GISBORNE coach Rod Sharp hopes his team will learn from Monday’s shock one-point loss to Kangaroo Flat.
The Bulldogs blew a four-goal final term lead to lose after the final siren via a point from Kangaroo Flat forward Cam Rinaldi.
“It was disappointing and frustrating on a number of different levels,’’ Sharp said.
“Sometimes in defeat you learn more than you do from a win.
“Credit to Kangaroo Flat they kept coming and got up at the right time of the day.
“It’s frustrating for us, but that’s the way it goes.”
After starting the season with five-straight wins, the Bulldogs have lost their past three games and have arch-rival Golden Square just one game behind them in fourth-place.
“When you lose you can gain a better understanding of stuff that’s not working,’’ Sharp said.
“Our group needs to understand what’s required on the field when certain stages occur.
“We lost to Sandhurst because they were a better side and we lost to Strathfieldsaye but we matched it with them for three quarters. From those games we learned some things.
“The most disappointing thing about the loss to Kangaroo Flat was that we went backwards.
“If we had have won that game we would have basically been three games clear inside the top five.
“Now we’re back in the pack a bit.”
The Bulldogs have this weekend off before travelling to Castlemaine to play the Magpies.
After being beaten in the clearances against Kangaroo Flat, the return of skipper Casey Summerfield will help the Bulldogs’ midfield against Castlemaine.
Michelsen Medal winner Matt Fitzgerald continues to train strongly and is some chance to play his first game of the season against Castlemaine.
Key defender Anthony Belcher is more likely to return the week after against Maryborough.
Veteran on-baller Ollie Messaoudi continues to battle a back injury and is no certainty to return to action this season.