Round 1: Western Bulldogs (25.17 167) def. Richmond (7.10 52)

April 6, 2006

Unbeliveable.

It's the only word I can think of to describe our 115 point thumping of Richmond on Friday night. Other than perhaps the not-quite up-to-scratch performances of Rohan Smith (whom is surely due for retirement at the end of this season) and Sam Power (who, according to media reports, is due for some massive and long-overdue improvement this season), every single player on the field played a stellar game.

Nathan Eagleton was seemingly involved in everything. He kicked four goals — five if you include his pass from forty metres in front of goal, to Brad Johnson who was on his own ten metres out; and was involved time and time again across the midfield and half-forward, sending precision passes right into the waiting arms of our small-but-skillful forward line in the manner you might expect Lindsay Gilbee to do. In fact, we were so impressed with his performance we've given him a new moniker — "The E", complete with the catch-cry "He's peakin'! He's peakin', man!"

Brad Johnson, Scott West and Daniel Cross were their usual, amazing selves. Crossy seems to have worked a lot on his kicking, too — he kicked two goals. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I'm starting to think that if this kid keeps improving, he's going to end up better than Scott West.

Ryan Griffen looks fantastic. He seems to have really bulked up, an looks a lot more mature than his 19 years. Did a lot of great things, including a late goal, streaming through the midfield into the forward fifty to kick truly from about forty meters.

Adam Morgan at full forward looks like it might be worth persisting with, although I remain to be convinced he's the second coming of Simon Beasley.

If Matthew Boyd hasn't got a spot in the side next week, there's something wrong with the heads of the Bulldogs selectors.

Will Minson was OK in the ruck. He's good, but I think his cult hero status sometimes outshines his actual ability at the moment.

Adam Cooney, Daniel Giansiracusa, Mitch Hahn, Lindsay Gilbee, Brian Harris, Dale Morris, Ryan Hargrave … they were all fantastic. Robert Murphy and Matthew Robbins were a little quiet, but still very smart.

But perhaps was the most pleasing thing about the game was the pressure we put on Richmond at every opportunity. It seemed that none of their possession forward of the centre circle (and, quite often, behind the circle as well) was uncontested. Matthew Robbins was his normal, terrier-like self, but everyone seemed to have step up a couple of notches when it came to their intensity. Brian Harris continued his improvement in the hard-man stakes, at one stage being particularly rough with Judas Tiger Nathan G. Brown, pushing his head into the Telstra Dome turf, perhaps explaining the error in his judgement when he jumped ship to play for Richmond.

When I watched the replay on Fox Footy, I was struck by how pedestrian the Tigers' "running game" seemed when compared to that of the Dogs. They just weren't fast enough or skillful enough to play that style of game against us, and that's the reason we won — Richmond tried to play the game on our terms and were spanked. In my mind, this raises the question of what happens when we play with their own style of play who are able to impose it upon other sides. Essendon have always seemed to be very good at this against us, as have Sydney. I think Adelaide will be able to win an arm-wrestle against us too.

Next week we have Melbourne, who I think are too weak-willed to work their way back if we go out, guns blazing. I'm looking forward to Saturday afternoon.

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2 Responses to “Round 1: Western Bulldogs (25.17 167) def. Richmond (7.10 52)”

  1. neilmoog said

    ok..two things.
    1) I came up with “E, he’s peakin’, he’s peakin'” thing, not WE.
    2) Minson was awesome!, you were too drunk to notice anyway.
    Boooyah!

  2. liddy said

    argh get the fuck over it

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