Aker torments as Bulldogs thrash Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aker torments as Bulldogs thrash Eagles

By Adam Cooper 26/04/2008 09:51:53 PM Comments (0)

Jason Akermanis again infuriated West Coast as the Western Bulldogs rammed the Eagles' AFL season into freefall at Telstra Dome.

The Bulldogs maintained their unbeaten start to the season by winning 20.14 (134) to 11.8 (74) after they overcame several spiteful moments in the match.

Eagles defender Brent Staker was believed to be on report for striking Robert Murphy, while midfielder Daniel Kerr is likely to come under heavy scrutiny for an off-the-ball clash with the Bulldogs' Scott West.

That all came after several Eagles confronted Akermanis in a clear sign they were unhappy with the controversy the Brownlow medallist kickstarted last year, which resulted in West Coast's Michael Braun being embroiled in a drugs scandal.

Akermanis again turned tormentor by booting four goals, as he, Robert Murphy (four) Adam Cooney and Daniel Cross all proved too skilful and damaging for the Eagles.

The Bulldogs' free-wheeling, high-scoring performance - based on seven goals in the first quarter and eight in the third - provided an emphatic response to last week's draw with Richmond.

The Bulldogs' blistering attack also condemned West Coast to a fifth-straight defeat and their worst start to a season since 1989, when they also lost five of their six opening games.

But West Coast can expect more trouble in the aftermath of this game.

Staker - the man punched by Sydney's Barry Hall a fortnight ago - was booked in the first quarter for striking after Murphy confronted him in retaliation to the Kerr-West clash.

Murphy kicked a goal after being awarded a free kick.

It was unclear whether Kerr was reported, but his clash with West deep in the Bulldogs' forward line forced the veteran midfielder to the bench for attention.

The two incidents sparked a stoush in the Bulldogs' forward line.

Kerr, who was also closely tagged by Matthew Boyd, was also involved in a wrestle in the third quarter with Dylan Addison.

There was niggle in the match from the start, as Eagles Shannon Hurn, Beau Waters and Adam Selwood all confronted and bumped Akermanis before the opening bounce, presumably in response to the Bulldog's claims last year.

Akermanis wrote a newspaper column last year in which he admitted suspecting an opponent of using performance-enhancing drugs several years ago.

Akermanis never named the player he suspected, but the Seven Network later reported the player Akermanis was referring to was West Coast's Michael Braun.

Braun steadfastly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs and was later cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.

Braun recently won an out-of-court damages settlement from Seven and Fairfax Radio, and Akermanis apologised to his opponent in a column on the Bulldogs' website.

Akermanis and Braun shook hands at the end of the game.

While the controversy had no impact on Akermanis's game - he threaded two set shots from close to the boundary and snapped another clever goal - Braun had a quiet game, although he brought the Eagles within seven points when he goaled in the second quarter.

That was as close as West Coast got, as the Bulldogs booted 11 of the next 13 goals to snuff out the contest and probably West Coast's season, just 30 games after they beat Sydney in the 2006 grand final.

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