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Dahlhaus, the workhorse

April 18, 2017 1:52 PM

AFL 2017 Round 04 - North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Luke Dahlhaus of the Bulldogs marks the ball during the 2017 AFL round 04 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on April 14, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

There were a few reasons the Bulldogs were able to get over the line against North Melbourne on Friday night, but there was one in particular that stood out, and his name is Luke Dahlhaus.

A team-high 15 disposals and 10 score involvements in a half of football are impressive numbers, but even more so when you consider the Dogs scored 67% of the time the 24-year-old was involved in a chain. 

But with Dahlhaus, it’s less about the numbers, and as much about the eye-test.  Is there a player that works harder from contest to contest?  

Matthew Boyd was asked about Dahlhaus’s game on RSN radio on Tuesday morning, and it was no accident that he referred to his work rate three times in the one sentence.

“He’s a super little player for us; he’s just a really hard working player and sometimes those sort of players are hard to put time and work into because they work themselves into great sports, [and] they out work the opposition,” Boyd remarked.

Work, work, work.

Dahlhaus is averaging a career high 28 touches this season, 14.5 of which are contested.  He added a further 32  possessions against the Roos to go with five clearances, six tackles and two goals.

In his early years, Dahlhaus was a crafty small forward, and Boyd says his time around goal in during that time has made him a dangerous proposition for opposition strategists.

“Because he started work as a forward he’s really crafty around goals and he knows where they are, he said.

“So he’s gone from being a small forward who has great goal sense and now he’s moved into the midfield and he’s an accumulator.  He’s a great ball-gatherer and when he goes forward he’s able to hit the scoreboard.”

“It’s a powerful combo.”

The Bulldogs face Brisbane on Saturday afternoon at Etihad Stadium.