Bulldogs tear Power apart in Darwin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs tear Power apart in Darwin

By Roger Vaughan and Tara Ravens 13/06/2009 10:50:10 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs dismantled Port Adelaide by 93 points at Darwin's TIO Stadium on Saturday night to consolidate third spot on the AFL ladder.

The Bulldogs overwhelmed the Power in the second half to win 21.11 (137) to 7.2 (44) in hot and humid conditions.

They have now won five of their past six matches and only lost to Geelong by two points, to show they are the main challengers to the unbeaten Cats and St Kilda.

The Bulldogs incredibly had 131 more possessions than Port Adelaide, who simply did not work hard enough.

Bulldogs defender Ryan Hargrave and midfielders Adam Cooney and Daniel Cross were best, while ruckman Will Minson had a career-high 23 possessions and was among three players who kicked three goals.

It was easily the Bulldogs' biggest winning margin this season.

Coach Rodney Eade had described this as a classic eight-point game ahead of the mid-year break, pointing out a loss would have put them back in the mid-ladder logjam.

The win meant they went two games clear of Port, who before this match were among six teams sharing fourth place.

While the Bulldogs dominated, the dismal night continued Port's alarming inconsistency so far this season.

While they have six wins, Port's average losing margin this season is well over 40 points.

The Bulldogs set up the easy win with some superb work from their defence.

Apart from Hargrave's great game, Liam Picken shut out Danyle Pearce and Jarrod Harbrow and Dale Morris were also solid.

The Bulldogs led from the start and kicked 13 goals to three in the second half.

Mitch Hahn and Matthew Boyd kicked booming goals on the run from outside 50m in the third quarter.

But the best goal of the night came from Port Adelaide's David Rodan, at 21 minutes into the second term.

A perfect tap from ruckman Dean Brogan in the middle of the ground set up Rodan, who broke clear and brilliantly sidestepped an opponent before goalling on the run.

That reduced the margin to only 22 points and came in a rare period during the match where Port were restricting the Bulldogs.

Minson goalled just before halftime to take the margin again out to 28 points.

The Bulldogs welcomed back forwards Robert Murphy and Scott Welsh and they came through the game with no apparent trouble.

Murphy surprisingly played in defence on his return from a hamstring injury.

In a forgettable game for the Power, Rodan worked hard, Kane Cornes had 34 disposals and defender Toby Thurstans was also prominent.

Eade said the match set a new benchmark for the Dogs.

"We thought we had been building since the Adelaide game and it's probably our best performance so far," he said.

"The strength of the team is the even spread ... we had an even contribution and that's probably what we're about is selflessness, and players playing their role, which I think has been a real positive."

Despite the crushing loss, Power coach Mark Williams denied his players lacked spirit.

"Our ball use was terrible and they really did expose use," he said.

"I thought their skills were outstanding and we made really fundamental errors which cost us.

"There wasn't much spirit tonight but our players do have spirit, it just didn't shine out tonight."

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