Bulldogs answer the finals doubters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs answer the finals doubters

By Sam Lienert 10/09/2006 07:47:50 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade says his side's AFL elimination final blitzing of Collingwood was the perfect answer to those who doubted whether his team's fast-paced game style would stand up to finals intensity.

The Bulldogs, who trailed by 21 points during the first quarter, ran the Magpies ragged, piling on 10 straight goals during the middle stages to open up a 56-point lead, before easing to an 18.13 (121) to 11.14 (80) win.

Midfielders Scott West, Matthew Boyd and Daniel Cross dominated the packs, while the run of Farren Ray, Ryan Griffen and Adam Cooney helped destroy Collingwood.

With the Magpies having launched a ferocious physical attack in the opening minutes to try to knock the finals-inexperienced and lightweight Dogs off their game, Eade said he was delighted with the response.

"To be able to answer all that and show the character that the guys did and not get intimidated by it and then be able to win going away was very pleasing," Eade said.

"I think for where the club is at and where it's come from and with so many players that hadn't experienced finals, (it was pleasing) to be able to A - experience that, but B - to play so well, play tough hard aggressive footy.

"People questioned whether our style would stand up in finals, whether our small defence would stand up in finals, whether we'd kick enough goals if (Brad Johnson) kicks one and (Chris Grant) doesn't play down there.

"All those questions were answered."

Grant did a superb job to lead a tight Bulldogs defence, keeping Collingwood spearhead Anthony Rocca to one goal.

While Johnson, the Dogs leading goalkicker this season, managed only one goal against Simon Prestigiacomo, it did not matter much, with his side having nine goalkickers, led by veteran Brett Montgomery with four.

Montgomery, the only Bulldogs' player to have played in a premiership (with Port Adelaide in 2004) showed great courage to put on an influential attacking performance after being knocked out by Brodie Holland in an off-the-ball bump in the opening seconds.

He kicked the game's opening goal, then added the final two of the first half to give the Bulldogs a 10-point lead at the main break, before they pulled away in the second half.

The Dogs, having made a fairytale start to their first finals series since 2000, will next play West Coast in a semi final on Saturday night at Subiaco, a ground where they defeated the Eagles in round 15.

"They finished on top of the ladder, so technically they've been the best team in the competition, they're playing on their home ground, it's a big task, it's a huge task," Eade said of the Dogs' chances.

"But by the same token I think we can play without any expectation, play without any fear and we'll just see what happens."

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse said it was disappointing the Bulldogs had been able to beat the Magpies in the packs, an area his side prided itself on.

"We played to our strengths, we're a hard-ball get side, (but) at the end of the day they may have even beaten us in that, that's even more disappointing if that was the case," Malthouse said.

He praised the Bulldogs' midfielders, particularly West.

"You're talking about one of the all-time great Bulldogs players in Scott West, he's maybe one of the unluckiest players (not to have won a Brownlow Medal)," Malthouse said.

"I don't know what's going to happen this year, but he would have had probably more Brownlow votes than most at (the Bulldogs), one would suggest."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news