The Western Bulldogs will look to record back-to-back wins when they host Hawthorn on Friday night at Marvel Stadium.
Western Bulldogs 5th: 15-7 132.8%
Hawthorn 14th: 7-13 85.2%
Hawthorn 9.10 (64) defeated Western Bulldogs 5.7 (37)
A Hawks upset in Launceston late last season saw the Bulldogs go down by 27 points in a scrappy affair. It was the first time the Dogs had suffered consecutive losses that season - a sign of how consistent they had been all year - and their first interstate defeat too. Despite the result, Jack Macrae (32 disposals, eight tackles, six clearances), Marcus Bontempelli (31, six tackles) and Bailey Dale (31, five marks) were impactful, while Cody Weightman finished with two goals from seven disposals.
THE TALKING POINTS
The Bulldogs will be forced into making at least two changes for the clash tomorrow night, with experienced defender Taylor Duryea (knee) and dominant ruck Tim English (concussion) casualties in the GWS win. Hayden Crozier has been consistent in the VFL, while recalling Zaine Cordy could be another option. If some magnets are shifted, Lachie Hunter could come back in after returning to the action with 30 touches and seven marks for the ‘Scray. Jordon Sweet looks the likely replacement for English – with Stefan Martin (shoulder) still a week or two away according to Luke Beveridge – but only time will tell.
Bevo’s coaching milestone
If the Dogs can prevail over the Hawks, it will notch up win number 100 for senior coach Luke Beveridge. Taking over at the helm in 2015 – after an assistant coaching stint at the club he’ll face tomorrow night – he has since coached 173 senior games. One of his most famous triumphs to date would have to be the Dogs’ drought-breaking 2016 flag, and while the milestone would be far from the front of his mind tomorrow night, it would be a well-deserved achievement.
O’Brien faces former club
Friday night will mark off-season recruit Tim O’Brien’s first match against his former club. The 193cm key defender played 97 games across nine years in the brown and gold, and was named among the best on ground in the Dogs-Hawks last encounter. He notched up career game 100 in the red, white and blue earlier this season, and has slotted into the Bulldogs’ back six seamlessly.