essendon.

As the Bulldogs’ record fell to 2-3 after their disappointing 29-point defeat, Beveridge was left answering questions about his players, selection, and the team’s general approach.  

Sanders was taken by the Bulldogs at pick six in last year’s draft, and the talented midfielder had made a strong start to his AFL career, averaging 20 disposals — seven contested – three clearances and nearly five tackles a game before last night.

Sanders had a quieter game, managing eight disposals and five tackles, before being subbed out in the third quarter for Bailey Dale. This was his second time to be substituted, after being replaced by Caleb Daniel in round one against Melbourne.

ABC Sport boundary rider Tim Hodges spoke on the game radio broadcast about Sanders’ reaction to being subbed.

“The story is going to be Ryley Sanders, the TV cameras caught his reaction when he was told he was subbed out of the game,” Hodges said.

“He threw his water bottle, he threw the towel, he absolutely threw the toys out of the cot. He was seething to be subbed out again — so much hype about Ryley Sanders but he is out of the game.”

Commentator and three-time AFL premiership coach Mick Malthouse said if he was coaching Sanders his response would be to “kick his backside so hard his toes would curl up”.

“He wouldn’t play next week [if I was coach], I’ll give you the tip,” Malthouse said.

“No, no way. He’s got to learn.”

He later added, “He [Sanders] could be [pick] number 106 or he could be last year’s Brownlow medallist, you have got to be part of a team and cop what you cop from the coach, no matter how disappointed you are, walk off and pat your teammates on the back … not be part of a problem on the bench.”

After the game, Bulldogs coach Beveridge said Sanders was on a “steep learning curve”.

“We’ll process it with him post-game but it’s always difficult,” Beveridge said.

“Not many of us really enjoy the sub factor, especially the subbing out aspect, but it’s a steep learning curve for Sando.

“He’s going to be such an important player for the football club and he’s learning all the time.

“Part of that is understanding that from time to time he may be that guy who comes off the ground, so we’ll work through it with him.”

Tom Liberatore played out the match after stumbling at Docklands, but he still appeared to be struggling physically at the end of the game.(Getty Images: AFL Photos/Michael Willson)

Beveridge also tried to allay concerns over Tom Liberatore, who appeared to collapse late in the game.

Liberatore was seen on camera stumbling and then falling over on the field at Docklands, before getting back to his feet. 

Essendon player Darcy Parish appeared to look concerned for Liberatore’s wellbeing.

The Bulldog got back to his feet and finished the game.

Speaking to ABC Sport after the match, Liberatore said he has a full recollection of the incident and it was caused by an ankle issue.

“Everything is good, I sorta came up and lost balance of my ankle,’ he said.

“I tweaked my ankle just at the start of the last quarter.

“So you know, I relayed when I got up I fell back down. I’m all fine, no symptoms and full recollection.”

Beveridge also said his midfielder was fine during his post-match press conference.

“He’s fine. I think for some reason he lost his footing and stumbled,” he said.

“He’s been looked after and there’s no concussion.”

Essendon bounced back from a horror show the week prior against Port Adelaide to secure a much-needed win over the Bulldogs.

Jake Stringer of the Bombers celebrates kicking a goal

Jake Stringer of the Bombers celebrates kicking a goal agaisnt his former club in victory against the Western Bulldogs.(Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

The Bombers had lost nine of their previous 10 against the Dogs, but pulled away in an emphatic final quarter.

Essendon led at every change, but the lead was always less than three goals.

The Bulldogs looked on top midway through the second quarter, before Essendon rattled off 10 of the next 11 goals.

Zach Merrett was excellent with 27 disposals, alongside Jye Caldwell with 23.

Kyle Langford kicked three goals for the Bombers, while Jake Stringer, Harrison Jones and Xavier Duursma all kicked two each.

Catch up with all of the action from Friday night’s match with our blog.


Key events


That is all for the blog tonight

A great win for the Bombers.

A win they will hope this propels them to really good things in 2024.

The Bulldogs were not at their best tonight. They will want forget this quickly.

We will be back tomorrow with a massive day of footy.

I hope you join me then.


