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As it happened: AFL 2021: Bruce kicks 10, Bulldogs thump North Melbourne

That’s all I have for you for tonight.

Thanks again for following along as Josh Bruce and the Dogs recorded such a big win.

Our live blogs will be here all weekend so please keep following along with us and we will have more AFL coverage to come at The Age Sport tonight and throughout the weekend.

Please have a great evening and bye for now.

The goalkicking forward has returned to football with Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce becoming the first Bulldog to kick 10 goals in a game since Simon Beasley booted 10 against Brisbane in 1987, as they handed out a record-breaking 128-point thrashing to a hapless Kangaroos.

It was the Bulldogs’ highest score and biggest winning margin against North Melbourne with 25.17 (167) eclipsing their previous record of 164 points set in round three, 1984, and the margin of 128 was the club’s greatest-ever winning margin against any team, beating their 120-point defeat of Melbourne in 1985.

The 28-year-old Bruce, who kicked six goals in his previous two encounters against North Melbourne, had the excited crowd chanting ‘Brucey’ late in the last quarter, and it wasn’t for legendary commentator Bruce McAvaney, as the former Saint threw himself at every contest in an attempt to add to his tally.

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Fresh from kicking a 10-goal bag against North Melbourne on Saturday, Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce has called on his side to seize the moment and push for the premiership.

Bruce told Fox Footy he saw a side that was right in the premiership window this season and while he loved his career-best performance, he wanted team success in 2021.

“I think I’ve been in the game long enough and with enough teams to understand that there is a certain window and with the players and age demographic we have got – the time is now,” Bruce said.

“While it is pleasing to have a win and kick a bag, we have the Lions next week and they will be really challenging.

“I definitely want to taste more than just one final and hopefully push deep into September.”

Western Bulldogs have posted a club record winning margin and Josh Bruce has kicked 10 goals in a 128-point win over North Melbourne today.

The Dogs are chasing a premiership and the Kangaroos are right at the start of a rebuild and nothing painted those contrasts more than this game as the Roos looked good in the first term before being completely over-run and outplayed.

Adam Treloar and his teammates.

Adam Treloar and his teammates. Credit:Getty Images

They tried but these Dogs are trying to build the ruthlessness needed to run with the premiership contenders in this competition in 2021.

Bruce’s 21-touch, 10.2 goal return was just reward for a forward who hasn’t always had things his own way in the AFL and he looks such a great fit when wedged between Aaron Naughton and Tim English along with the resting midfielders and goal-sneaks in this Bulldogs side.

The one negative is the prospect of key defender Ryan Gardner missing several weeks with what looks like a nasty AC joint injury.

This will likely be a new club-record winning margin for the Bulldogs as Tim English won a free kick and converted.

Dogs lead 167-39 with just seconds left.

Josh Bruce has just marked in front, 20 metres out.

He has gone back and booted his 10th goal.

Now there is a melee going on as someone has been mouthing off behind the ball.

Dogs up 161-39 with a minute to play.

Josh Bruce is being mobbed by his teammates after marking deep in the forward pocket and then snapping with his left foot for his ninth goal.

Are the big forwards back in town or is this just a very one-sided afternoon?

Let’s hope the big forwards are back!

Dogs up 155-39.

Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce.

Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce.Credit:Getty Images

Bulldogs VFL recruit Anthony Scott has kicked his first AFL goal and he has a beaming smile.

Not too many 25-year-olds get their chance at AFL footy but he has and he is making the most of it.

Dogs up 149-39 with three minutes to play.

Stephenson has again shown some glimpses for the Roos and he has kicked his second goal to give his side a chance to cut the lead below 100 points.

He drifted into the pocket and marked a very tidy kick before snapping the goal.

Dogs up 142-39 with four minutes to play.

Jaiden Stephenson is tackled by Tom Liberatore.

Jaiden Stephenson is tackled by Tom Liberatore.Credit:Getty Images

The Bulldogs continue to run up the score at Marvel Stadium with Bailey Dale booting their 21st major for the afternoon.

This is a very big percentage boost for the Dogs. They might need it should the top of the ladder stay close.

Dogs up 142-33 with five minutes left.

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