WODONGA coach Ben Hollands says Saturday’s heartbreaking after the siren loss to North Albury was close to the toughest defeat he has experienced.
The Hoppers sunk the winless Bulldogs by three points with a goal after the siren from first-gamer Gibson Turner.
The 2003 grand final aside, Hollands said Saturday’s loss was as painful as he’d seen.
“Just considering the position the club is in right now, to have it snatched away like that is pretty heartbreaking,” Hollands said.
“A lot of the boys were pretty emotional about it afterwards.
“I didn’t think we did a lot wrong.
“The game just went two seconds too long, unfortunately.
“Besides losing a granny, that’s as tough as it’s been.”
However, Hollands said the loss would make the club stronger.
“We’ve learnt some resilience and hopefully will be better prepared for what gets thrown at us in future,” he said.
“It’s just one of those things.
“Footy can be pretty cruel, as we all know.
“All credit to the bloke from North playing his first game.
“It takes a bit of character to stand up with that effort.”
Hollands, who will stand down at the end of the season after four years at the helm, said the Bulldogs would enter next round’s Wodonga derby against the Raiders after the bye full of confidence, despite Saturday’s cruel defeat.
The Raiders haven’t won since they beat the Bulldogs on Anzac Day.
“I expect us to be pretty determined,” Hollands said.
“I imagine we’ll still be a hurting a bit from the weekend.
“If we can dish up what we did on Saturday, I’m confident.
“That’s the way we need to play.”
In an untimely blow, the Bulldogs will be without big man Matt Seiter against their crosstown rival.
He has a wedding overseas.
Seiter, who missed the first half of the season because of knee troubles, has performed strongly for the Bulldogs in his two games since returning