- from afl.com.au
WHATEVER the Bombers tried at half-time on Saturday didn't work.
They went into their clash with Hawthorn having not won a single third quarter this season and emerged even worse off despite talking about it publicly this week.
There were "subtle changes" to the way they went about their break, with ruckman Tom Bellchambers indicating there was an emphasis on "mindset" and trying to keep the players' focus on the game.
But it was more of the same in the third quarter as the Bombers again came out slower and allowed the Hawks to pile on six unanswered goals to turn a seven-point deficit into a 31-point lead by the final change.
Coach John Worsfold gave a deadpan response when asked if third terms were starting to become a psychological issue for his players.
"Some players will have nightmares. They'll hear sirens, wake up in sweats … thinking 'I think that's the third siren I've heard it must be three-quarter time', I don't know," he quipped.
"That's our challenge. The players should not be worrying about something like, this is the third quarter.
"They should be going out focused on what their role is for the team and how they're going to perform and help the team perform.
"That's our role as a group to make sure we get our focus right."
He said the issue would remain on the Bombers' radar, but conceded they had problems that went beyond their performance in one quarter alone.
"There's not much more we can do … but we can do stuff," he said.
"We tried a couple of subtly different things today, not majorly different, and I don't think that worked.
"Ultimately, we've got to play better footy generally because in our first half the boys were having a crack at it and trying their hearts out and it still wasn't great footy.
"Then the third quarter for whatever reason was really poor, which was where the game broke open.
"We've just got to keep working hard to play better football for four quarters and not just the third quarter."
Saturday's third term turnaround saw their scoring differential for that quarter alone plummet to -136 points.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said they hadn't discussed the Bombers' inability to stem momentum surges immediately after half-time.
However, they must have been buoyed nine minutes into the quarter when they'd kicked two goals to nothing.
Bellchambers said it was simpler than the Bombers needing to discover a secret half-time regime that would eradicate all their issues with stemming flows.
He put it back on the players to be more effective on the field when the opposition challenged.
"Teams are getting momentum against us at times," Bellchambers told AFL.com.au.
"That's something we need to address and when teams do get a run on, we need to fight back and stand up.
"It's something we have to look at and work on and get better at.
"It's about the momentum and trying to stem that; I don't think it's anything in the rooms at half-time or anything like that.
"It's more of a mindset thing to try and get the boys to stay on track … but it didn't work today."