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Net gains, Wallis' sizzling soccer goal one for the showreel

Ben Guthrie (AFL Media)  July 17, 2017 1:38 PM

Soccer-inspired Wallis picks his corner (Rd17) Mitch Wallis scores a beauty right in front of goal

MITCH Wallis has been looking for the chance to contribute more in front of goal, so the Western Bulldogs midfielder was quite pleased with his Cristiano Ronaldo-style half-volley in Sunday's 20-point win over Carlton.

With the Bulldogs hanging onto a 14-point lead with 90 seconds left in the third term, Wallis did not have much time to think when he flung his right boot at the ball bobbling in front of him from a stoppage deep in the goalsquare.

The Real Madrid superstar would have been proud of the sweet contact Wallis produced, as the ball ripped through the air and into the "back of the net" as Channel 7 commentator Hamish McLachlan remarked.

"I'm not much of a soccer fan but to kick it off the ground like that I'll definitely put that in the highlights package," Wallis told AFL.com.au.

It was a clever piece of improvisation and came at a critical point in the contest, with the Bulldogs opening up a 20-point break at the final change.

Wallis has booted six goals from eight matches this season after returning to the team against Geelong in round nine following a devastating leg injury.

"It was very opportunistic. I'm trying to hit the scoreboard a few more times and if you can sniff out goals like that it's good for the side because it was at a pretty important time of the game too," he said.

Wallis collected 25 disposals (16 contested) and four clearances in an important role through the midfield as the Bulldogs kept their finals chances alive with a much-needed win over the Blues.

His hardness over the ball and ability to dish out from the bottom of packs – he is averaging a career-high 13 contested possessions per game – has been vital since coming back into the side.

"I think our effort and intensity was there for the four quarters and hopefully it's a launching pad for the rest of the year," Wallis said.

"There were some signs today of the old us.

"It's exciting and I think we needed that type of performance to launch into the rest of the year."

The Bulldogs face Gold Coast in Cairns on Saturday, before match-ups against Essendon, the Brisbane Lions and Greater Western Sydney that are set to define their premiership defence.

"Every week is so important now and it's all on us, and we know that," Wallis said.

"We've still got the talent and the game style to take it up to any team and how we apply ourselves dictates to that."