The Western Bulldogs will return from their week-long interstate adventure full of confidence as they head into the mid-season bye.
The Dogs consolidated second spot on the AFL ladder with a 28-point win over Fremantle at Optus Stadium – their first triumph at that venue in their fifth attempt.
The win was the Club’s 10th of the campaign so far, having dropped just two games so far against quality opposition.
Coach Luke Beveridge lauded his players for enduring a difficult week and stepping up to grind out a crucial victory against a plucky opponent on their home deck.
“We’re really grateful for the boys’ efforts,” he told reporters after the game.
“The long-haul flight over, and being cooped up today, I thought they did an extraordinary job.
“Obviously we were a bit concerned at different times – it didn’t look like we had the energy here and there.
“They were a bit stiff in the last quarter to lose a number of players, but I really thought our players were digging in. It was an important win for us.”
Beveridge praised Aaron Naughton’s performance as “extraordinary” – the spearhead was inaccurate in front of goals, but he dragged down 13 marks, had 19 disposals and finished with 12 score involvements in a commanding display.
“We think he’s a really good set shot for goal. They were all gettable for Aaron tonight, so he’ll be disappointed in the fact that he didn’t complete some of his work, but he was extraordinary,” Beveridge said.
Ruckman Stefan Martin will be assessed in the coming days, after being subbed out of the game with a shoulder injury.
The Bulldogs will immediately return to Melbourne and will continue to train through their bye week as they prepare for a Friday night blockbuster against Geelong in Round 14.