Round 15 – Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast: And the Devil went up to Cairns

Western Bulldogs versus Gold Coast

4.35pm, Saturday, 11 July

Cazalys Stadium



Neil Anderson



“ I guess you didn’t know it, but I’m a fiddle-player too.

I’ll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul

’cause I think I’m better than you.”

The Devil Went Down To Georgia—The Charlie Daniels Band.

Another must-win for the Bulldogs against the Gold Coast Suns in Cairns. One day we hope the ‘must-win’ expression will be irrelevant. But in the meantime it is our mantra every week.

If Hawthorn supporters see their team drop the very occasional unexpected game there is a slight shrug of the shoulders only, with the belief that Hawthorn will probably be in the Grand Final anyway.

As the Bulldogs strive to climb the ladder and hopefully contest the finals, any loss is a disaster, particularly against teams lower on the ladder.

So as the Bulldogs attempt to win four in a row against the lowly Suns, nothing can be taken for granted when you are a Bulldog supporter. I’m trying to be positive, but unfortunately the Devil has arrived in Cairns already and he’s not going to make it easy for me.

The sun was out, the Bulldogs were in good form but the Devil struck early when Ablett kicked the first goal… within the first minute. I think the Suns winning the toss and kicking with the breeze was definitely the Devil’s work as well.

He spoke in a southern accent for some reason. “ I tol’ you my boy Gaz was gonna dominate today. At least forty po-sessions. You got no hope today son!

For the rest of the first quarter it looked like his predictions were right the way the Bulldogs were playing. They must have been possessed. Dropped marks from the reliable Matthew Boyd, ‘The Package’ Jake Stringer looking more like a ripped- apart parcel at a kid’s birthday- party as he fumbled the ball and gave away a fifty-metre penalty. One of our few talls, Tom Boyd, also dropped marks.

The Bulldogs were sapped of all energy obviously caused by some demonic force. It had to be. But the Devil must have thought he’d done enough when he allowed Charlie Dixon to hobble off for treatment. Until then standing up against the tall athletic figure of Michael Talia, Dixon made him look like a matchstick-man.

Rodney Eade would have been congratulating himself about the availability and selection of so many tall players including Lynch, Dixon, Day, Nicholls and Thompson. Their forwards just had to stand there and mark the ball easily against the shorter Bulldog back-line players.

In the second quarter the Devil continued his evil work. He made sure the Bulldogs dropped marks and gave away several free-kicks as they scragged their opponents rather than tackling correctly. The commentators were on the Devil’s side as they outlined the reasons for the Bulldog’s half-hearted attack on the ball. They started with the thought that it was all caused by a typical mid-season mental-lapse, especially amongst the younger players and then decided it was all caused by the Bulldogs arriving two-days early at Cairns and doing all that promotional work on behalf of the Club. The Devil had obviously been messing with their minds as well.

Half-time and the Suns were leading by eighteen points.

Things didn’t improve during the third quarter. Points being kicked instead of goals ( definitely the Devil’s doing ) and lots of free kicks awarded to the Suns including one where Fletcher Roberts with arms outstretched zombi-like pushed Matera in the back well after the ball was marked. Later Jake Stringer gave away a free-kick when, as if in a hypnotic state, he threw the ball back into play when the ball was out of bounds. Hmmmmm?

26 points down at three-quarter time and the Devil could have left the stadium with the rest of the neutral observers. His work was done.

The final quarter didn’t start well for us diehards who were actually dying. Cursing why the Bulldogs still have to play a home-game in places like Cairns. Digging deep for other reasons for failing over the years such as the lack of their own home-ground and never recruiting the right players to fill the key- positions. With all this feeling of doom and gloom I was surprised to hear Gerard Healy say the Suns hadn’t done enough and the Bulldogs just needed to kick another goal to start a comeback.

Enter Marcus Bontempelli. Swinging around on his trusty left-foot from forty metres out he goaled. Apart from a goal shortly afterwards from Malceski, it was the start of an avalanche of goals from the Dogs, so perhaps the Devil had left at three-quarter time.

Stringer shrugged off any suggestion he was under the power of some evil force and kicked a long goal. The Bont loped in from the centre of the ground and goaled after Murphy started the attack from the back-line. Murphy seemed to be able to ward off any outside influence from those dark-forces that had effected the rest of his team. Possibly the fact that both his parents worked in the Christian Church before they were married made him immune from evil.

The Suns were stopped in their tracks as players such as Wallis and Dahlhaus ran into goal leaving their opponents trailing behind. Finally, back-man briefly turned -forward Talia kicked his second goal for the match.

Bulldogs home by 22 points after a ten-goal last quarter and following a terrible performance for most of the match. The relief of winning for players and supporters was palpable and I wondered if the Devil had left or did he have one last nasty act to perform. Fortunately he had conceded defeat.


The Devil bowed his head because he knew he had been beat.

And he laid that golden fiddle on the ground

right at Johnny’s feet.”


W.Bulldogs   1.1 3.3 4.9 14.11   (95)

Gold Coast     5.3 6.3 9.5 11.7     (73)


W.Bulldogs: Redpath 3, Stringer, Dahlhaus, Bontempelli, Talia 2, Macrae, Wallis, Dickson.

Gold Coast: Hall, Matera , Lynch 2, Dixson, Ablett, Rischitelli, Malceski, Day


W.Bulldogs: Picken, Macrae, M.Boyd, Redpath, Stringer, Bontempelli

Gold Coast:   Kolodjashnij, Ablett, Rischitelli, Lynch

Umpires:       Donlon, Mollison, H.Ryan

Official crowd:   9,449

Our Votes:   3 Murphy (WB) 2 Picken (WB) 1 Bontempelli ( WB)








About Neil Anderson

Enjoys reading and writing about the Western Bulldogs. Instead of wondering if the second premiership will ever happen, he can now bask in the glory of the 2016 win.


  1. Peter Fuller says

    You need to learn to “keep the faith”. brother Neil.

  2. Neil Anderson says

    I have been tested Brother Peter for the past three score and one years, and I will not weaken.
    But does thou knowest of an exorcist in the Geelong area per chance I do?

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