Dockers defeat Dogs… Barely

The Western Bulldogs seemed well and truly ready to play the best team of Conference B.

From the first bounce, they brought a level of physicality that was able to match Freo’s efforts more effectively than perhaps any other team so far.

The Dogs had prepared for the spread so characteristic of the team from Fremantle, and were able to keep up with them at every turn.

‘We wanted to take the game on. We wanted to take the ball and run’, said Bulldogs Coach Nathan Burke at the first break.

They certainly seemed to do that, especially early on as fans watching on screens realised they were in for an arm wrestle, the teams breaking even in the counts for clearances, inside 50s and contested possessions.

For the majority of the game, it was the Dogs that proved most effective with their disposals and at times, it seemed as though they had the Dockers cornered in what might have been the biggest upset of the season.

Freo were able to hang on though and, with a final effort, managed to put away a number of unanswered goals in the final term, edging over the top of the Dogs before breaking away with the win.