Dogs demolish Tigers 167-52 in AFL clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs demolish Tigers 167-52 in AFL clash

By Sam Lienert 31/03/2006 10:25:54 PM Comments (0)

The slick, skillful Western Bulldogs sent a powerful message to the rest of the AFL with a record 115-point demolition of Richmond in an awesome AFL display at Telstra Dome.

The Bulldogs took control of the game from the start and never relented to win 25.17 (167) to 7.10 (52).

It was the club's biggest ever win over the Tigers, well clear of the previous best 78-point victory from 1989, and close to the Dogs' biggest win against any club, which was by 120 points against Melbourne in 1985.

After showing plenty of promise to win five of their last six matches in 2005 and fall narrowly short of a finals berth, the Dogs gave every indication they are ready to take a giant step forward in 2006.

They controlled every aspect of the game, with their pacy fleet of running players swamping the Tigers and making them look like a shell-shocked mess.

Midfielders Scott West and Daniel Cross won the ball out of the packs over and over, with Daniel Giansiracusa and Adam Cooney also causing plenty of havoc in the centre of the ground.

Up forward, captain Brad Johnson kicked five goals in a superb display and fellow small forward Nathan Eagleton found a heap of space to boot four goals.

They had plenty of helpers, with Robert Murphy also starring with two goals, with the Dogs having 12 goalkickers in all.

Most of the goals came easily, as the Bulldogs ran down the ground in waves, then pinpointed players in space in their forward line.

On numerous occasions, Bulldogs players marked unopposed within 15 metres of goal, or else used chains of handballs to set up a player to run into the goalsquare and blast it through from point-blank range.

When the Tigers did have the ball, the Bulldogs tackled fiercely and when Richmond turned it over, the Dogs sped the ball away from defence in numbers, generally resulting in a scoring shot at the other end.

Defenders Ryan Griffen and Jordan McMahon frequently dashed out of the backline, with Griffen's kicking, speed and evasive skills particularly impressive and he also ran forward to goal in the last quarter.

While the Bulldogs' first half was impressive, the second half was an absolute steamroll, as Richmond's opposition almost disappeared completely.

The Dogs kicked 8.1 in the first 20 minutes of the third quarter, before Richmond scored.

They were just as dominant in the final term, outscoring the Tigers by 86 points, 16.6 to 2.4, in the second half.

If there was a positive to take out of the match for Richmond, it was the performance of star forward Nathan Brown, in his return from the sickening broken leg he suffered in round 10 last season.

While not the dominant figure he was at his best in 2005, Brown still gathered 18 disposals and took five marks.

Former Bulldog Patrick Bowden also showed some good signs in his first game for the Tigers.

Compounding Richmond's disappointment is that it faces a horror early draw, with a match against St Kilda here next weekend, before interstate matches against West Coast and Brisbane in the following two rounds.

Richmond coach Terry Wallace said it was the worst loss he could remember in his coaching career and Tigers supporters were entitled to feel disgusted.

"For that to happen round one is obviously very disappointing," Wallace said.

"It's a situation where your supporters are waiting and hoping the season is going to unfold in the right way and it was devastating for everyone who was involved in it.

"(Supporters) have every right to be (disgusted).

"I don't think there's a person down in the Richmond changerooms that doesn't feel exactly the same way."

Wallace said it was clear that his players dropped off mentally in the second half.

He said the minimum requirement should have been that they continued to work hard and run with their opponents, which did not happen.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade described the performance as "one out of the box".

He said he was most pleased with the first half, when his side was able to put physical pressure on Richmond and win the contested ball.

"I think that set the platform and that set the basis," Eade said.

"I think our blokes were a little bit tired at halftime, but I think the opposition were a bit more, so I think our pressure in the first half sowed the seed for what was going to happen in the second half."

While surprised at the size of the win, Eade said the Bulldogs' players were very level-headed and would not get carried away with the victory.

"It's a marathon not a sprint, it's only one game, so four points this week is out of the way," he said.

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