The Bulldogs early season form has been ominous.
The Crows were not only undefeated heading into round four, but the manner in which they had dismantled teams over the previous three weeks would have had Dogs fans more than a little bit worried.
The Bulldogs have long been a small club of the AFL, struggling financially and also in the wins column, with only one premiership to the club’s name and the greatest recent achievement coming in the late 2000s where they reached three Preliminary Finals in a row.
However, as recent results have shown, particularly yesterday’s win again the Crows, that might be about to change.
Due to some brilliant recent acquisitions on draft day, the talent pool at the Western Bulldogs now is mind blowing.
Bontempelli (pick 4, 2013), Stringer (pick 5, 2012), Webb (pick 27, 2014), Smith (pick 17, 2012) and Talia (pick 39, 2011) are just a few of the young stars who have been excelling this season and can only improve with age. What is good about the Bulldogs list is not just the talented group of midfielders that seem easy to come by, but the talented players at either end of the ground.
Key position players are vital to premiership success and the Bulldogs have been able to draft and trade some beauties in recent years. Daniel Talia and Jordan Roughead have been great in defence this year tying up a key opposition forward. In the forward line, Boyd and Crameri are both talented acquisitions who have both been brought into the club via trades, and Jake Stringer kicked six goals on the weekend to prove once again what an exciting talent he is.
The young pups produced a six goal to one opening quarter to set up a 34 point lead. But it wasn’t just their bright start that won them the game but the continued focus as the match progressed. Lesser teams may have struggled to hold on when Adelaide threatened to get into the game. But when the Crows threatened to comeback after half time, the Dogs once again blew the game wide open with another six goal quarter, while keeping the Crows to just one point for the quarter.
However this week’s win has set the bar for the Bulldogs, trouncing a top four contender by 57 points. And it was the way in which they did it that impressed. Relentless pressure, high paced, high scoring, attacking footy that can match it with the best.
They may struggle to play finals this year, but come a few years, this side will be a team to be feared.