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Four Things To Watch: Carlton v Western Bulldogs

July 14, 2017 3:28 PM

Bontempelli: 'The optimism of this team will keep spurring us forward' Marcus Bontempelli spoke to the media ahead of Sunday's game against Carlton
AFL 2017 Round 13 - Western Bulldogs v Melbourne

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Jack Macrae of the Bulldogs in action during the 2017 AFL round 13 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at Etihad Stadium on June 18, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Cliché of the week

No one likes footy clichés – we’re just looking forward to next week, full credit to the boys, yeah definitely etc. etc, but sometimes they’re appropriate, and that’s especially the case around the kennel this week.

The Dogs face just two top eight sides on the run home, and while it’s understandable for fans and media to look ahead, the players can’t and won’t.

Marcus Bontempelli was asked about this during a press conference on Tuesday and though he was almost apologetic in having to drop one, he rolled out a very necessary cliché.

“I think we’re just looking at it week to week,” Bont told the gathered pack.

“It’s a cliché in every sense of the word but that’s how we have to assess things at the minute… We know we’ve got Carlton this week and that’s probably as far as our gaze casts,” he said.

It’s no headline, but it is the truth.

A plea from the outer

Anyone who has watched the Carlton this year will tell you, this is not the Bluebaggers you remember.

Everyone has that Carlton mate/s who gets yappy after a couple of wins and the mob are starting to clear their throats.

The thing is, they could be onto something this time around.

Make no mistake, Brendan Bolton has the Carlton hovercraft pointed in the right direction, and if you need more proof, just look at this year’s NAB Rising Star nominations – they’re up to five now, and sit just one behind the nine we’ve collected in total since 2013.

If nothing else, boys, do it for the fans otherwise it won’t be safe for any of us to check a text or get on Facebook for days.

I’m high on the hill…

You know the next bit.   

Back in September 2015 there was some commentary around the Dogs having a home final shifted from Etihad Stadium to the MCG to maximise attendance. Some felt this unfairly disadvantaged a side who’d earnt the right to play at home.  But you didn’t hear any complaints coming from the Kennel.

Instead, what you got was an ‘anytime, anywhere’ message from both Luke Beveridge and Robert Murphy, and while we lost that one against the Crows, the ‘G’ holds no fears for these Dogs. 

In fact, the Dogs have won their last five there, and anyhow, why wouldn’t you want to play at the home of football?

A decade in the making

While we’re on the MCG, it’s been 10 long years since these two sides faced off on the hallowed turf and what a game it was.   

37,535 people were on hand to see a 138-128 shootout in Round 10, 2007, which unfortunately the Blues won.  But, 138-128… it’s says here you’d get few extra people turn up this Sunday if they were going to see that kind of score line.

Instead, what you’re more likely to see is something closer to the 85-49, 64-53 lines that’s we’ve seen the past two encounters. But with so much at stake, all that really matters here is the win and the more red, white and blue in those stands, the better.

So pack your thermos and your scarf and get to greatest stadium in the world to cheer the boys home.  

Is it Sunday yet?