Impressive Dogs end Hawks unbeaten start - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Impressive Dogs end Hawks unbeaten start

31/05/2008 04:53:22 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs ended Hawthorn's unbeaten start to the AFL season on Saturday, beating them by 32 points at Launceston's Aurora Stadium.

Onballers Jason Akermanis and Adam Cooney were outstanding and Scott Welsh kicked four goals in a first-rate team performance as the Bulldogs won 15.16 (106) to 12.2 (74).

The third-placed 'Dogs lost their first game for the season last Sunday by only three points and have now firmly established their credibility as a top-four side.

Hawthorn should stay top, but they were well off their best on Saturday.

Apart from Lance Franklin's five goals, they struggled around the ground.

This was the Bulldogs' second regular-season game at Aurora Stadium - in 2003, they only managed three goals as St Kilda smashed them by 65 points.

The Bulldogs had the advantage early, kicking three of the first four goals for a 13-point lead, which was reduced to a one-goal break at quarter-time.

Two shocking turnovers from the 'Dogs at the start of the second term gifted goals to Franklin, putting the Hawks four points in front.

But the Bulldogs quickly rallied with three goals through the middle of the quarter.

'Dogs forward Robert Murphy was reported during the second term for a bump on Xavier Ellis that left the Hawks defender very groggy as he was assisted from the field.

Later in the term, Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson lurched away from a pack and then collapsed onto the ground with a cut above his eye.

But Ellis and Johnson were able to return to the field during the second half.

The Bulldogs kicked the last two goals of the half to lead by 24 points at the main break and the pressure was on Hawthorn.

The Hawks responded with the opening two goals of the third quarter and suddenly looked a better side as they reduced the margin to 14 points.

Again, turnovers were killing the Bulldogs as the game reached a critical stage.

But Akermanis was prominent with his disposal and fierce tackling as the 'Dogs first blunted Hawthorn's challenge and then kicked two goals in as many minutes.

They extended their lead to 27 points at the last change and controlled most of the final term.

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