The credit Josh Bruce earned with Western Bulldogs fans for his 10-goal haul against the bottom-placed Kangaroos is running out fast.
The key forward was targeted by fans, the media and AFL legend Wayne Carey for a series of poor moments as the Dogs’ unbeaten start to the season ended at the hands of Richmond on Friday night.
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Bruce took five marks and kicked 1.2 but, like many of his teammates, failed to fire after halftime as the Tigers turned a 19-point halftime deficit into a 22-point win.
Dylan Grimes objects to Josh Bruce’s grub act. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The 28-year-old spearhead’s night took a turn for the worse when he lashed out in frustration and rubbed Dylan Grimes’ head in the dirt in the third quarter.
It was the type of grub act that saw Tom Lynch earn the ire of the footy world last season and prompted a strong objection from the Richmond defender.
The Bulldogs forward upset the Richmond defender with this low act….
The Bulldogs forward upset the Richmond defender with this low act.
From that point Bruce fell apart.
He missed a crucial opportunity to bring the Dogs within one point entering the final change when he mis-hit an attempted soccer kick from the goalsquare under pressure from Jayden Short.
Josh Bruce blew a huge chance to keep the Dogs close entering the fourth quarter….
Josh Bruce blew a huge chance to keep the Dogs close entering the fourth quarter.
But worse was to come.
Early in the final quarter he managed to find some rare space inside 50m but was more worried about Richmond opponent David Astbury than marking the ball and wasted a golden opportunity.
He completely ran under the ball and earned a rebuke from AFL legend Wayne Carey for committing one of footy’s cardinal sins.
Josh Bruce runs completely under the footy.Source:FOX SPORTS
“Have a look here,” Carey said. “Josh Bruce just worried about the body rather than the flight of the ball — and ran completely under it.”
Footy journo Tim Gossage believed Bruce was still looking over his shoulder after what he did to Grimes.
“Ever since Josh Bruce rubbed Dylan Grimes face in the dirt, he’s been worried about retribution,” Gossage tweeted. “Fresh aired one, dropped another and outmarked the next one. Grimes is in his head.”
Josh Bruce rubs Dylan Grimes’ head into the ground.Source:FOX SPORTS
Bruce wasn’t alone in failing to fire up front as calls for the Dogs to debut No. 1 pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan grow louder.
Josh Schache, a number two pick, was one of four inclusions but only had seven touches and a late goal.
“He’s been out for a while and it’s difficult to come in and take an absolute stranglehold of the whole thing,” Dogs coach Luke Beveridge said of the former Lion.
“He didn’t probably have the impact that he’s capable of, and that’s difficult for him, because he hasn’t played a lot of AFL in recent times.
“We’ll talk to him about that, lift his spirits, and see what happens next week.”
Dylan Grimes omarks in front of Josh Bruce. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Toby Nankervis of the Tigers marks in front of Josh Bruce. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
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