Western Bulldogs 3.1 6.5 7.7 8.13 (61)
North Melbourne 3.3 7.3 11.7 18.7 (115)
After a slow start North Melbourne have overcome a valiant Western Bulldogs team by 54 points to move up to 7th on the ladder.
Despite coming in as favourites, the Kangaroos had to be wary of the Dogs after losing to them earlier in the year.
This caution turned out to be warranted as the Bulldogs took it up to North and were the better team for most of the first half. However, the Kangaroos were able to settle and run over the top of them in the second half.
Drew Petrie led the way with another bag of five and was the clear difference between the teams. While the Dogs didn’t have a single tall target, Petrie took marks and crashed packs all day. Ryan Bastinac was also great with 31 possessions, providing class on the outside of what were regular stoppages.
As for the Western Bulldogs, Mitch Wallis continued his rise into a quality midfielder with 25 disposals and 10 clearances. Dylan Addison’s performance was also important for the Dogs; he presented all day, providing their only real forward target.
The Bulldogs started the game the way they would have wanted, keeping the ball in their half for most of the first quarter. While it took 10 minutes for Tory Dickson to kick the first goal, they were certainly on top.
As usual this season, the Dogs had plenty of inside 50s but never looked like scoring. In contrast, North Melbourne looked potent with every forward thrust and were able to lead at quarter-time despite limited opportunities.
The Bulldogs were able to continue their pressure and dominance early in the second and converted two goals to take the lead.
However, around halfway through the quarter North clicked and with four of the next five goals, they went in ahead at the half.
The second half was a whole different story. The Bulldogs’ intensity dropped off while the Kangaroos returned to their form of the last few weeks. Any hope of scoring dried up for the Dogs while Petrie came into his own down the other end.
Dickson’s second was the only Bulldogs goal for the quarter while Petrie was able to kick his fourth and fifth to add to North’s other two goals in the third quarter.
The last was all North Melbourne. They went into cruise control and piled on 6 goals, all while keeping the Dogs to just one. This may yet prove crucial as it gave them the percentage to move past Essendon in the top 8.
3) Drew Petrie – North
2) Ryan Bastinac – North
1) Brent Harvey – North
Western Bulldogs: Addison 2, Dickson 2, Campbell, Giansiracusa, Grant, Talia
North Melbourne: Petrie 5, Tarrant 3, Anthony 2, Harper 2, Wells 2, Garlett, Gibson, Hansen, Harvey
Western Bulldogs: Wallis, Addison, Boyd, Griffen, Liberatore, Roughead,
North Melbourne: Bastinac, Petrie, Harvey, Cunnington, Swallow, Gibson, Anthony
Western Bulldogs: Nathan Djerrkura replaced Jason Tutt in the third quarter
North Melbourne: Aaron Mullet replaced Jamie MacMillan at three-quarter time
Official crowd: 21, 599 at Etihad Stadium