The Western Bulldogs’ 104-point demolition of Essendon has them daring to dream of a late-season run to the AFL finals.
The ballistic Bulldogs smashed the Bombers in a midfield masterclass at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night that saw them boot 21 goals in a row in a 21.11 (137) to 4.9 (33) thumping that gives their finals hopes a huge boost.
The Dogs improved to a 10-10 record with the win and picked up six percentage points to sit outside the eight by percentage with games against GWS at Giants Stadium and Adelaide in Ballarat to come.
“I don’t think we’ve ever beaten anyone by a 100 points since I’ve coached the boys so it’s quite satisfying,” coach Luke Beveridge said.
“We let a few (goals) through late but other than that it was pretty impressive.
“It was a big night with a lot on the line, let’s face it.
“We’d love to get there (to finals) and we know we’ve got to win all three (games)… it was a tremendous performance by the boys.”
Josh Dunkley and Jack Macrae led the charge with 39 and 38 possessions respectively, while Marcus Bontempelli was typically classy with 26 touches.
The rampant Dogs had 11 goal-kickers in the mauling, with Toby McLean, Bailey Dale, Josh Schache and Tory Dickson each booting three majors.
While Beveridge was delighted with the performance and the four premiership points, the coach wasn’t so sure the big percentage boost would prove pivotal in their bid to play finals.
“You know it’s there, but I’m not sure it’s going to matter,” he said.
“For us to get in, I think two teams need to falter. I just think we need to win both games.
“I’m not sure percentage is going to help us at the end of the day because I think we need to win both games.
“That’s the way I see it.”