Luke Beveridge says Tom Liberatore is OK

A moment captured on the broadcast late in the fourth quarter was Bulldogs’ star Tom Liberatore appearing to collapse on the field.

He got to his feet and finished the match.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says Liberatore is fine.

“He’s fine. I think for some reason he lost his footing and stumbled,’ he said.

“He’s been looked after and there’s no concussion.”

What happened to the Bulldogs?

Huge crowd! Can’t believe the score. Where are the Doggies?

– Old mate

The Western Bulldogs will be disappointed with that game, especially after nearly knocking off Geelong last week.

They could not handle the Bombers’ pressure tonight.

They also did not convert enough of their opportunities at goal.

Plenty to work on over the next week.

A win worth savouring if you are an Essendon fan

Bombers away! Thanks Mick

– Mike

Are the Bulldogs making the right call with their substitutions?

Essendon won the stoppages tonight

A lot was made of Essendon’s poor stoppages against Port Adelaide in Gather Round.

They fixed it tonight.

The won hit-outs 35-23 and clearances 35-27.

A great turnaround.

‘We copped it all week’: Langford thrilled with Bombers performance

Kyle Langford has spoken after the match, where he kicked three goals.

“We copped it all week about our performance and we really wanted to bounce back, for each other, for our supporters,” he told the Seven Network

“It was a great effort by the guys — a great win.”

FT: Essendon 15.6 (96) defeat Western Bulldogs 9.13 (67)

A magnificent win for the Essendon Football Club.

Coming off the disappointment of last week, they needed a big performance and they delivered.

A 29-point win in the end.

Two in a row for the Bulldogs. Margin back to 30 points

The Western Bulldogs had enough scoring opportunities tonight, but their efficiency was not good enough.

Aaron Naughton does take an opportunity for the Dogs, getting his second goal.

Sam Darcy gets a goal for the Dogs

Too little, too late, but it is a nice goal for Darcy.

Knocks the ball down inside the goalsquare, but gets his boot to the ball as Bombers defenders swam to him.

50,144 pack into Docklands

They have just posted the crowd — 50,144.

It’s been more than a decade (I believe) since 50,000 packed into Docklands for a home-and-away fixture.

More goals for Essendon as they run away with the match

Essendon have answered a lot of questions tonight.

They have kicked 10 of the last 11 goals in this match.

Seven of their goals have been from stoppages, including the most recent one to Jake Stringer, who marks inside 50 and slots it down the middle.

The lead at the end of the third quarter was 14 points, it is now 43.

Durham, GOAL. Are the Bombers home?

Sam Durham kicks his first goal for the night.

Essendon has kicked four straight goals.

Their pressure across the park has been outstanding.

Goal Essendon. They lead by 25

Great pressure from the Bombers.

They were composed inside their defensive 50, and they send it back the other way.

Jade Gresham collects it 40 metres out, snaps, and goals.

A big roar from the Essendon fans at Docklands.

Harrison Jones kicks his second, Essendon lead by 19

Jake Kelly (left) and Harrison Jones of the Bombers celebrate during the 2024 AFL Round 05 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Essendon Bombers at Marvel Stadium on April 12, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia

Well done Harrison Jones. He spots a ball going inside 50 is coming up short. 

He dives and takes the mark.

He goes back and slots his second goal for the match.

The game is there for Essendon to win right now.

3QT: Bombers lead by 14 ahead of a massive final term

This game can go either way.

14 points will not feel safe for Essendon.

No team has been able to pull away from the other.

This should be an exciting finish.

Kyle Langford kicks his third goal for Essendon

They were lining up the Bombers.

Their pressure in the forward half has been excellent.

The ball goes to the goalsquare and Stringer is infringed.

The advantage is paid to Langford, who is standing in the goalsquare next to Stringer.

He thinks about giving it to his mate as a reward, but he puts in a certain goal to extend the lead to 15 points.

Bulldogs make their substitution

Bailey Dale is in and Ryley Sanders is out.

Teams trading behinds as the game hangs in the balance

The previous five scores have been behinds.

Both teams have missed good chances for goal.

Enjoy this ALMOST mark:

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