Dahlhaus stars for AFL Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dahlhaus stars for AFL Bulldogs

Greg Buckle 18/06/2011 01:23:07 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs have unearthed a new cult hero after dreadlocked teenager Luke Dahlhaus cut holes through Adelaide's defences in the Bulldogs' 30-point win.

The second-game player had 18 possessions including six inside-50s and kicked a goal as the Bulldogs overcame a 22-point deficit at quarter-time to win 14.16 (100) to 10.10 (70) on Friday night at Eithad Stadium.

The Bulldogs ended a four-game AFL losing streak and improved their record to 4-8 and will start favourites against the Suns at the Gold Coast next Saturday.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade said Dahlhaus, 18, provided some spark to the forward-line.

"He laid (four) tackles and he had six inside-50s," Eade said of the 177cm, 72kg Leopold recruit.

"It's only his second game off the rookie list so it's a real credit to him.

"The fitness level, that's something he has to come to grips with. At this stage he's doing well, we're really pleased with him."

Key forward Barry Hall will return from an ankle injury next week and Eade is also hoping All-Australian defender Brian Lake can show enough in the VFL to earn a recall.

Eade was thrilled with the form of ex-Swan Ed Barlow, who had 17 possessions, took seven marks and kicked 1.3 in only his second game for the club and 28th overall.

Second-year player Liam Jones missed three shots at goal but also showed some promise, Eade said.

Midfielder Ryan Griffen and creative half-back Robert Murphy, in his 200th game, were two of the club's better players against Adelaide and Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney had 11 possessions in the second half as a substitute player after returning from a knee injury.

"A lot of our experienced players stood up. Ryan Griffen stood up," Eade said.

"'Murph' just adds that bit of class.

"We took a bit of a punt to have Lindsay Gilbee, 'Murph' and Shaun Higgins all playing back.

"We were worried about were we going to kick enough goals with the inexperience we had in theforward-line, but we thought we needed some set-up down back and Rob (Murphy) was one who was able to generate that."

Eade said Barlow, 24, offered a strong contest and could easily have finished with three goals.

Daniel Giansiracusa and ex-Lion Justin Sherman kicked seven goals between them.

"Just getting a win cements that belief. Morale's been good," Eade said.

"Our confidence has probably been chipped away at.

"From a team and a player point of view, I think it was probably double relief, just for them to get a bit more belief and confidence in themselves that we're on the right path and heading in the right direction and that they're doing okay."

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