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Dominant Dogs outclass Crows in breezy Ballarat romp

However, it turned out to be illusory, especially as some profligate kicking began to cost them dearly once Tom Liberatore had kicked the Dogs’ first goal and got them on the scoreboard.

Despite kicking into the wind, the league-leaders began to assert themselves. Josh Bruce kicked two goals in the opening term – one after an excellent high mark in the goal square – while boom newcomer Ugle-Hagan created space beautifully with a spin and turn before passing to Jason Johannisen , who was able to gallop unchallenged towards goal before converting.

So, when the quarter-time siren blew and the scoreboard showed the Dogs with a 12 point advantage – 5.3 (33) to 3.3 (21) – there was already a sense of inevitability about the outcome.

Taking control

The Bulldogs, this time playing with the wind, wasted little time in cementing their advantage despite the fact that Fogarty kicked the first goal of the second quarter (his second for the match) to give the Crows hope.

Jason Johannisen.

Jason Johannisen.Credit:AFL Photos

Aaron Naughton replied quickly, Tim English kicked truly to push the lead out to 20 points, and the Dogs began to assert.

That’s not to say the Crows were poor. They hung on as best they could, defending in depth, trying to crowd the Dogs’ forwards and deny them space and ensure they were competitive at every contest.

But class continued to prevail and Ugle-Hagan added to his first quarter goal with a second and Caleb Daniel twisted, turned and drove through the gaps in the Crows’ rearguard to drive home, marking the Dogs fourth goal in a row.

Although the Crows were hanging tough, the half-time lead had blown out to 34 points and the Dogs knew they only had to manage the second half to pick up all four points.

Running down the clock and racking up possessions

If the Crows were ever going to make any inroads, the third quarter, with the breeze at their backs, was going to be their opportunity.

The fact that they could only kick one goal and two points says it all about the way the Dogs dominated, if not on the scoreboard (they managed only one goal three points themselves) but in general play, where they restricted the visitors to very few opportunities. Dale, Daniel, Bailey Smith, Jack Macrae and Tom Liberatore all enjoyed themselves, racking up possessions in the midfield.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is expecting his side’s clash with Essendon to be postponed following the lockdown in Queensland that has seen the Bombers fly back to Melbourne rather than face the Swans at the Gabba on Saturday night.

That game will now be played at the MCG on Sunday after both teams headed to Victoria to escape the northern state’s COVID crisis.
But it means that if the fixture was to stay as scheduled, the Bombers would have to back up five days later to take on the Bulldogs – and that is not something Beveridge is expecting.

“We will just go about our business on Monday,” he said.

“The make up of our day will be the same no matter what. There’s nothing set in stone…(but) you would imagine the Friday night game will be off … if Essendon play tomorrow it will be a five-day break”.

Crows coach Matthew Nicks is preparing his team to return to Adelaide to ready themselves for a Showdown clash with Port Adelaide next weekend.

“At this point point we are authorised to head back to SA,” he said after his side had been outclassed by the rampant Bulldogs.

“SA Health and the SA Government have given us permission to go back.”

Western Bulldogs:
Smith, Dale, Daniel, Macrae, Schache, English, Ugle-Hagan.
Sloane, Keays, Himmelberg.

B. Smith (Western Bulldogs) 8
B. Dale (Western Bulldogs) 8
C. Daniel (Western Bulldogs) 8
J. Macrae (Western Bulldogs) 7
J. Schache (Western Bulldogs) 7

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