Rookie ruckman Jordon Sweet stood and watched as skipper Marcus Bontempelli swooped on a ground ball – one handed – before flicking off a look-away handball to set up a shot on goal.
He’d set the play in motion with a hit-out in the centre square to Josh Dunkley.
But he couldn’t move – he’d cramped up.
“That one in the fourth quarter, we got a clean clearance to Dunks and he got it to the forward 50 which was nice,” Sweet said.
“You see Bontempelli straight after that pick it up with a one-handed scoop.
“I was sitting there watching it. I probably should have snapped my fingers and started running, but I couldn’t, because I was cramping.”
Having spent last year at VFL level developing his craft, the 22-year-old didn’t look out of place in his first match at the level.
He had to contend with an All Australian ruckman in Todd Goldstein, and said a pre-season competing with Tim English had helped him improve his game.
“It was a bit daunting, talking to a few mates, going against an All Australian ruckman,” Sweet said.
“I thought I did an alright job, and I’m pretty happy with how I went.
“Going against Tim (at training), he loves to run a lot and get around the ground.
“I’ve been chasing him around all pre-season and I feel as if that’s made me a better player.”
Senior coach Luke Beveridge acknowledged Sweet had come a long way in his time as a Bulldog and will have learned plenty from the opportunity.
“He would have learned a hell of a lot,” Beveridge said.
“The game was pretty taxing and he was pretty fatigued at the end, but he’s come a long way in a year and it’s exciting for us that he was able to do that.
“I thought he competed pretty well and as you would have seen, his ball handling and his skills and game sense is pretty good. He’s actually a pretty good player as well as a ruckman.
“He’s still developing in some areas, but for him to get the call up and be solid is a good fillip for us.”