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MATCH REPORT | Dogs hold off Swans

Match Highlights | Western Bulldogs v Sydney (Rd1) The Bulldogs and Swans clash in round one

MATCH SUMMARY

The Western Bulldogs have made a perfect start to the 2019 season, defeating the Sydney Swans by 17 points on Saturday night at Marvel Stadium.

The Bulldogs led by 40 points early in the third quarter, but the Swans fought back and got within four points to create a tense finish.

Just when it looked like the visitors would snatch an unlikely win, two late goals from Marcus Bontempelli and Sam Lloyd steered the Dogs home.

Lloyd joined defender Taylor Duryea and 18-year-old Bailey Smith for their first win in their new colours.

 

WATCH THE BOYS SING THE TEAM SONG

 

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

It was early, but it was telling.  The Swans had kicked the first goal of the game and looked dangerous, but a passage of play involving multiple efforts from Ed Richards resulted in the 19-year-old winning a free kick and kick-starting the Bulldogs’ season.

There was a feeling of inevitability when the Swans kicked four straight goals to start the last quarter and drew to within a goal of victory.  With just over three minutes to go, a crucial turnover in the middle of the ground from Lloyd and some quick hands from Mitch Wallis and Toby McLean ended in Bontempelli strolling into an open goal.  The Bulldogs never looked back from there.

ROUND 1 MATCH HIGHLIGHTS – BULLDOGS VS SWANS

SHINING LIGHTS

Tom Liberatore missed all of last season with a knee injury, but looked right back at home in the Bulldogs midfield on Saturday night.  There was the familiar inside grunt, he was in the face of the Swans all night, and his team-mates walked a little taller for him being out there.

There were some eyebrows raised when coach Luke Beveridge made the commitment to start young gun Aaron Naughton up forward despite the team’s undersized defence, but it paid off it spades. Not only did he boot a game-high three goals, but he provided an excellent contest and was a headache for the Swans’ backline.

IN THE ROOMS: TAYLOR DURYEA POST-GAME

STATS KINGS

It’s no surprise to look up at the Bulldogs’ stats sheet and see Jack Macrae’s name at the top.  The midfield ball magnet won a team-high 32 disposals.

Bontempelli was also in fine touch, collecting 29 possessions, laying seven tackles and recording six inside 50s.

From a team perspective, the Dogs won the inside-50 count by 21 (68-47), won nine more clearances and were 26 ahead in contested possessions.

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MATCH DETAILS

Western Bulldogs             4.5          6.8          9.14        11.16.82
Sydney Swans                   1.2          1.5          5.6          9.11.65

Goals

Western Bulldogs:  Naughton 3, Gowers 2, Richards, Duryea, Schache, Lloyd, Bontempelli
Sydney Swans:  Reid 2, Heeney 2, Blakey, Hayward, Mills, Papley, Franklin

Best

Western Bulldogs: Naughton, Bontempelli, Liberatore, Wallis, Macrae, Hunter
Sydney: Lloyd, Jones, McVeigh, Sinclair, Kennedy, Papley

IN THE ROOMS: ZAINE CORDY POST-GAME 

UP NEXT

The Bulldogs venture to the home of football, the MCG, for a clash with Hawthorn on Sunday, March 31.