ST KILDA 3.1 7.3 12.4 14.4 (88)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.4 3.4 5.6 7.7 (49)
GOALS – St Kilda: Billings 3, Butler 2, King 2, Lonie, Hind, Steele, Jones, Marshall, Hannebery, Membrey Western Bulldogs: Wallis, Macrae, Vandermeer, Richards, Williams, Naughton, Dunkley
BEST – St Kilda: Jones, Billings, Steele, Ross, Gresham, Butler, Wilkie, Clark
Bulldogs: Smith, Dunkley, Jong, Lipinski
Will the real Western Bulldogs please stand up? Are they the team that barged into the finals last year on the back of seven wins in nine games, playing irresistible football in the process? Or are they the ramshackle outfit bullied in last year’s elimination final by the Giants, blitzed by Collingwood in round one way back in March, and punished at an empty Marvel Stadium on Sunday night by St Kilda?
Whatever the case, the Dogs look like they are playing with house money; taking curious gambles at selection, spraying regulation shots for goal, overusing the ball, and giving their opponents unhealthy latitude. That might be all well and good when things are going well, but Luke Beveridge and his advisors must realise the time has come to scrap, for a season in which the Dogs deserved to enter with high hopes is quickly slipping away.