ADVERTISEMENT

13 Consecutive Goals Result In Blazing Victory For Dominant Dogs

ADVERTISEMENT

On paper, it was a game the Western Bulldogs just had to win before battling the top eight teams later in the season, and Luke Beveridge’s troops did what they had to do on Friday night.

The 42-point win is one of their most important given the context of their season, with the Bulldogs one of several teams in the mix for a lower final spot.

As they got the chocolates, things didn’t look certain for the opening half hour of the game.

Fresh off the bye, the young Hawks came out determined, kicked the first three goals and held onto that margin until quarter-time.

Sam Mitchell mentioned a squad that was more than a year younger than their opponents per player, but their intensity made up for the lack of experience with a lot of desperation and hard defensive play at the start.

Just hours before the game, Hawthorn announced the resignation of Mitch Lewis to a new four-year deal, and the 23-year-old was clearly excited as he started two of the game’s first three majors.

He finished with three goals and became the first player to do so in eight or more games in 2022 alongside Aaron Naughton

While hopes for the Bulldogs’ final wavered, Luke Beveridge’s quarter-time speech worked. After conceding another goal to start the second term, the Dogs racked up a stunning stretch of 13 consecutive goals to take the dominant win.

After a similar theme for the year, the Hawks’ defense just couldn’t get up under pressure. The Bulldogs achieved a remarkable 59.6 percent efficiency within their front 50, more than ten percent above their season average.

“This is just a training exercise at the moment, unfortunately. The Hawks fell right away,” Brownlow medalist Gerard Healy said AFL Nation during the Dogs’ third quarter dominance.

The Hawks’ defensive woes were personified by a comment from Healy late in the third quarter after Robbie McComb netted the Dogs’ 11th straight goal.

Sicily went to opponent Naughton and pulled the Bulldog’s headband off, sparking a big fight with the key coming out with a ripped jersey.

Healy was not impressed.

“That’s all he won tonight, that scrap,” he said of Sicily.

The 27-year-old did get better in the last term, although the damage was already done.

Naughton finished with three goals, but it was young Rhylee West who looked the most dangerous for the club forward.

Entering only his 18th game, West finished with three majors from six shots on target and an equal game-high 13 score in a performance that is sure to sideline him for the foreseeable future.

“This is probably his best football game of his life, this kid,” Healy said.

Despite the Bulldogs’ dominance, Hawthorn had their chances to hit the scoreboard but couldn’t get more than four points in the third quarter, leaving him goalless for nearly two quarters of the football.

However, as Mitchell’s side has often done this year, they didn’t die as they wondered if they could hit back with seven goals in the final quarter. The Dogs joined the goal fest to add seven of their own in the final term.

Meanwhile, after taking two major post-bye wins, the real test comes for the Dogs in the coming weeks. Over the next six weeks, games against Brisbane, St Kilda, Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong and Fremantle are scheduled.

Now that they are sixth on the AFL ladder, they could come out of the top eight again if Richmond and Collingwood both come out victorious over the weekend.

TOTAL SCORE

Western Bulldogs: 1.2, 6.6, 12.10, 19.11. (125)

hawthorn: 4.3, 5.7, 5.11, 12.11. (83)

GOALS

Western Bulldogs: Naughton 3, West 3, Dunkley 2, Johannisen 2, Schache 2, Bontempelli, O’Brien, McComb, Sweet, Ugle-Hagan, Liberatore, Dale

hawthorn: Lewis 4, Breust 3, Moore 2, Reeves, Butler, Newcombe

BEST

Western Bulldogs: Liberatore, Bontempelli, West, Macrae, Gardner

hawthorn: Scrimshaw, Lewis, Moore, Breust, Sicily

Injuries

Western Bulldogs: Richards (concussion)

hawthorn: N/A





ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT