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Key takeaways: Round 8

Three of the key talking points from Sunday’s win against Carlton.

1. Skip, we’re sorry

Yes, there was a typo in this week’s team announcement, where one player was listed twice and a guy by the name of Marcus Bontempelli was missing.

Apologies for any panic this caused!

For those who didn’t notice, Marcus played.

And he was best on ground.

Not for the first time over the past two years, Bontempelli dusted off his cape and produced a captain’s performance when we really needed it.

He had 32 disposals, 10 clearances, eight tackles and kicked an important goal, stepping up in the big moments late in the game.

00:50 Mins
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Brilliant Bontempelli composure leads to Bruce major

Marcus Bontempelli uses his composure to his advantage to clear the ball, resulting in a Josh Bruce goal

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2. Bruce bounces back

It felt like Josh Bruce was playing with a point to prove against Carlton.

Luke Beveridge acknowledged Bruce “was a bit down on himself” after the second half against Richmond last week and praised the key forward for his contest and conversion against the Blues.

Bruce finished with five majors and 11 marks in a dominant day at the office – three of those goals after half-time as the Bulldogs turned the game on its head.

In the absence of Stefan Martin and Tim English, he also played an important relief ruck role for second-game big man Jordon Sweet.

After eight rounds, he’s in third spot on the Coleman Medal table with 25 majors. It’s been an impressive start to 2021.

05:57 Mins
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Match Highlights | Bulldogs v Blues

Check out all the action from the Round 8 win over Carlton on Sunday at Marvel Stadium

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3. These Bulldogs are different

There are always things that change year-to-year in footy teams.

And this Bulldogs group seems to have more belief than perhaps in recent seasons.

Bar last week’s loss to the Tigers, the Bulldogs have been able to find an extra gear all year when they’ve needed to.

The late fightback against the West Coast Eagles and the final quarter onslaught against the GWS Giants spring to mind.

Twice in recent seasons the Blues have got a hold of the Bulldogs – but with the margin pushing five goals in the third quarter on Sunday, it was Marcus Bontempelli and his men who rose to another level.

Eight rounds in, they sit in second spot on the ladder.

But the challenges are coming thick and fast – with Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval the next one, followed by St Kilda and the undefeated Demons, both at Marvel Stadium.



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