Dogs dig deep to beat Blues

Dogs dig deep to beat Blues

CARLTON coach David Teague delivered on his promise of an AFL shootout but the Blues have come off second best in a 16-point loss to the Western Bulldogs.

During his midweek press conference, Teague predicted an attacking contest and implored his side to take on the competition’s highest-scoring team with an “open, free-flowing” brand of football.

It worked a treat during the second and third quarters as the Blues’ pace and ball movement saw them break out to a 27-point lead.

But momentum shifted during time-on of the third term as the Bulldogs’ midfield lifted to help power their side to a 16.11 (107) to 13.13 (91) win.

The Dogs kicked eight of the last nine goals, tallying 8.4 to 1.3 in the final 35 minutes.

Aaron Naughton (two goals) put them in front with less than eight minutes left and Patrick Lipinski sealed the result in the dying stages.

Josh Bruce kicked five goals for the Bulldogs in another strong performance in attack as Tom Liberatore, Jackson Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli shone through the midfield.

It was the fifth time this season and third game in succession that Carlton have coughed up a triple-figure score to the opposition.

Their defeat came despite Eddie Betts’ biggest goal haul in navy blue for almost a decade.

Betts lit up the Blues’ forward line with four of their first five majors, including an outrageous snap out of mid-air after tapping the ball to his own advantage.

He finished with five goals and Harry McKay kicked four to move into outright first on the Coleman Medal leaderboard.

Ed Curnow, Sam Walsh and ruckman Marc Pittonet were among the Blues’ best as boom recruit Zac Williams had just nine disposals on a quiet day.

Carlton’s Jack Silvagni was substituted out of the match after suffering a head knock.

The Bulldogs will travel to take on fellow flag contenders Port Adelaide on Saturday night, while the Blues face another daunting challenge against unbeaten Melbourne next Sunday.

(C) AAP 2021

WESTERN BULLDOGS 4.3 6.6 10.8 16.11 (107)

CARLTON 3.3 8.6 12.10 13.13 (91)

Goals: Western Bulldogs: J Bruce 5 A Naughton 2 A Scott 2 L Hunter 2 A Treloar J Johannissen J Sweet M Bontempelli P Lipinski. Carlton: E Betts 5 H McKay 4 M Owies 2 D Cuningham P Cripps.

Umpires: Mathew Nicholls, Brett Rosebury, Dan Johanson.

Venue: Marvel Stadium.