Western Bulldogs smash Melbourne 127-63 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Western Bulldogs smash Melbourne 127-63

01/07/2011 11:46:51 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs produced their best performance of the season so far to beat Melbourne by 64 points in their AFL match at Etihad Stadium.

The Bulldogs' senior players were outstanding as they took control in the first half and kept going on Friday night to win a high-quality game 19.13 (127) to 8.15 (63).

Melbourne could lose eighth spot only a week after breaking into the top half of the ladder.

They have now lost their last 11 games at Etihad Stadium.

The win puts the Bulldogs only half a game behind Melbourne.

Bulldogs onballer Ryan Griffen was best on ground, while Adam Cooney showed a strong return to form and kicked a freakish soccer goal in the first term to help fire his team.

Key forward Barry Hall also showed improved form with three goals while Daniel Giansiracusa kicked four.

Callan Ward shrugged off several days of intense scrutiny about his football future with a strong game for the 'Dogs.

Ward is a prominent recruiting target for expansion team Greater Western Sydney, but coach Rodney Eade has described him as their equivalent of Geelong star Joel Selwood and is confident he will stay.

He capped off the night with a superb goal late in the last quarter from an acute angle.

Leading by four goals at halftime, the Bulldogs made a decisive start to the second half with two goals in as many minutes.

They extended their lead to 41 points midway through the third term and Melbourne looked gone, despite a soaring mark and goal from Ricky Petterd.

His brilliant leap will join the big grabs by West Coast's Nic Naitanui and Collingwood's Andrew Krakouer as the front runners for mark of the year.

While the Petterd grab will go down as a season highlight, fellow Demon Brent Moloney will come under video review on Monday for high contact with Griffen at a stoppage during the third quarter.

The debate will also continue over the controversial sling tackle after Jack Trengove won a holding the ball decision.

The vigorous tackle on Ward in the third term was very similar to Trengove's tackle earlier this season that left Adelaide's Patrick Dangerfield concussed and earned the young Melbourne star a three-week suspension.

The Demons kept challenging and reduced the lead to under 30 points late in the third quarter and again at the start of the last.

But Melbourne could not maintain the challenge and they did not kick another goal.

The Demons trailed by 25 points early in the second term after two dubious umpiring decisions gifted goals to Ward, but they hit back and reduced the margin to 10 points.

Bulldogs duo Liam Jones and Jarrad Grant then squandered the easiest of scoring chances with a botched handball, allowing Melbourne to clear from defence.

But Grant quickly redeemed himself, playing a part in two goals within the next two minutes as the Bulldogs regained control.

A minute's silence was observed before the first bounce for Melbourne defender Sean Wight, who died of cancer on Thursday aged just 47.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade readily agreed it was their best win of the season and said it was particularly pleasing that so many of their top players performed well.

"We can talk about systems and we have changed our style a bit and we are doing some different things and it's taken players a while to grasp," he said.

"But if you have got your good players in and your good players play well ... you can have the most crap system and you are still going to be able to play well as a team."

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey said the Bulldogs' two quick goals at the start of the last term were a crucial blow, particularly given the Demons were competitive for the rest of the quarter.

Bailey added his side had handballed too much and did not handle the pressure well enough.

"I reckon it's a step back tonight, absolutely, on our performance," he said.

"A Friday night game in front of the big audience and obviously the emotion of the week (reacting to Wight's death) - we didn't start particularly well, we had our opportunities and we didn't take them."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 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