The Western Bulldogs have reclaimed top spot on the ladder after defeating St Kilda by 111 points in the annual Barker-Whitten Challenge at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
Despite a somewhat scrappy start which saw the Bulldogs kick 3.5, a seven-goal-to-one second-quarter surge set the tone, allowing the hosts to run out 21.18 (144) to 5.3 (33) winners.
It is the first time in Club history that the Bulldogs have beaten a side by more than 100 points twice in the one season.
Taking a 51-point lead into the main break, the Dogs were relentless even when the game was already won – slotting 13 of the final 15 goals to record their ninth win of the season in style.
Captain Marcus Bontempelli starred, notching up 26 disposals and eight inside-50s while slotting a career-best four goals.
Ball-magnet Jack Macrae (41 touches) again found plenty of the footy, and clearance king Tom Liberatore (31) was influential in the middle.
Remarkably, Macrae is the only player in VFL/AFL history to record 30+ disposals in each of the opening 10 rounds of a season.
Bailey Dale was electric off half-back, registering 33 disposals and adding two majors.
At the other end of the ground, Aaron Naughton (five goals), Josh Bruce (three goals) and Cody Weightman (two goals) were prominent.
The win was soured by an ankle injury to midfielder Adam Treloar, forcing the Dogs to activate their medical sub in Lewis Young just before half-time.
Anthony Scott was also ruled out in the third term, leaving the Dogs one rotation down in the final quarter, but by then the scoreboard damage had already been done.
The Bulldogs will now look ahead to a mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash against Melbourne next Friday night in Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.5 10.10 15.13 21.18 (144)
ST KILDA 2.0 3.1 4.2 5.3 (33)
Western Bulldogs: Naughton 5, Bontempelli 4, Bruce 3, Dale 2, Weightman 2, Hannan, Hunter, Johannisen, Liberatore, R.Smith
St Kilda: Membrey 2, Billings, Butler, McKernan
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Macrae, Dale, Liberatore, Smith, Daniel, Naughton
St Kilda: Sinclair, Byrnes, Steele, Membrey
Western Bulldogs: Treloar (ankle), Scott (head knock)
St Kilda: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Young (replaced Treloar in the second quarter)
St Kilda: Highmore (unused)