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Match report: Dogs hold off spirited Pies

with Peter Ryan  March 24, 2017 10:40 PM

Match Highlights: Bulldogs v Magpies (Rd1) Watch highlights from the Western Bulldogs season opening 14-point win over Collingwood on Friday night at the MCG.
AFL 2017 Round 01 - Collingwood v Western Bulldogs

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Jason Johannisen of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL round 01 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 24, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

The Western Bulldogs survived a couple of inspired Collingwood comebacks before securing a 14-point win at the MCG on Friday night.

The Bulldogs burst out of the blocks to lead by 26 points soon after quarter-time, but the Magpies pulled back to within a goal at the long break and hit the front early in the third.n the end the Bulldogs' versatility and star power

But in the end, the Bulldogs' versatility and star power was too much for the Magpies who relied heavily on the brilliance of skipper Scott Pendlebury and lionhearted efforts from Steele Sidebottom and Adam Treloar.

Bulldogs star Tom Liberatore was crucial in evening up the battle inside the contest, laying 14 tackles, and Marcus Bontempelli's class was telling with two goals exactly when the Bulldogs needed them most.

The Bulldogs eventually ran out winners 15.10 (100) to Collingwood's 12.14 (86).

After the Bulldogs opening four-goal burst the Pies worked their way back into the game through Alex Fasolo who kicked three goals late in the second quarter.

Collingwood then hit the front through a brilliant Treloar goal early in the second half and looked to have the momentum.

However, the Bulldogs, led by the silky Robert Murphy, lifted to kicked five unanswered goals to extinguish the challenge.

Murphy worked in tandem with Jason Johannisen switching back and forth from defence to attack to confuse the Magpies.

Johannisen kicked two goals and Lachie Hunter was also elusive with three goals and 15 uncontested possessions.

It was the Bulldogs’ sharpness in space that proved the difference.

They moved the ball from end to end repeatedly to kick goals over the back as Collingwood tried to exert forward pressure.

Collingwood kept coming, but the four-goal margin at three-quarter time was too much for the Magpies to overhaul.

COLLINGWOOD            1.5   7.9   9.11  12.14 (86)
WESTERN BULLDOGS   5.1   9.1  14.6   15.10 (100)

Collingwood: Fasolo 3, Sidebottom 2, Pendlebury 2, White, Mayne, Treloar, Goldsack, Hoskin-Elliott
Western Bulldogs: Hunter 3, Johannisen 2, Bontempelli 2, Picken 2, M.Boyd, Stringer, Cloke, Liberatore, Crameri, McLean 

Collingwood: Pendlebury, Treloar, Sidebottom, Adams, Fasolo, Reid
Western Bulldogs: Dahlhaus, Liberatore, Bontempelli, Johannisen, Hunter, Murphy, Boyd 

Collingwood: James Aish (virus) replaced in the selected side by Chris Mayne,
Western Bulldogs: Dale Morris (right leg) 

Reports: Travis Varcoe reported for rough conduct in the first term.

Umpires: Deboy, Kamolins, Schmitt

Official crowd: 66,254 at the MCG