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Dogs win ‘streetfight’

March 25, 2017 1:51 AM

AFL 2017 Round 01 - Collingwood v Western Bulldogs

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Easton Wood of the Bulldogs is tackled by Chris Mayne of the Magpies 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)

Returning skipper Bob Murphy called it a ‘streetfight’, and it’s hard to think of a better term to describe the Bulldogs hard-fought 14-point win over a determined Collingwood outfit on Friday night.

Anyone expecting anything more than a good old fashioned scrap may have walked away from the MCG disappointed, but what it lacked in polish it delivered in intensity.

“It was a bit of streetfight tonight, but credit to Collingwood they were fantastic,” Murphy told Channel 7 post-match.

“Round one games are always tough, but I think the boys came through really well.”

The Bulldogs gained the early ascendancy after kicking the first four of the match before the Magpies snatched the lead after an Adam Treloar goal early in the third term.

But Murphy’s men who were able to steady and deliver the four points, holding off the dogged Pies to register their first win of the season, despite a dominant statistical performance Nathan Buckley’s troupe.

The home side dominated the disposal count, the clearances, the stoppages and the contested possessions, but it wasn’t enough, the Dogs holding on for the fifth straight win over the Magpies, the first time that’s happened in 71 years.

But Round One 2017, was significant for another reason: Murphy’s return.

349 have passed since the skipper injured his knee in round three last season, and he did not disappoint in his first game back, notching up 22 touches at an impressive 86% clip, to go along with six marks, five inside 50s and two goal assists.

But if there was anyone happier than the faithful to see Murphy back gliding across the turf, it may have been his teammates.  

“To get the skipper back is pretty bloody handy, Easton Wood told BulldogsTV.

“I’m absolutely wrapped to be running out behind him again.”