The Western Bulldogs have emerged unscathed from their second JLT Community Series match – a 14-point loss to St Kilda at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.
It was a tight and tough hitout for both teams – an ideal lead-in to the season proper - with the Saints booting the last two goals to secure the win.
There were plenty of positives to take out of the match for the Bulldogs, most notably Aaron Naughton’s move from defence to attack.
The 19-year-old booted three goals, forming a solid partnership with Josh Schache, who kicked two and collected 12 disposals.
Sam Lloyd was one of the Dogs’ best, kicking three classy goals – two in an impressive third quarter - and winning 18 possessions.
The Bulldogs rotated many their players throughout the game, with Tim English sitting out the first half and Lachie Young getting his first taste of senior AFL football in the final term.
Luke Beveridge also experimented with his line-up in a bid to fine-tune for Round 1.
Jack Macrae and Josh Dunkley (29 possessions each) led the way in the midfield, Bailey Smith extended his game time and Matt Suckling curtailed the influence of Saints’ defender Dylan Roberton in the second half.
The game was relatively even after St Kilda kicked the first three goals, with each side kicking 10 goals after quarter time.
The Bulldogs were most productive in the third term, when they kicked five goals to three and hit the lead when Schache kicked his second just before three-quarter-time.
The Dogs were just three points behind at the 22-minute mark of the final term, before the Saints kicked away late.
With the pre-season now complete, the Bulldogs will prepare for their Round 1 clash with Sydney at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, March 23.
Western Bulldogs 2.2 5.4 10.6 12.7.79
St Kilda 4.3 7.5 10.6 14.9.93
Western Bulldogs: Lloyd 3, Naughton 3, Schache 2, Liberatore, Hunter, Bontempelli, Wallis
St Kilda: Membrey 3, McCartin 2, Bruce 2, Sinclair 2, Gresham, Clark, Newnes, Kent, Long
Western Bulldogs: Hunter, Macrae, Dunkley, Lloyd, Naughton, Wallis
St Kilda: Roberton, Billings, Steele, Newnes, Battle, Marshall