TURVEY Park coach Michael Mazzocchi believes his team is ready to take on the challenge of a tough month to come after a fast start set up a 15.11 (101) to 10.7 (67) win over Griffith at Maher Oval on Saturday.
On a day where the club's 2002 premiership team reunited, the current Bulldogs secured their third straight win after building a six goal lead early in the third quarter.
To their credit the Swans rallied to get within 16 points midway through the final term, but some ill discipline and lack of focus cost them dearly as the Bulldogs booted clear.
Turvey Park has beaten Leeton-Whitton, Narrandera and the Swans the past three weeks, but the real test comes the next month with clashes against Coolamon, Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes.
The only downside for Turvey Park was a hamstring injury to Shaun Allan, who limped off in the third quarter.
He is expected to miss a month, meaning Josh Ashcroft will likely take over ruck duties.
Young forward Baxter Wallett continued his impressive start to the season with five goals, improving his tally to 20 in four games.
"We were challenged and we fought back. Now at 3-1 we can go into this little stretch now, test ourselves and see where we're at," Mazzocchi said.
"Shaun (Allan) going down turned the game. In the third quarter we got to a five or six goal break and it felt like we were about to run away and when he went down they won their share of centre clearances.
"Our forward line is fairly dangerous. (Recruits) Corey Baxter and Andrew Emery lead up well. We don't just rely on Baxter Wallett but he's doing a great job."
Mazzocchi made a point to commend his team for rallying behind young teammate Ethan Weideman after he was hit late in the back by Kahlan Spencer late in the game.
Weideman was unhurt and Spencer wasn't reported by umpires, but the incident which saw a number of Bulldogs players take issue with the Swans player resulted in a 50-metre penalty and a goal.
Those ill-disciplined acts, combined with allowing Turvey Park to score at least three goals from marking set shots on the goal-line, contributed to the Swans' demise.
"Last year we were a really young group and teams felt like they could come in and intimidate us," Mazzocchi said.
"We were getting that week in, week out, and for whatever reason we accepted it. Some of our guys are a week older, and we've got some bigger bodies in now who are really aggressive.
"I like to see a response like that so teams don't think they can come and intimidate us. Ethan is a new player to our club and it's great to see the care for our player.
"Ethan's alright and we won't take further action, but it's something you don't like seeing."
Griffith coach Greg Dreyer said the same lapses are costing them badly.
"We're constantly chasing. We had our chances, but again our consistency hurt," he said.
"I speak about the same things every week, it's passages of play where we link up and run quite well, but then we lose focus.
"We were four goals down at half time, got back into the game and some frustration and poor discipline hurt us.
"That was a winnable game That was really disappointing, the challenge is to not be happy with an honourable loss."
TURVEY PARK 5.5 8.5 11.8 15.11 (101) def GRIFFITH 3.1 4.4 7.5 10.7 (67)
Goals: Turvey Park - Baxter Wallett 5, James White 2, Andrew Emery 2, Luke Fellows 2, Ethan Weidemann, Luke Mazzocchi, Stephen Camp, Corey Baxter; Griffith - James Toscan 3, Todd Argus 2, Jack Rowston, Angus Brown, Nathan Richards, James Girdler, Jay Summers
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