Round 17 – Western Bulldogs v Collingwood: Bontification and the renaissance of the Bulldogs

Western Bulldogs versus Collingwood

1.40 pm, Sunday, 26th July

Etihad Stadium


Neil Anderson



Bontification n. colloquial. 1. To lead by example in a youthful skilful manner, especially in sporting contests. 2. The overcoming of an enemy or foe after years of being vanquished.


I don’t usually look at the wins and losses comparison with the team we are about to play. It’s usually too depressing unless it’s St Kilda and maybe North Melbourne. One of those teams has almost the same number of wins, losses and of course draws as their opponent the Bulldogs.

With Collingwood, they have 106 wins to the Bulldog’s 43. So history is well and truly against the Bulldogs winning today, but the thing that worries me most is the fact that the Pies haven’t won for four weeks. So as I email my tips, I will have to contend with the law of averages as well. In other words, Collingwood is definitely due for a win.

Then the image of Eddie standing up the back of the stand with his kids comes to mind. Red-faced and wielding a rolled-up footy-record like a club. Demanding success from his players representing the biggest sporting club in Australia, which incidentally has twice as many members as the Western Bulldogs.

These are the dark thoughts of the tipster who wants to remain at the top of the list and yet has to decide if he should tip against his own team.

The assessment of the players selected doesn’t help much in the decision- making process. Pendlebury and Swan’s past record against the Bulldogs means a loss while the youth of Bontempelli, Macrae, Wallis and Daniel hopefully stepping up means a win for the Dogs. Cloke and Elliott out for the Pies will help, but no Roughead and the inexperienced Campbell in the ruck is a negative for the Dogs.

As usual I end up picking the Dogs when it is a close-call even when the Betting Agencies have the Magpies as favourites, probably based on the fact that they nearly beat three of the top teams. It’s interesting how impartial money-making betting differs from die-hard supporter tipping just for the prestige of winning the competition.

All my logic and analysis for a Bulldog’s win went out the window twenty seconds after the first bounce. Just as I feared but hoped wouldn’t happen, Swan to Pendlebury ….goal. Why didn’t I realise the Magpies led by these two stars would be full of rage and determination after losing the last four games and want to take out their anger on the Bulldogs!

Varcoe raced in shortly afterwards and just missed the goals as did Grundy and White. The commentators were salivating at the possibility of three goals in three minutes for the Pies.

Then the Buldogs slowed down the initial havoc but could only kick points themselves. Enter Bob Murphy. You could almost hear him say to his younger team-mates, let’s stop the rot boys, as he floated from the back of the square, went forward, marked and goaled.

Such a great inspiration, Murphy had lifted his team, firstly with a goal from ‘The Bont’ after a pass from Hunter and Dickson got on the end of a coast to coaster. Crameri marked strongly in the goal-square and goaled with Dickson kicking his second goal. What a difference it makes having a reliable sharp-shooter like Dickson. Even Stringer is unreliable directly in front of goal although he can screw them around from the pocket or launch them from fifty metres out.

Grundy goaled early in the second quarter mirroring the first-quarter start with an expected surge to come from the Magpies, but the energy and confidence was up with the Bulldogs after Dahlhaus goaled and Dickson got his third.

Hunter playing his best game for the Bulldogs goaled but was negated by Moore with his first goal in the AFL before Grundy goaled cashing in after a rare blue by Easton Wood.

Only eleven points up going into the third quarter didn’t seem enough for the Bulldogs after dominating, particularly leading the uncontested possessions and keeping the ball in the forward- fifty for so long. Fortunately at the end of the quarter after goals to Stringer, Dickson again, Daniel and Crameri just before the siren, the Bulldogs started the last quarter twenty-six points ahead. It was a case of Bulldogs versus Darcy Moore who kicked another two goals in that quarter and he looks a real shining-light for the Magpies in the future. It won’t be just Swan and Pendlebury other teams will have to worry about.

Moore goaled early in the last quarter and White accepted an easy one with a fifty-metre penalty after Talia sassed the field-umpire in what turned out to be a weekend of whistle-happy and confusing umpiring. Just ask Dustin Martin about his squirt of the water-bottle. With all that ‘cheekiness’ being stamped out these days, I wonder how a lovable larrikin like Teddy Whitten would have survived in today’s sanitised football environment.

Apart from Moore’s fifth goal, the Bulldogs always seemed safe. There is definitely a renaissance taking place with this Club led by veterans such as Murphy, Boyd and Morris who are playing brilliant football, but more importantly they see it as their destiny to stay around and teach the younger players to be successful.

Murphy and some of those senior players may not be playing following this renaissance period, but they will be lauded just as much as the next premiership players when full bontification has been achieved.


Western Bulldogs     5.5 9.6 13.9 15.14   104

Collingwood   3.4 7.7 9.7 13.8     86



Bulldogs: Dickson 4, Crameri 2, Dale, Daniel, Redpath, Stringer, Dahlhaus, Hunter, Bontempelli, Wallis, Murphy

Collingwood: Moore 5, Grundy 2, White 2, Greenwood, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Varcoe



Bulldogs: Hunter, Picken, Wallis, Murphy, M. Boyd, Morris, Maccrae, Dickson

Collingwood: Swan, Moore, Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Langdon


Umpires: Stevic, Dalgleish, O’Gorman


Official crowd: 40,581 at Etihad Stadium


Our Votes: 3 Hunter (WB) 2 Picken (WB) 1 Moore ( Coll.)






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. Luke Reynolds says

    Bontification. Wonderful word. Fabulous player. What a great young team to watch, hard as it was supporting their opponents. Watched the game with a Bulldogs supporting mate. Think we’ve both got much to look forward to in the next few years.

    Moorccuracy- 1. The act (uncommon in recent years) of a straight kicking performance by a black and white key forward 2. Brightening a loss with a breakout performance

    Another loss was hard to take but could at least walk away with the excitement of Darcy Moore’s performance. Still very raw, and hope that the expectation placed on him isn’t too sudden, but very much liked what I saw. Glad you put him in your votes Neil. Great report on what was a very good game.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good stuff Neil watched this game at the Ad Uni FC Syd Greys Almanac function how refressing to see attacking footy by both sides agree re,Luke above plenty of promise ahead for both sides re the dogs after the termoil at the end of last season and then losing,Libba making the finals would be a incredible achievment

  3. Neil Anderson says

    Thanks Luke.
    It’s always a lot of fun to invent new words that probably only Almanackers would appreciate.
    Steve Baker was impressed with the many words that have derived from ‘The Bont’. The one that I remember was ‘Mutiny on the Bonty’ when I reported on a match against the Hawks down in Van Diemens Land.
    Darcy Moore was very good. Tall, athletic, accurate and very cool under pressure.
    Thanks Malcolm
    I’m glad it was a good match to watch at your Almanac function. I can’t wait to see Libba back in action to take some pressure off Mitch Wallis who has been fantastic all year anyway.
    I really believe the success for the Dogs can be credited to the assistant coaches and other champs that stayed to help when the going got tough. Men like Rohan Smith, Gia and Chris Grant on the Board. And of course Bob Murphy leading by example on and off the field.

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