All bark and no bite as Demons smash Bulldogs

Damien Peck Roar Guru

By , Damien Peck is a Roar Guru

 , ,

15 Have your say

    The Melbourne Demons have smashed the Western Bulldogs by 57 points at Etihad Stadium to move into fifth on the ladder and send the reigning premiers out of the top eight.

    The Demons haven’t seen September action for more than a decade, but they on the way to changing that this year with an impressive 7-5 win-loss record thanks to a 17.11 113 to 8.8 56 victory.

    The match closes out a string of bye rounds, as the in-form Demons came off a six-day break following an inspiring Queen’s Birthday win last week. A 10-day break for the Bulldogs proved they were not only rusty, but lacklustre against a high-pressure Demons who outclassed the Bulldogs all day.

    The Demons were led by Jordan Lewis (31 disposals), Clayton Oliver (29, eight tackles) and Michael Hibberd (27 disposals, 11 marks), and Oscar McDonald (23 disposals, 12 marks, eight inside fifties).

    Jack Watts led the goal tally, kicking three, well supported by Mitch Hannan, Tom McDdonald, Jeff Garlett, and Tom Bugg all recording two each.

    While the Bulldogs have endured positive recent form at Docklands, they have suffered their first loss at the ground since Round 18 last season, ending an 8-game streak.

    The loss highlights multiple selection problems for the Dogs as they slide to ninth on the ladder and are in jeopardy of defending their premiership. The Bulldogs had trouble finding with avenues to goal, recording just three marks inside 50.

    Tom Liberatore had a healthy return with 29 disposals while Jordan Roughead and Tom Boyd dominated the ruck against Tom McDonald.

    After a slow start to the match, the Demons conceded their lowest score for the season holding the Dogs to just one point in the first quarter, and winning just their third match from the past 14 meetings against the Bulldogs.

    Although the hit-outs were won by the Bulldogs 61-19, the Demons made use of the contest winning the clearances 40-34 and will only get better next week with Max Gawn confirmed to return.

    A knee injury to Lin Jong soured the loss for the Bulldogs in the first quarter, but Nathan Jones (quad), Watts (hamstring), Neville Jetta (ankle), and Jayden Hunt (shoulder) were likely effects of short turnaround times in matches for the Dogs.

    The Demons will travel to Perth to play West Coast on Saturday with their third match in just 18 days, while the Dogs have some soul searching to do before a must-win match against North Melbourne.