The Western Bulldogs came into their Saturday matchup against St Kilda fairly confident of securing a win but were convincingly defeated 103-40. A Saints side that looked very shaky in their round one loss to Port have now turned the corner and are once again looking deadly and ready to compete for a premiership. Their talented squad got the better of the Dogs and will go into next Friday night’s contest against the Fremantle Dockers and former coach Ross Lyon with a heap of confidence.
While the Bulldogs had a couple of exciting runs through the ground, St Kilda were clearly better throughout the first term. Polo kicked the game’s first goal for St Kilda before Cooney helped return the favour by creating a coast to coast goal that ended with a mark to Liam Jones who made no mistake from the set shot.
McEvoy marked in the goal square and restored to the Saints lead to nine points, before goals to Dal Santo and Riewoldt in the final two minutes gave St Kilda a 29-9 quarter-time lead.
Koschitzke was the first goal kicker of the second quarter but it came halfway through the term. Rhys Stanley kicked a second for the Sainters, the only two goals of a low scoring quarter, atoning for a missed shot earlier in the quarter by taking a great pack mark and slotting through the set shot.
The Bulldogs could only manage two behinds for the duration of the quarter and went into the half down 11-42.
The score got out of hand over the final two quarters, the Saints went ahead by as much as 82 points and the final margin of 63 points was the result of the Dogs kicking the final three goals of the game in garbage time.
The Saints featured 12 individual goal-kickers: Milne had three, while Goddard and Riewoldt kicked two apiece.
Despite Nick Dal Santo being reasonably well-held by the likes of Daniel Cross, Goddard had a big first quarter and was damaging went he went forward while Lenny Hayes racked up a team-high 30 disposals. Sam Fisher was also damaging across halfback throughout the first half.
Captain Matthew Boyd was his typically outstanding self, collecting 39 disposals and grabbing eight marks, but the other Bulldogs weren’t very influential across the ground. One highlight was the play of youngster Luke Dahlhaus who looks to be a future star and was exciting every time he touched the ball.