Bulldogs bag 32-point win over Richmond - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs bag 32-point win over Richmond

By Adam Cooper 20/04/2007 11:55:24 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs dangled Richmond a carrot but then swiftly snatched it away during their 32-point round four AFL victory at the MCG.

The Bulldogs looked in danger of being made to pay for their inability to finish off the Tigers in three quarters, as an unlikely Richmond comeback whittled the margin to 15 points early in the last quarter.

But five quick goals sealed the Bulldogs' third win of the season - 20.12 (132) to 14.16 (100) - and condemned Richmond to a fourth straight defeat.

It was a good night for the two Bulldogs stars struck down by knee injuries last year, as Luke Darcy booted four goals in the first half and Robert Murphy ran amok in the last quarter to finish with four majors.

The multi-skilled Adam Cooney began the night rebounding with aplomb from half-back before giving a clinic in the forward line in the final quarter to also finish with four majors.

Cooney, Ryan Griffen and Farren Ray had earlier been supreme from the defensive side of centre to steer the Bulldogs to a commanding 33-point lead at half-time.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade gave Richmond credit for gaining the momentum in the third quarter, but said he was always confident his side could answer the Tigers' rally.

"Full credit to our guys to be able to answer that and kick some good goals and find a bit in the legs and it was pleasing some good players, like Coons, lifted and Murph kicked a couple of good goals," he said.

"The win was really set up in that first half and our pressure really opened the game up and hopefully we can maintain that."

Eade said the Bulldogs would take confidence from answering Richmond's challenge.

He said Darcy and Murphy would also take a lot out of the match in their respective comebacks from serious injury.

"Darc is still a little bit away but he took some marks and he looked agile ... Murph is not far away (from his best), you just saw some signs he's got his twinkle toes back and his agility," he said.

Richmond fought fire with fire in the third quarter, and by lifting their intensity and aggression, fought back to make a contest of it by the last change.

Graham Polak's third goal, in the first minute of the last term, cut the margin to under three goals, but the Bulldogs were able to spare Eade a nervous finish by kicking eight goals in the last quarter.

For Richmond, midfielders Nathan Foley and Chris Hyde were impressive, Joel Bowden had the better of Brad Johnson, and Matthew Richardson clocked up a 700th career goal with his second of three majors.

Richmond coach Terry Wallace said there was no need to panic after four losses, but conceded his side was beaten by a better team.

"To the point of view on effort and work levels I didn't have any problems with our guys at all," he said.

"We were beaten on execution. The opposition were far better in those areas."

Wallace said the Bulldogs easily won the first half, and although the second was much closer in general play, he was ruing a wasteful 3.8 in the third quarter.

"I thought we butchered a lot of opportunities to make ourselves closer on the scoreboard," he said.

In a slight concern for the Bulldogs, Murphy was reported for making contact with his leg to the head of Andrew Raines, although it appeared accidental. West and Richmond debutant Jake King were also reported for wrestling.

Bulldogs midfielder Nathan Eagleton could be in strife for lunging with a foot at Richmond half-back Brett Deledio, who was caught on the lower leg.

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