Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has praised his team’s ability to arrest the momentum and kick away, after an early scare against Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
The Dogs were on the back foot in the first quarter, with the Hawks’ centre bounce and contest work helping them out to a 26-point lead early in the second term.
But the Bulldogs found a way to neutralise the midfield battle, not only drawing level by half time, but streaking away to an impressive 42-point victory.
Key to that turnaround was the Dogs vaunted midfield group, led by the inspirational Tom Liberatore.
"'Libba' got us going. Some of his ground-ball collision plays that he was able to handball and shape out and give us an opportunity going forward of play really lifted his teammates," Beveridge said.
"His output and his impact was imperative."
The Bulldogs’ attacking power was again on display in the victory (their fifth in six games), with 12 goalkickers contributing to the second successive week of a score of 125 points.
"That's probably the fifth time in the past seven games we've kicked over 100 points, and we didn't like the last quarter – Hawthorn kicked seven and we kicked 7.1, that's not how we want to play, and it happened a bit last week as well," Beveridge said.
"There's still a hell of a lot of the season to go, and no-one's sure where anyone ends up yet. We've beaten some sides where the commentary around Collingwood, Gold Coast, GWS have got some energy about their side at the moment.
"The Hawks have defeated Geelong and Brisbane, so they're a huge danger. We think these games are important and as challenging as playing teams who are above you, quite factually, on the ladder."
Ed Richards has already been ruled out of Thursday’s clash with Brisbane at the Gabba, while a decision on Tim English’s availability will be made closer to the match.