Bulldogs contenders or pretenders?

JINDERA’S finals aspirations are hanging by a thread after going down to Rand-Walbundrie by 30 points at Jindera on Saturday.

Trailing by four points at the final change, the Bulldogs proved no match for the spirited Tigers in the last quarter to eventually lose 13.10 (88) to 8.10 (58).

Widely touted as a flag contender after the arrival of Matt McDonald, Ben Dower, Isaac Pound and Nick Nott, the Bulldogs are looking more like pretenders by the week.

They have slumped to 10th on the ladder with a 2-4 record and face fierce rivals Culcairn in a season-defining clash after this week’s interleague bye.

In a worrying trend, the toothless Dogs failed to kick more than 10 goals for the fourth time this season and lack a reliable avenue to goal.

Brett Garland is the Bulldogs’ leading goalkicker with 13 goals but is set to play only a handful of matches for the remainder of the season after moving to Bateman’s Bay for work.

No other Bulldog has kicked double figures, with Pound the next best with seven goals.

Rand-Walbundrie coach Daniel Athanitis said it was important to rebound strongly after copping a reality check from Osborne the previous week.

“We needed to have a good win after the previous week’s performance,” Athanitis said.

“We expected a fierce contest because Jindera haven’t started the season as it hoped and their season was on the line.

“They threw everything at us and to respond the way we did when challenged was pleasing.”

Tom Simmons, alongside older brother Brendan, and Ben Maiden were the Tigers’ best.

Simmons was handed the tagging role on classy midfielder McDonald and was able to limit the impact of the Bulldogs matchwinner.