The Western Bulldogs have bucked this season’s post-bye trend, defeating Fremantle by 29 points at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was an arm wrestle of a contest, with neither side taking full advantage until the hosts kicked away late, storming home 16.6 (102) to 11.7 (73) winners.

Rory Lobb’s fourth-term goal was arguably the game-changer, slotting truly against his old side to regain the lead and start a run of five unanswered red, white and blue majors.

The hard-fought win moves the Bulldogs into fifth spot on the ladder, while also becoming the first team to come off a bye and claim victory over an opponent who played the previous week.

The opening term saw both the Dogs and Dockers enjoy waves of momentum, with the hosts bringing the pressure early.

There were five lead changes in the second term alone – marking a sign of just how close things were – but the Bulldogs were on the right side of it heading into the main break.

The third quarter was much the same as the second, but again the Dogs found a way forward.

Heading into the final stanza with just 11 points separating the two teams, the Bulldogs surged ahead with seven of the final nine goals to all but seal the win.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan enjoyed a productive day inside 50, with four goals from 15 disposals, while Tim English got things going in game 100 with one goal, 10 tackles and 30 hit-outs.


Marcus Bontempelli led from the front with 27 touches, six marks, six tackles, nine clearances and a goal, while Bailey Dale (25 disposals, four tackles, one goal), Tom Liberatore (21 disposals, nine tackles, 10 clearances) and Adam Treloar (22 disposals, 12 tackles) were influential.

Midseason draftee Caleb Poulter enjoyed a solid Club debut, collecting 12 touches and three marks as he settled across the wing and half-back.

Rhylee West was activated as the tactical sub in the final term, replacing Mitch Hannan.

With over 25,000 fans filling the stands for the Club’s inaugural Kidzmania clash, the Dogs will return to Marvel Stadium next Friday night to host Collingwood.

WESTERN BULLDOGS     3.1     7.3     9.4     16.6 (102)
FREMANTLE                    3.0     6.3     7.5     11.7 (73)

Western Bulldogs: Ugle-Hagan 4, Weightman 2, Naughton 2, English, Hannan, Bontempelli, Williams, Lobb, Macrae, McNeil, Dale
Fremantle: Walters 4, Amiss 4, Frederick, Darcy, Schultz

Western Bulldogs: Liberatore, Bontempelli, Ugle-Hagan, Treloar, Dale, Williams
Fremantle: Serong, Darcy, Henry, Cox, Walters, Amiss

Western Bulldogs: 
Fremantle: Nil

Western Bulldogs: Rhylee West (replaced Mitch Hannan at three-quarter time)
Fremantle: Neil Erasmus (replaced Nat Fyfe at three-quarter time) 

Crowd: 25,412 at Marvel Stadium