Dogs deal Roos’ AFL finals hopes big blow
Posted on 09/13/18 6:51 PM
A horror quarter of football could cost North Melbourne an AFL finals berth after the Western Bulldogs scored an upset seven-point win at Etihad Stadium.
The Bulldogs celebrated Dale Morris’ 250th milestone with a come-from-behind 13.14 (92) to 12.13 (85) win on Sunday in front of 27,031 fans.
The Kangaroos held a game-high 28-point lead at halftime but the Dogs turned the tables with an eight-goals-to-two third quarter.
Brad Scott’s men trailed by five points heading the last quarter but, with so much to play for, could manage just one goal.
The result leaves the Roos outside the eight with two rounds to go and needing help from other results to make the finals.
“We did a lot right in the game and had a horror 30 minutes … the Bulldogs kicked five goals in three quarters and eight in one,” Scott said.
“We just had a really bad period of play where we couldn’t get the ball and to their credit they were able to go forward and score.”
Scott wouldn’t be drawn on what the result means for his side’s finals chances but remains confident the Roos can do some damage if they make it.
Ben Cunnington led the way with 26 touches but the Dogs had 102 more possessions for the game.
Ben Brown kicked four goals to draw level with Richmond star Jack Riewoldt in the race for the Coleman Medal.
The Bulldogs’ own finals aspirations disappeared long ago in a disappointing season but they showed a ton of character to fight back after a lacklustre first half.
Marcus Bontempelli was outstanding for the Dogs with 35 possessions and two goals, with Lachie Hunter (44 disposals), Jack Macrae (40) and Caleb Daniel (40) getting a stack of the ball.
Morris played on Jarrad Waite for most of the game and was influential in the back half.
“It was an exciting day really because we’re trying to build some experiences that will hold us in good stead in the future,” Luke Beveridge said.
“Today was definitely a good experience.
“… We haven’t been that great when we’ve lost a player early in the game so to do it two weeks in a row is encouraging.”
Zaine Cordy left the game with a fractured forehead suffered in a marking contest in the second term.
Adding to North’s woes, Waite will come under scrutiny for a high bump on Jackson Trengove in the first quarter.
North will take on Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in round 22, while the Dogs take on Carlton at Etihad Stadium.