Round 10 – Collingwood v Western Bulldogs: Hot Dogs Freeze Up

Collingwood v Western Bulldogs

7:50PM, Friday May 25

Docklands Stadium

 

 

What I witnessed on Friday night was a true example of a tale of two halves. After a first half that showed so much promise for the Western Bulldogs, it all unravelled at the seams in the second half of their clash with Collingwood, as the black and white army powered home eight unanswered goals in a 35-point win – breaking a five-game losing streak against the Dogs, and having themselves firmly placed in the eight at the moment.

 

 

The first term was something of sheer beauty if you were a Bulldogs’ supporter. After the Pies dominated the opening 10 minutes of the contest for the reward of just one goal, the Western Bulldogs shifted into gear and found their stride. They pressured Collingwood’s ball carriers and caused them to turn the ball over, which resulted in goals. 22 tackles was what the Dogs laid in the opening term and that was a catalyst to their opening term blitz.

 

 

Whether it was Matt Suckling’s booming left boot sailing through the big sticks, Tory Dickson’s reputation for being a dead-eye in front of goal on full display with two goals for the term, or the likes of big boys Tom Boyd and Josh Schache competing and using the ball well, the Doggies could do no wrong – they were all over the Pies in the opening term and in a rare occurrence, it showed on the scoreboard.

 

 

Leading by 25 points at quarter time and as much as 26 early in the second quarter, the expectation was on Collingwood to respond with a brilliant term and they did exactly that. Four of the next five goals were Collingwood’s. After goals from Adam Treloar and Josh Thomas reduced the margin to just 12 points, Jordan Roughead came up with a big grab inside 50 and then produced the six points to give some breathing room.

 

 

The Pies proved that they would not go away in the second quarter, with further goals from both Tom Langdon and Jaidyn Stephenson to reduce the margin to a single kick. However, the Doggies proved good enough to respond to the challenge…for one quarter anyway. Watching the club get around ex-Lion Josh Schache was very pleasing to see after he was on the end of a wonky Ed Richards kick and then proceeded to steer it home from a tough angle, setting the Dogs 18 points ahead at the half-time interval.

 

 

Unfortunately they would kick no more than four behinds for the remainder of the match. That’s right, over 60 minutes worth of inside 50 entries that amounted to pretty much nothing. I don’t want to take anything away from the Pies here, as they really stepped up when it needed to be won, but from a supporter’s point of view, it was painful and at times embarrassing to watch.

 

 

Collingwood’s intensity lifted tenfold after half-time and the Dogs failed to give any sort of response whatsoever. Whether or not their slog a week earlier against Adelaide had something to do with their lethargic second-half performance on Friday night, nobody knows except those internally, but from what I saw, there looked a few tired bodies out there. Jordan Roughead was very sore by half-time, Zaine Cordy had a delayed concussion and the likes of Marcus Bontempelli, Jason Johannisen and Hayden Crozier were very quiet, when they needed to be much better.

 

 

On the other side of the ledger, Taylor Adams rebounded from a poor first-half and showed aggression that we have all come to know over the past few years, getting into the face of any Bulldog that was in his way. As a matter of fact, any Collingwood player that looked like they were going to get challenged in the second half, they responded with aggression that matched, if not bettered their opposition, which is something that has impressed me about this Collingwood team this year.

 

 

To back up how aggressive the Magpies were in the third quarter, they recorded 43 contested possessions to the Bulldogs’ 23. That’s a damning statistic and it showed that Collingwood wanted it more as much as the Bulldogs went to sleep. The Bulldogs tried a little harder in the last quarter, but they ultimately stumbled in the forward half, which I’ll continue to stress, has been the major problem all season long.

 

 

Seeing Collingwood run it up and get easy inside 50 opportunities just made it all the more frustrating. Another four goals in the final term from the home team put the Bulldogs away for a comfortable 35-point win. It’s hard to find positives on a result like this, but there were a few Dogs that I were very impressed with.

 

 

Bulldogs’ gun Jack Macrae notched up his ninth game in which he recorded 30 disposals or more this season, with 30 disposals, seven marks, four tackles and four rebound 50s, but probably wasn’t the best Bulldog on the ground – as only 11 touches came in the second half. Toby McLean was perhaps the one of the rare Bulldogs that tried his heart out for four quarters. He recorded 33 disposals, 10 tackles, nine marks, seven clearances and five inside 50s.

 

 

I have to give a special mention to Ed Richards, who in just his ninth game of AFL football, looked very impressive and perhaps played his best game to date. 23 disposals, four marks, four tackles, five inside 50s and three rebound 50s from the red-headed defender. Another recruit that looked very impressive was Jackson Trengove, who also backed up an impressive game last week in Adelaide with 21 disposals, nine marks and four rebound 50s in defence. Captain Easton Wood also worked hard with 15 disposals, 10 marks and two rebound 50s, and played a part in keeping the in-form Jordan De Goey to just 15 touches and no goals.

 

 

Tom Phillips was awarded the Rose-Sutton Medal for the best player between the two sides, with 36 disposals, six marks, four rebound 50s, four inside 50s and a goal – continuing his fine year, whilst Adam Treloar was destructive in the middle, recording a game-high 40 disposals, along with six inside 50s, five clearances, five tackles and two goals in a commanding performance. Brodie Grundy was dominant in the ruck and continued to press claims for an All-Australian spot this year, with 38 hitouts along with 26 disposals, seven marks and seven clearances.

 

 

As a matter of fact, Collingwood had a number of winners across the ground. Captain Scott Pendlebury (32 disposals, six clearances and five tackles) had a typically brilliant game, Jack Crisp (32 disposals, 10 marks, five clearances, five inside 50s and four rebound 50s) was industrious, Will Hoskin-Elliott (18 disposals, nine marks, six tackles and two goals) was Collingwood’s most dangerous in amongst a fleet of talented small forwards and the defensive trio of Lynden Dunn (23 disposals, nine marks and four rebound 50s), Matt Scharenberg (26 disposals, five marks and four rebound 50s) and Tom Langdon (29 disposals, four marks, four rebound 50s and a goal) were all brilliant in defence.

 

 

Luke Beveridge stated in the post-game press conference that there is some “Soul-Searching” to do at the club following such a terrible second-half. They have eight days to turn it around before taking on a red-hot Melbourne outfit, who are fresh from handing Adelaide a 91-point thumping in Alice Springs. If the same team we saw on Friday turn up next Saturday, it will get ugly for the Western Bulldogs next week before they head into the mid-season bye.

 

 

Western Bulldogs    5.2    8.3    8.5    8.7.55
Collingwood             1.1    5.3    9.8   13.12.90

Goals

Western Bulldogs: Dickson 2, Roughead 2, Boyd, Gowers, Schache, Suckling
Collingwood: Treloar 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Thomas 2, Adams, Daicos, Phillips, Sidebottom, Stephenson, Langdon, Pendlebury

Alex Docherty’s Best

Western Bulldogs: McLean, Macrae, Suckling, Richards, Wood, Trengove
Collingwood: Phillips, Treloar, Grundy, Pendlebury, Hoskin-Elliott, Crisp, Scharenberg

 

 

About Alex Docherty

Alex is a diehard footy nut. He loves his Western Bulldogs and loves writing about them every week as much he loves running out and playing footy himself.

Comments

  1. Len Rodwell says:

    Alex thank you for this report. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, I was able to watch this game and must fully agree with your assessment of the Bulldogs performance. One can only hope for a better showing next week. The return of Dale Morris might put some more steel in the side.
    I like the way you also point out the good performances from the opposition, even if they are the hated Magpies.

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