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AS IT HAPPENED: Dogs edge Lions in one of the great semi-finals

4th September, 2021
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Brisbane Lions


Match Complete

Western Bulldogs


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4th September, 2021
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Brisbane Lions


Match Complete

Western Bulldogs


Fourth Quarter
33:26L. Vandermeer
Z. Bailey32:08
30:00B. Smith
L. Neale25:49
H. Andrews19:25
T. Fullarton17:30
L. McCarthy14:14
8:16B. Smith
6:21J. Schache
34:33J. Johannisen
1:02J. Macrae
30:33A. Keath
27:33J. Johannisen
R. Lester25:13
D. Rich24:13
21:47M. Bontempelli
C. Cameron19:34
17:17M. Hannan
Z. Bailey13:43
H. McCluggage12:05
H. McCluggage11:03
H. McCluggage5:36
3:22J. Dunkley
30:28M. Bontempelli
Z. Bailey25:09
M. Robinson23:58
21:19M. Bontempelli
19:33C. Weightman
16:56M. Hannan
4:34A. Naughton
29:51C. Weightman
C. Cameron28:01
26:45B. Smith
C. Cameron24:33
J. Daniher23:20
L. McCarthy22:08
19:30R. Smith
N. Cockatoo16:33
Z. Bailey15:20
13:07T. Liberatore
11:19L. Vandermeer
C. Cameron9:31
4:05T. Liberatore

Show Preview

A preliminary final date with Port Adelaide looms for either the Brisbane Lions or the Western Bulldogs as they square off in a semi-final showdown at the Gabba. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 7:20pm (AEST).

Brisbane were made to look second-rate against the minor premiers Melbourne in last week’s qualifying final, losing by 33 points in Adelaide. Aside from the electric Charlie Cameron’s five-goal haul, the Lions were strangled by Melbourne’s defence and could only manage five goals after quarter time. A loss tonight would make it two straight-sets exits in three years, no doubt raising question marks over their finals hardness.

The Bulldogs rediscovered their mojo against Essendon in the wet in Tasmania with an emphatic 49 point elimination final win. It was built on the back of a stirring second half where they kicked eight goals to zero, led by livewire Cody Weightman’s four-goal haul. Heading into that final, though, the Bulldogs had lost three in a row. But losing streak over, they now look better positioned to play like the top four-team they were for most of the year.

You have to go back to Round 4 when these two teams last played. The Bulldogs won by 19 points despite kicking an inaccurate 10.13 – Aaron Naughton finished the game with 2.5. Minus the injured Josh Bruce, the ‘Astro-Naught’ will need to find his kicking boots for the Dogs to keep their premiership dream alive

For the Bulldogs, Jason Johannisen has once again been left out of the starting 22, though he could be re-named as medical sub, or even into the team should Caleb Daniel succumb to an injury scare. Brisbane will miss key position tall Daniel McStay through concussion.

Timing is everything in finals. It feels like the Bulldogs have found form again at the right time. Are they good enough to go all the way? That we don’t know yet – but we’ll get another look at their midfield and see if the hyped-up Cody Weightman can back up his damaging four-goal haul against a quality Brisbane outfit.

The Lions were exposed against the Demons and their brand of football didn’t hold up against the competition leaders; but they’ve got a chance to do what the Bulldogs did last week, and rediscover their mojo.

The Bulldogs midfield is thriving again, and it’s hard to see the Lions match their depth for four quarters. This game will be won in the middle and the Dogs have too much class, depth, variety and skill to let this one slip.

Western Bulldogs by 31.


Catch all the action on The Roar’s live coverage of this knockout final from 7:20pm (AEST).

Game information

Opening bounce: 7:20pm (AEST)
Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane
TV: Channel Seven, Fox Footy
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go, 7Plus
Betting: Lions $1.60, Bulldogs $2.38 (odds via PlayUp)


Brisbane Lions
FB: [24] Marcus Adams, [27] Darcy Gardiner, [37] Brandon Starcevich
HB: [14] Grant Birchall, [31] Harris Andrews, [10] Daniel Rich
C: [6] Hugh McCluggage, [15] Dayne Zorko (c), [5] Mitch Robinson
HF: [11] Lincoln McCarthy, [21] Tom Fullarton, [33] Zac Bailey
FF: [18] Keidean Coleman, [3] Joe Daniher, [23] Charlie Cameron
FOL [46] Oscar McInerney, [17] Jarryd Lyons, [9] Lachie Neale
I/C: [Deven Robertson, [7] Jarrod Berry,[ 12] Nakia Cockatoo, [40] Jack Payne
EMERG: [4] Callum Ah Chee, [35] Ryan Lester, [36] Rhys Mathieson, [38] Connor Ballenden

Western Bulldogs
FB: [10] Easton Wood, [42] Alex Keath, [34] Bailey Williams
HB: [15] Taylor Duryea, [43] Ryan Gardner, [31] Bailey Dale
C: [1] Adam Treloar, [5] Josh Dunkley, [7] Lachie Hunter
HF: [23] Laitham Vandermeer, [33] Aaron Naughton, [6] Bailey Smith
FF: [21] Tom Liberatore, [44] Tim English, [19] Cody Weightman
FOL: [2] Lewis Young, [11] Jack Macrae, [4] Marcus Bontempelli (c)
I/C: [13] Josh Schache, [29] Mitch Hannan, [35] Caleb Daniel, [37] Roarke Smith
EMERG: [3] Mitch Wallis, [12] Zaine Cordy, [28] Anthony Scott, [39] Jason Johannisen

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