The Western Bulldogs have conquered one of the most difficult tasks in the AFL – defeating Port Adelaide on their home turf by 19 points on Saturday night.
Before the Round 9 top-four clash, the Power had won 10 of their last 11 games at Adelaide Oval – losing only to Richmond in last year’s preliminary final.
A four-goal haul from Aaron Naughton and three crucial majors from Cody Weightman - in his first game for the season - were key to the Dogs’ second consecutive interstate victory.
The win saw the Bulldogs improve to eight wins and one loss so far in this campaign, with three of those coming against current top eight teams.
After a rollercoaster first half, the Dogs made their move with the first four goals of the third term, and withstood a late charge from the Power.
The margin was just eight points at the 24-minute mark of the final stanza, before Weightman scored a miracle goal over his left shoulder.
Naughton’s fourth, from a strong contested mark shortly after, eventually iced the contest.
Marcus Bontempelli completed another best afield performance, with 26 disposals, two goals, six score involvements and seven inside 50s.
Midfield warrior Tom Liberatore was immense inside the contest, finishing with 27 touches (with a game-high 20 contested possessions) and 12 clearance (the most of any player).
Jack Macrae’s remarkable season continued with his ninth consecutive match of 30 or more disposals.
The win was soured by a hamstring injury to defender Easton Wood, which he suffered in the opening quarter.
Port Adelaide 2.1 8.1 9.4 12.5 (77)
Western Bulldogs 6.2 8.2 12.5 15.6 (96)
Port Adelaide: Fantasia 2, Georgiades 2, Dixon 2, Hartlett, Amon, Drew, Wines, Powell-Pepper, Gray
Western Bulldogs: Naughton 4, Weightman 3, Bontempelli 2, Bruce 2, Johannisen 2, McNeil, Hannan
Port Adelaide: Wines, Fantasia, Georgiades, Boak, Amon
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Naughton, Liberatore, Daniel, Weightman
Port Adelaide: Clurey (jaw)
Western Bulldogs: Wood (hamstring)
Port Adelaide: Martin Frederick (replaced Clurey)
Western Bulldogs: Hayden Crozier (replaced Wood)
Crowd: TBC at Adelaide Oval