The Western Bulldogs have continued their perfect start to the 2021 season with a 19-point win over Brisbane at Mars Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The 10.13 (73) to 8.6 (54) triumph propels the undefeated Bulldogs back into top spot on the AFL ladder, while also recording a 4-0 start for the first time since 2008.
A strong breeze and patches of rain proved tricky conditions at times, but the Bulldogs didn’t seem too phased – slotting a seven-goal to three opening half and ultimately setting up the victory.
A two-goal opening quarter from Tim English, backed up by a two-goal second quarter from Aaron Naughton saw the Dogs take a 26-point buffer into the main break.
The Lions threatened the hosts with a late charge after half-time, but the margin proved too big a gap to close.
A Tom Liberatore goal off one-step sealed the win, as the clock entered the final 15 seconds of play.
English (17 disposals, nine marks, three goals) was a standout, while Jack Macrae (32, eight tackles) and Adam Treloar (29, 10 tackles) dominated in the middle.
Josh Dunkley (27, eight tackles) was also impactful, breaking the record for the most smothers recorded in the first four rounds of a season with 10.
Late inclusion Lewis Young (17, five marks) fought hard in defence.
The Bulldogs will now look to go 5-0 when they host the Gold Coast Suns at Marvel Stadium in a weeks’ time.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.3 7.6 9.10 10.13 (73)
BRISBANE 2.1 3.4 6.6 8.6 (54)
Western Bulldogs: English 3, Naughton 2, Hunter, Bruce, Macrae, Smith, Liberatore
Brisbane: Hipwood 2, Andrews, Fullarton, Lyons, Bailey, McCluggage, Daniher
Western Bulldogs: English, Treloar, Macrae, Dunkley, Naughton, Dale
Brisbane: McCluggage, Lyons, Andrews, Rich, Neale