Bulldogs beat Kangaroos by 11 in NAB Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs beat Kangaroos by 11 in NAB Cup

By Roger Vaughan and Tara Raven 16/02/2008 12:07:28 AM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs held off a late Kangaroos rally to win their round-one AFL NAB Cup match by 11 points at TIO Stadium.

A super goal from Bulldogs defender Lindsay Gilbee with less than three minutes left sealed the game for his team, 1.6.9 (54) to 1.4.10 (43).

The Bulldogs will play the winner of Saturday night's Brisbane-Essendon match on the Gold Coast next weekend at Telstra Dome.

The win capped an eventful week for the `Dogs, as former player Tony Liberatore yesterday strongly criticising their chief executive Campbell Rose.

The game was played in extremely humid, slippery conditions, with the teams given two extra interchange players and extended breaks between quarters.

Bulldogs utility Farren Ray (ankle) finished the match on crutches, while key Kangaroos midfielder Daniel Wells went off at nine minutes into the second term with a thigh injury and did not return.

With less than three minutes left, the Bulldogs led by only five points when Brad Johnson had a set shot.

He quickly handballed to Gilbee, who kicked straight from outside 50 for the nine-pointer to give his side a match-winning break.

Two goals either side of three-quarter time meant the Bulldogs led by 20 points early in the last term and the match looked over.

But a nine-pointer to Drew Petrie and a goal to Matt Campbell meant the Kangaroos suddenly were in with a big chance.

The Kangaroos are likely to come under AFL scrutiny for a late return to the field at the start of the last term.

Coach Dean Laidley kept his team in the boundary-side cool room for as long as possible at three-quarter time as he gave the player final instructions.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were already in position on the field.

The two teams fielded strong lineups, with Shaun Higgins (back) a late withdrawal from the Bulldogs lineup.

Leading by four points at halftime, the Bulldogs had plenty of scoring chances in the third term as the tempo of the game lifted.

They had kicked five behinds to the Kangaroos' two in the term before Adelaide recruit Scott Welsh kicked his first goal for the club on the three-quarter time siren.

Kangaroos forward Leigh Harding will probably come under video scrutiny for his contact with Jason Akermanis on the boundary during the third term.

The impact sent Akermanis sprawling, but he played out the game.

Bulldogs half-forward Robert Murphy made an early contribution to the 2008 bloopers reel with his embarrassing gaffe in the second term.

A pinpoint pass from Akermanis found Murphy in the goal square and he took the mark.

Murphy played on and attempted to dribble the ball through for a goal, but it slid off the side of his boot for no score.

Bulldogs onballer Adam Cooney was the leading possession winner for the match with 26, while Petrie also kicked a six-point goal and team-mate Leigh Adams also kicked two.

Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley later clarified that Wells had an injured groin and not a corked thigh as first reported.

"Only minor but probably a week or two which will probably upset his preparation," he said.

"We were probably a little slow to start ... it was a pretty tough game, you train all pre-season to work on things and you come up against those types of conditions early."

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade said the result was pleasing on a few fronts.

"One, we won, which is great and I think things that ... we have been talking about internally over the summer, I think there was a lot of positive signs there," he said.

"The way we tackled, the way we chased, the way we were prepared to throw our bodies in."

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