Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
|7.13 (55)||Third Quarter [+]||7.7 (49)|
|6.5 (41)||Second Quarter [+]||6.4 (40)|
|3.3 (21)||First Quarter [+]||3.2 (20)|
This weekend the Western Bulldogs host the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium, where they hope to earn their third consecutive win against the struggling outfit. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 3:20pm (AEST).
Melbourne have been one of the biggest disappointments of the 2019 season, having dipped to 16th place after an impressive final series last September.
Last week, the Dees came close to giving up the game to Carlton in the final quarter, despite being up by five goals at three-quarter time off the back of their now injured forward, Tom McDonald (six goals and 20 disposals).
With McDonald ruled out for the remainder of the season, it seems unlikely that the Dees will mount the same effort against the Bulldogs.
Despite being an offensive powerhouse in 2018, this year they rank last in the competition for efficiency inside 50 (40%) and 16th for disposal efficiency (69 per cent).
They have shown some good signs in a few of their games, but still lack the consistency needed if they intend to knock off the Bulldogs at Marvel.
Though the return of Max Gawn, Jake Lever and Neville Jetta bodes well for their chances, having lost Gawn late in the tight affair against Carlton. Marty Hore, Sam Weideman and Tom McDonald will come out for the inclusions – all sustaining injuries.
Comparatively, the Bulldogs have taken two big scalps from their last two outings, defeating the in-form Port Adelaide on the road in Round 15 and league-leaders, Geelong Cats, at Marvel in Round 16.
Marcus Bontempelli (27 disposals, 17 contested possessions, one goal and six marks) and Lachie Hunter (32 disposals and nine marks) were immense in the win, both snaring 124 AFL Fantasy points in the final quarter comeback.
Currently, the Bulldogs rank second in the league for disposal efficiency (74 per cent), third for marks inside 50 (12.6 average), but second from last for goal accuracy (42 per cent).
With Aaron Naughton developing in his key forward role, the Bulldogs are still without a dependable option in their forward 50, with Sam Lloyd currently leading their goalkicking list with 25 goals – followed close by Naughton with 22.
If the Bulldogs can maintain this form, their run home shouldn’t present too many difficulties – their two biggest challenges coming from the Brisbane Lions in Round 20 and The GWS Giants in Round 22.
The Bulldogs will proceed unchanged into Sunday’s clash – confident that their outfit can back up last week’s dominant display.
The Bulldogs have taken some big scalps this year in Richmond, Geelong and Brisbane, but have also lost to bottom-end sides in Carlton and Gold Coast. If they’re truly over those hurdles and on the up, Melbourne should be a comfortable victory.
The Dogs to revive their season.
Western Bulldogs by 29.
First bounce: 3:20PM (AEST)
Venue: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne.
TV: Channel 7, Fox Footy, Kayo Sports
Betting: Bulldogs $1.68, Demons $2.20
B: Johannisen, Trengove, Crozier
HB: Duryea, Cordy, Wood
C: Hunter, Smith, Lipinski
HF: Suckling, Schache, Lloyd
F: Naughton, Bontempelli, Dickson
FOLL: English, Dunkley, Macrae
I/C: Williams, Smith, McLean, Richards
EMER: West, Dale, Morris, Young
B: Lever, May, Jetta
HB: Hibberd, Frost, Salem
C: Hunt, Lewis, Jones
HF: Harmes, Petracca, Fritsch
F: Hannan, Preuss, Brayshaw
FOLL: Gawn, Viney, Oliver
I/C: Neal-Bullen, Petty, Lockhart, Dunkley
EMER: O. McDonald, C. Wagner, J. Wagner, J. Kennedy-Harris
IN: Lever, Jetta, Gawn
OUT: Hore (injured), T. McDonald (injured), Weideman (injured)