If the previously-unbeaten Western Bulldogs thought they have been premiership materials in season 2021, they acquired a brutal reminder from reigning champions Richmond on Friday evening that they’re going to have their work reduce out for themselves to cease a yellow-and-black three-peat.
After being humbled by one other rising challenger in Melbourne final week, the injury-hit Tigers fought back from 25 factors down to register their most important win of the season and finish the Dogs’ undefeated begin to the yr within the course of.
Richmond appeared susceptible heading into the competition, lacking Dustin Martin (concussion), Dion Prestia (calf), Kane Lambert (calf) and Nick Vlastuin (knee), however they reminded the competitors that they’re not performed but with a stirring 22-point victory towards the AFL’s hottest group.
After being outplayed for a lot of the primary half, the Tigers fittingly engaged premiership mode within the premiership quarter as they fully overwhelmed the Bulldogs’ vaunted midfield and their backline couldn’t address the inundation of ahead entries.
Richmond helped themselves to the primary 16 inside 50s of the third time period and kicked 5 targets in a row at one stage, to dramatically remodel the complexion of the sport. They completed up with 10 of the final 12 majors.
The Tigers’ midfielders have been successful the clearances at will and gave their group first use of the ball up ahead, besieging the Bulldogs defence which dedicated numerous panicked disposals and saved kicking it straight back to their opponents. The Dogs didn’t enter their ahead line after halftime till the 22-minute mark of the third time period.
The Bulldogs’ spirit was lastly damaged late within the final quarter as Shai Bolton, one of many architects of the spectacular comeback, offered some sweet to Easton Wood earlier than kicking a banana straight via the center.
TOM’S TERRIFIC TURNAROUND
After lacking his first 5 photographs on purpose for the sport, Tom Lynch appeared like he was headed for a unclean evening on the workplace. His confidence appeared completely shot when, within the shadows of quarter-time, after marking strongly from shut vary, he determined to handball it to Jake Aarts who had to dodge a defender within the goalsquare earlier than kicking really. But the previous Sun turned issues round dramatically to lead the cost up ahead and end up with three
DOGS DEFENCE EXPOSED
The Bulldogs’ defence has been earmarked by many as probably the one chink within the ladder leaders’ armour, and after being positioned beneath huge stress after quarter-time, these calls appeared justified. Everything appeared hunky dory halfway via the second time period because the Bulldogs’ midfield dominated proceedings up to that time, however as soon as the Tigers actually ramped up the strain with a complete benefit in territory battle, the Dogs backline wilted beneath the warmth of repeat Tiger entries. After trailing the within 50s 22-10 early within the second time period, Richmond received the rely 47-21 from that time.
CAPTAIN COTCHIN HAS A CRACKER
Trent Cotchin led from the entrance within the third quarter with 9 disposals to play a pivotal function within the beautiful Richmond turnaround. Conversely, star Bulldogs pair Jack Macrae and Tom Liberatore might solely handle 5 touches between them in that interval after racking up a mixed 32 within the first half.
BULLDOGS BACKLINE BREAKS DOWN
Patrick Lipinski had the possibility to stage the scores halfway via the ultimate time period, however his operating shot on purpose from 40m out on a good angle hit the put up. Three minutes later, Bachar Houli unloaded a set shot from 50m out that fell brief, however inexplicably bounced via for a purpose even supposing Bulldogs defenders Bailey Dale, Alex Keath, Zaine Cordy and Jason Johannisen have been all within the goalsquare.