Aker booed but Dogs barking at Gabba - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aker booed but Dogs barking at Gabba

By Laine Clark 09/06/2007 10:11:51 PM Comments (0)

Boos may have met his every move but Jason Akermanis still enjoyed a happy homecoming at the Gabba.

The controversial onballer soaked up the hype in his first game against his former club to help the Western Bulldogs claim a 13.17 (95) to 10.12 (72) AFL victory over the Brisbane Lions.

Once Brisbane's favourite son, Akermanis was public enemy No.1 in his much hyped return to his old stomping ground.

He may have been in the doghouse with the Lions faithful but the former Brownlow Medallist lapped up the hostile surroundings as the Western Bulldogs snapped a worrying two-game losing run.

The four-time All Australian would have been forgiven for being nervous after a massive build-up to the grudge match.

Despite trying to keep a low profile during the week, Akermanis couldn't help himself - he appeared on the local newspaper's front page standing on top of a skinned Lion.

For good measure, Akermanis provided a last minute niggle in his profile in the match program by listing his highlights as "birth, marriage, Charlotte (daughter), three premierships, getting traded to the Dogs".

But the three-time premiership player showed he was also here to play and made his intentions clear by kicking two goals in a minute in the opening term to help the Dogs put the bite on the shellshocked hosts.

So intense was the scrutiny on Akermanis that Channel Ten had a camera trained on him for the entire game, aptly named "Aker Cam".

But that did not stop several former teammates putting massive hits on the outspoken midfielder, including heavy shots by Jamie Charman in the first quarter and Joel Patfull in the second that made Akermanis wince.

However, Brisbane soon had other things to worry about - namely trying to derail a runaway Western Bulldogs.

Despite three goals each to Jared Brennan and Tim Notting, Brisbane (4-1-6) has now gone without a win for five games including last round's draw with lowly Richmond.

The Dogs (6-5) revived their finals hopes thanks to four goals to veteran forward Brad Johnson.

The win was even more impressive considering the Bulldogs suffered serious injuries to Ryan Griffen and Daniel Cross (both knee).

Despite "Aker week", Brisbane was also distracted by co-captain Simon Black being charged mid-week over a 2006 Melbourne pub brawl.

At first it didn't show with Brisbane kicking the first two goals in the opening four minutes of the match.

But they then had to wait until the ninth minute of the third before booting another major as the Dogs cut loose.

The Bulldogs led 7.12 (54) to 2.6 (18) at the first break, 6.8 (44) to 2.3 (15) at halftime and 13.15 (93) to 7.8 (50) at the final interval following a mini-Lions revival.

Although Brisbane kept the Dogs goal-less in the final term, when the dust finally settled Akermanis could be seen completing his trademark winning handstand - mostly to boos from the 29,873-strong crowd.

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