Western Bulldogs: 4.3 8.5 10.11 12.15 – 87
West Coast Eagles: 6.2 10.6 16.9 21.10 – 136
On a disappointing day for new coach Brendan McCartney, his Bulldogs failed to pass the mark as the West Coast steamrolled them by 49 points at Docklands.
Despite some pre-season promise and the injection of new faces, the Dogs were only able to hold the Eagles at bay for a half of football before John Worsfold’s side showed their class.
Josh Hill returned to Whitten Oval to cause havoc, while Josh Kennedy once again kicked a bag – his 7 goals following up a 10-goal haul from last season’s corresponding fixture.
The game didn’t start well for the Dogs, Kennedy kicked his first within 40 seconds of the opening bounce whilst Daniel Giansiracusa was the main man up front after Barry Hall’s retirement: He kicked one early and missed another but it was the Kennedy show once again with the former Carlton star kicking three majors within 10 minutes.
Luke Dahlhaus finished a two-goal turnaround late in the first to put his side in front before Ashton Hams converted and Josh Kennedy kicked his fourth to have the Eagles leading by 11 at quarter-time.
Clay Smith converted two goals early on his debut to keep the Western Bulldogs in the game before Josh Hill finished off with a 40-metre punt to give his new side a comfortable lead.
Questions about Hill’s commitment to the Bulldog cause in 2011 were validated with the forward kicking goals, looking fit and not afraid to show his former teammates what he thought of them.
After half-time, the Bulldogs were nowhere in sight: Nic Naitanui kicked a blistering goal after blind turning two, Chris Masten converted a nice snap and the floodgates were open.
The Dogs were in clear trouble with minutes to go in the third and that didn’t change in the last, West Coast barely lifting a finger, winning by 49 points in a fruitful trip to Victoria.
1 – Clay Smith
2 – Josh Kennedy
3 – Matthew Boyd
Umpires: Nicholls. Jennings, Mitchell
Official Crowd: 24,977