After Parker taunted them in their last match, Jordan Lewis and Eddie Betts think the Bombers will have a response planned for Saturday.
Saturday’s shootout between Greater Western Sydney and Western Bulldogs not only provided a great exhibition of the skills of AFL football but also the highest total match score since Round 7, 2021.
The Bulldogs missed equalling their highest score against the Giants by one point (Round 22, 2019), and showed that they still have the firepower to help shape the final eight.
Although they still remain one game off the pace in 10th place, they have a superior percentage to the five teams currently above them – a handy advantage in what appears likely to be a tight tussle for positions 5 to 8 over the final 10 rounds.
As you would expect in a game in which 35 goals have been scored, a number of milestones were achieved: Coby Weightman, the dynamic Bulldogs forward, scored five goals in the first half of the game.
His fifth was his 50th goal in AFL football and suggested that this first-round draft pick, who was a Rising Star nominee and received one vote in the Brownlow Medal last year, will be an almost certain qualifier for top 100 goal kicker status at the Bulldogs either this year or next.
He finished the game with five goals and a relocated dislocated elbow which hopefully will not cause the loss of too many (if any) games.
Aaron Naughton also kicked five goals and continued his steady climb up the Bulldogs’ goal kickers list, passing now-Geelong player Shaun Higgins, former coach Don McKenzie, Bernie O’Brien – who played one year at Carlton in the middle of his career at the Bulldogs which finished in 1938 – and Ryan Griffin, who left the club for Greater Western Sydney in controversial circumstances in 2015.
Naughton’s rapid climb up the goal kicking list means he will now have two famous names in his sights: Ted Whitten junior and Barry Hall.
Talking about controversial, Greater Western Sydney’s Toby Greene kicked a personal best seven goals, which included his 250th goal. Greene is by far the Giants’ second greatest goal scorer but still remains 175 goals behind the now-Geelong-based Jeremy Cameron.
At 28 years of age, he would appear to have the ability to bridge this gap. All other GWS goal scorers already also feature in the club’s top 100 goal scorers.
From a games perspective, Adam Kennedy equalled the now-Melbourne-based Adam Tomlinson as the 10th greatest games player at the Giants.
At the Western Bulldogs, the talented and extremely hardworking Jack Macrae moves towards the 200-game mark, passing Brian Lake and equalling Liam Picken on 198 games. GWS introduced ex-Foster player Ryan Angwin to AFL football. Angwin was the Giants’ pick at 18 in the 2020 draft.
In the final game of Round 13, Jarrod Witts equalled the game tally at Gold Coast of Dion Prestia who six years ago left the club to play for Richmond. The following year, Witts joined the Suns after four years at Collingwood.
Born within a month of each other nearly 30 years ago, the two players reached the total of 95 games with the same number of wins (26), which suggests no progress has been made in the Witts era when compared to the Prestia era.
However, I would suggest that – as their win over Adelaide leaves them in 11th position, only one game out of the eight with a better percentage than fellow contenders Collingwood and Port Adelaide – this would be the Gold Coast Suns’ best season ever.
The Suns have never finished higher than 12th, so the next 10 matches should tell a story.