Written by AFL Online on 13th Sep 2008
The Western Bulldogs will play in their first Preliminary Final since 1998 after beating the Swans by 37 points at the MCG on Friday night. The Doggies will now take on the reigning premiers Geelong for a spot in this years Grand Final.
My margin is Western Bulldogs by 45 points.
An Absolute arm wrestle. Great to watch as 2 unique and different game plans go up against each other. Obviously the Dogs wanted to make Gilbee free, and play him a “quarterback type role” and so far it’s working as he has had 9 touches so far. Scoreline suggests the game is bloody close and it is. Kirk not having his usual role, with Eade cleverly not letting him have an opponent and blocking him out at the stoppages. Barry Hall looks way too quick and strong for Brian Lake, and has taken a couple of good grabs already. Kennelly started the game very well having 8 touches and looking like the Irish lad we are all used to. Boyd and Cross started very strong.
Massive effort by Brad Johnson, got smashed my Mattner and came back at the end of the quarter to be influential in a goal. Kirk still be stopped well, and Adam Goodes not looking as dangerous. The Dogs are using Gilbee and Hargrave very well off halfback, and Boyd is having a field day. Minson is starting to warm up too. Rocket Eade would have been pulling all 3 of his hairs out (Commentator’s quote not mine) after Dogs got a shot at goal for Higgens reversed and a gift goal given to the Swans, could be vital later on. Higgens chipped in with a great snap and the Dogs are leading just at the main Break.
Belonged to Will Minson and Josh Hill. Both kicked goals and were dangerous inside 50m. Dogs won’t lose from here. Brian Lake came down from FB to score and Bob Murphy playing a great game and has taken some strong overhead marks and loves wheeling round and sending it inside 50. Only dissapointing thing for the Dogs is Cooney isn’t having an impact at all, and will struggle to get 10 touches against the pink pig next week. Akermanis ability with his left foot is freakish, and the Swans traditions like Bolton, Kirk etc just aren’t getting their mitts on it. Everitt must be playing his last game. 5 goals up and will need a good finish to give them some confidence. Patrick Veszpremi looks in trouble too, big trouble.
Barry Hall opened up with a goal, but early the Dogs dominated. Aker kicked a nice goal and had alot of the sherrin early and after BJ goaled that was it. Speaking of the sherrin, Boyd has had his own with way over 30 touches for the match (don’t think there was a player over 25 other than that). Malceski has a lot of work to do over the summer he was no where near it tonight and hasn’t been for 6 weeks. Bevan and Hall trying so hard for the Swans and Kirk and Crough doing their best to make it respectable, but not enough. Don’t worry about Veszpremi, tough as nails and back into it. Adam Goodes clearly is another who isn’t fit, and as everyone knows you don’t play unfit players in finals. Hall finished with 4 in his best game since punching Staker
Western Bulldogs – 2.3 6.5 11.9 – 16.10 (106)
Sydney Swans – 2.4 5.7 5.13 – 9.15 (69)
Best players for the Dogs were Johnson, Hill, Boyd, Cross, Murphy and Griffen. For the Swans Hall, Bevan, Craig Bolton and Mcveigh.
Goals for Dogs Murphy 3 and Welsh and Eagleton 2. A shit load of singles.
Goals for Swans Hall kicked 4 out of 9 and no other Swan kcked multiple goals.
So there you have it the Dogs will meet the Cats next week. 42,000 or there abouts saw this match, bloody dissapointing I rekon. Nathan Eagleton funnily enough kicked his first ever finals goal ! And at quarter time I rekon Bruce jinxed the Swans by saying they had led in the both the matches this year against the Dogs in 2008 and got run over after quarter time.