The Western Bulldogs have secured their fourth win of the 2022 season, holding steady over Collingwood on Friday night at Marvel Stadium.
Despite the Bulldogs taking a 46-point buffer into the final change, the persistent Pies wouldn’t go away, closing the gap to as little as 27 points midway through the last.
But the Dogs held firm, closing out the match with the final three goals to record a 7.9 (51) to 14.15 (99) triumph and retain the Robert Rose Cup.
The visitors – albeit at their home ground – were strong from the get-go, booting six goals to one in the opening term to set the tone early.
Buku Khamis presented well up forward, slotting two first-quarter goals to finish with three overall, while Josh Dunkley (24 disposals, nine marks, three goals) was strong.
Those shared contributions on the scoreboard helped set the Dogs up with the buffer that would ultimately see out the game, along with some midfield dominance which saw them win the clearance count 27-43.
The Pies continued to push late, but the Dogs remained composed.
Bailey Smith found plenty of the footy, registering 41 disposals and six clearances, while a three-goal, 35-disposal and eight-clearance effort saw Adam Treloar claim the Bob Rose-Charlie Sutton Medal.
Debutant Luke Cleary was solid in his first outing, picking up 13 touches to go with seven marks.
The returns of Marcus Bontempelli (26 disposals, eight marks, five tackles, one goal) and Alex Keath (12 disposals, seven marks) were also important.
The Bulldogs will next host Gold Coast at Mars Stadium in Sir Doug Nicholls Round next Saturday afternoon.
COLLINGWOOD 1.3 2.6 4.7 7.9 (51)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 6.5 7.10 11.11 14.15 (99)
Collingwood: Crisp 2, De Goey, Hoskin-Elliott, Lipinski, Mihocek, Quaynor
Western Bulldogs: Dunkley 3, Khamis 3, Naughton 3, Treloar 3, Bontempelli, Scott
Collingwood: Crisp, Lipinski, Adams, Noble, N.Daicos
Western Bulldogs: Treloar, Smith, Dunkley, Macrae, Naughton, Liberatore
Collingwood: Madgen (shoulder)
Western Bulldogs: Gardner (leg), Naughton (leg)
Collingwood: Scott Pendlebury (illness) replaced in selected side by Callum Brown
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Collingwood: Finlay Macrae (replaced Jack Madgen in the third quarter)
Western Bulldogs: Roarke Smith