A look at some of the important aspects of the Western Bulldogs’ round eight win against Brisbane Lions in Ballarat on Saturday.
1. Slam Dunk
Josh Dunkley is in red-hot form.
The emerging midfielder stamped his authority for the second week running, and was arguably best on ground for the Bulldogs against the Lions.
After collecting 35 disposals against Richmond in round seven, Dunkley found the ball 36 times against the Lions, laid eight tackles and kicked an important goal.
Senior coach Luke Beveridge said post-game that Dunkley had been given a more significant midfield role over the past fortnight – and it showed, as he channelled his impressive form from the end of 2018.
2. Naught to 100
After an incredible performance against Richmond, all eyes were on Aaron Naughton.
Could he strike gold in Ballarat?
It was a tale of two halves, as the teenager was well held until just before the half-time interval.
A long-range goal at the major break gave the Bulldogs the lead, and Naughton went on to dominate the third term as his side took hold of the game.
He finished with 16 disposals, seven marks and three goals. Another strong showing.
3. Solid as a… Brick
Over the past two weeks, Jackson Trengove has been as influential as anyone.
The big man missed the first five rounds of the season, before earning a call-up in round six against Fremantle.
Last week, he was stationed as a key defender, nullifying Coleman Medal contender Tom Lynch.
This week, with Tim English a late withdrawal, Trengove took on the lead ruck role.
The Lions won the hit-out count comfortably – but Trengove had more hit-outs to advantage (11) than direct opponent Stefan Martin (nine), as the Bulldogs comfortably won the clearance battle 51-39.