Bulldogs batter Roos
JOSH Bruce’s career-best 10 goals has powered the Western Bulldogs to a record-breaking 128-point AFL demolition of North Melbourne.
The Bulldogs slammed home 20 of the last 22 goals to obliterate the Kangaroos under the roof at Marvel Stadium, running out winners 25.17 (167) to 5.9 (39).
It was the Bulldogs’ greatest-ever score and winning margin over North, eclipsing respective marks set in 1984 and 1971.
Determined to put in a competitive showing after the club’s place in the Good Friday timeslot was questioned during the week, the Kangaroos’ intensity barely lasted a quarter.
Maligned forward Bruce shot to form, becoming the first AFL player to kick 10 goals in a game since Ben Brown for the Kangaroos against Port Adelaide in 2019.
It was the third-straight time Bruce has booted at least six goals against North in what was a timely performance as No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan pushes his case to debut in the Bulldogs’ forward line.
North forward Nick Larkey appeared to have cut the margin to five points midway through the second term, but a video review disallowed the goal.
The Bulldogs, led by Bruce and a scintillating performance from star recruit Adam Treloar (three goals and 27 touches), then piled on the next 12 goals to completely crush North’s spirits.
The Kangaroos’ next goal did not come until the eight-minute mark of the last quarter when young gun Charlie Lazzaro nailed one on the run.
Not even in their drought-breaking premiership year of 2016 did the Bulldogs open the season with a trio of victories, with confidence continuing to build at the Whitten Oval.
The Bulldogs’ only concern is a shoulder injury to Ryan Gardner, with the defender subbed out in the opening stages.
Jared Polec (hamstring) and experienced midfielder Jed Anderson were both hurt for the Kangaroos.
The Bulldogs will host the resurgent Brisbane Lions in Ballarat next Saturday, while North is back at Docklands on Sunday for a rare winnable match against last year’s wooden spooners Adelaide.
(C) AAP 2021
WESTERN BULLDOGS 4.2 9.6 15.10 25.17 (167)
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.2 3.4 3.8 5.9 (39)
Goals: Western Bulldogs: J Bruce 10 A Treloar 3 T English 3 A Naughton 2 B Dale 2 A Scott J Dunkley L McNeil M Bontempelli P Lipinski. North Melbourne: J Stephenson 2 A Hall C Lazzaro N Larkey.
Umpires: Brett Rosebury, Brendan Hosking, Andre Gianfagna.
Official Crowd: 28,483 at Marvel Stadium.