BULLDOGS 1.2 1.5 2.6 5.10 (40)
ST KILDA 4.5 6.6 13.9 15.13 (103)
On a trying Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, the Western Bulldogs continued their horror start to the season with a 63-point loss to the firming St Kilda.
After watching the laughable performance from Melbourne against Richmond at the MCG, the media parties who moved their cameras, microphones and commentators through the city loop and into the Docklands were expecting a tighter clash.
They were disappointed, as the Dogs began, and ended the game on the back foot. The rejuvinated Saints did it easily, their new attacking game plan suiting their frustrated stars who continued to make up for an ordinary 2011.
Nick Riewoldt was again on the scoresheet, two goals giving him six in two weeks. Stephen Milne reminded the footballing world of his class with three goals, and Brendan Goddard scored two. No Bulldog was a multiple goal scorer.
The St Kilda forwards fired a kick in the teeth for the Dogs, who couldn’t seem to find their way into the 50 and through the big sticks.
The Bulldogs actually went into half-time having scored just one goal – a throwback to the Terry Wallace era.
Despite Matthew Boyd’s stellar performance, the Bulldogs once again showed their reduced star power.
Barry Hall, Brad Johnson and Jason Akermanis are all big names who have retired in the previous two years. Brian Lake seems to have lost the plot; getting reported for an unnecesary slap late in the last quarter, and the consistent Dale Morris is out for the season.
The real story out of Saturday night’s game, however, was Lenny Hayes. After a knee reconstruction in 2011 – Hayes appears to have kept his thirst for the contest and defensive prowess. 30 possessions and seven tackles reaffirmed the iconic Saint’s class.
Overall, while St Kilda fans went home happy, it will be the Western Bulldogs who will be scratching their heads as to why, out of these two giants of the mid-noughties, they have been the side that has fallen so far.
St Kilda: Milne 3, Riewoldt 2, Goddard 2, Dal Santo, Polo, Stanley, Koschitzke, McEvoy, Montagna, Armitage, Steven,
Western Bulldogs: Jones, Giansiracusa, Griffen, Cooney
St Kilda: Hayes, Fisher, Montagna, Goddard, Stanley, Geary, Jones
Western Bulldogs: Minson, Boyd, Picken, Murphy
St Kilda: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Reports: Brian Lake (Western Bulldogs) reported for striking Tom Simpkin in the last quarter
Umpires: Donlon, Farmer, Meredith
Official crowd: 28,971 at Etihad Stadium