The season has not resumed the way the Western Bulldogs wanted, as they crashed to a 39-point defeat to St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Sunday night.
Almost three months had passed between round one and round two due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Bulldogs started strongly.
But they were unable to sustain their early momentum, with the Saints latching onto the lead late in the first term before running out 14.4 (88) to 7.7 (49) victors.
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St Kilda’s Max King kicked the opening goal of the game, before Mitch Wallis and Jack Macrae replied to give the Bulldogs an advantage.
But a number of chances went begging for the Bulldogs, and the Saints then capitalized with five of the next six goals to lead by 23 points at the major break.
A bright spark of the second term for the Bulldogs was a goal to debutant Laitham Vandermeer, but the Saints had all the answers.
They increased their lead to 40 points at the final change, before both sides exchanged a pair of goals in the final period.
It was the Saints on top in most of the key statistical areas – including contested (128-115) and uncontested (209-205) possessions, clearances (39-34), marks (91-55) and tackles (56-50).
Midfielder Josh Dunkley was a clear standout for the Bulldogs around the contest, finishing with 28 disposals, eight tackles and a goal, while second-year player Bailey Smith stood tall with 29 disposals and six clearances.
Lin Jong impressed in his first AFL game since 2018, finishing with 17 touches.
The result leaves the Bulldogs at the bottom of the AFL ladder after two rounds, ahead of a pivotal clash against the GWS Giants at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
ST KILDA 3.1 7.3 12.4 14.4 (88)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.4 3.4 5.6 7.7 (49)
St Kilda: Billings 3, Butler 2, King 2, Hannebery, Hind, Jones, Lonie, Marshall, Steele, Membrey
Western Bulldogs: Macrae, Richards, Vandermeer, Wallis, Williams, Naughton, Dunkley
St Kilda: Billings, Butler, Jones, Ross, Steele, Hannebery
Western Bulldogs: Dunkley, Smith, Lipinski, Macrae
St Kilda: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Round 3, Western Bulldogs v GWS Giants, Friday June 19, Marvel Stadium, 7.50pm AEST