EYEING EXIT: Travis Cloke has declared he wants to leave the Magpies.
EYEING EXIT: Travis Cloke has declared he wants to leave the Magpies. JULIAN SMITH

Cloke and Doggies the answer?

CAN two wrongs make a right? The Bulldogs certainly hope so if they take a punt on an aging Travis Cloke.

Now rank outsiders to win this year's premiership, having limped into the finals, the Bulldogs are turning some of their attention to 2017.

And, in particular, doing what they can to bolster a misfiring forward line.

For all their ball-winning ability - they rank first for disposals - they are by far the least potent among the top eight teams when it comes to kicking goals.

In fact, since round nine they sit 15th for scoring, averaging 79 points, having topped the 100 mark just twice.

They are second when it comes to inside-50m differential for the entire season, behind Geelong, averaging nine more than their opponents a game, but struggle to convert their abundance of chances.

In the past five rounds, they have been the worst at finding the middle of the big sticks from forward-50m thrusts - 63 goals from 306 entries.

All these stats add up to a woefully inadequate attack.

Both Jake Stringer (57) and Tory Dickson (50) topped 50 goals when the Bulldogs burst back on to the finals scene in 2015, while Stewart Crameri (32) was also solid.

Getting the calculator out again, those figures add up to 139.

That trio has returned only 67 this year - Stringer 37, Dickson 30 and Crameri none, though the latter has, of course, been banned as a one-time Bomber involved in the supplements saga.

Talked up as a Gary Ablett snr clone at the start of the season, Stringer has spent the last two rounds in the VFL after kicking 4.5 in the preceding four.

Jack Redpath (20 goals in 10 games), meanwhile, was dumped weeks earlier, in favour of million-dollar man Tom Boyd, who has slotted 10 goals in 11 games.

While they missed out on Essendon pair Jake Carlisle (who went to St Kilda) and Michael Hurley (who stayed put) in a bid to shore up their defence, the Bulldogs will likely go the other way and make a play for Cloke.

The 29-year-old, once the league's dominant power forward, has declared he wants to leave Collingwood.

But will he be the answer for the Dogs after being dropped three times by the Magpies in his 12th season on his way to kicking just 17 goals in 13 games?

An attack of Cloke, Stringer, Crameri and Dickson certainly looks dangerous on paper, though former champion forward Dermott Brereton had a word of warning for the 246-gamer.

"If (Cloke) goes to the Doggies, make no mistake, if he doesn't fit in for one week, (senior coach Luke) Beveridge will drop him,” he said.

"He's dropped Jake Stringer, he's going to drop Travis Cloke as well if he doesn't think he fits into the right circumstances so he might be jumping into something similar if he goes to the Doggies.”

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