Some half time magnet-moving was the impetus for the Western Bulldogs’ impressive third-quarter blitz, which led to a 28-point win against Melbourne on Saturday.
Despite a relatively even first half, the Demons went into the main break with their tails up, after a short period of dominance late in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs shifted Tim English forward and Josh Bruce went into the ruck to start the second half, and his impact was telling in the six-goal-to-nil third stanza.
MATCH CENTRE | View player and team stats from the Bulldogs and Demons clash.
“There’s no doubt they got some momentum right at the end of that second quarter,” Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said after the game.
“I felt like we lost some control in the stoppage and in the ruck, and they scored off the back of that.
“We mixed the roles up, and I thought ‘Brucey’ was really instrumental in the second half, probably as our first ruck.
“He works hard for us, and it’s not always going to go your way as a forward. He really persisted and was willing to take on that new role.
“He really influenced the game after that, and our midfield helped us take over.”
The Bulldogs played with more composure in the third term, controlling the play through uncontested possession and finding the right options going inside 50.
They scored their six goals from 10 entries, the same number the Demons mustered without taking their opportunities in front of goals.
“We had 25 uncontested marks in that third quarter. We probably had a little bit more composure and held the ball up a fraction more,” Beveridge said.
“The balance of the ball movement helped us defend a little bit better.
“Across all three lines, they just really stepped up their work. It was terrific to see some of the lads take control.”
“Right across the board, I think it was a really important team performance.”