Despite the hype of the rivalry between GWS and the Western Bulldogs, the two teams have not delivered a classic contest in quite a while.
That cold streak, literally, continued in Canberra on Friday night as the Dogs held off the Giants in a dour affair in freezing conditions.
The once mighty GWS midfield was dominated by the Bulldogs, who did enough in the last quarter to push out to a 39-point win.
Here’s everything you need to know!
The Difference: Bulldogs engine room too good
Much has been made of the Bulldogs midfield this year and their dominance was on full display in Canberra.
They won the centre clearances 16-6 in a game where field position was vital, given the slow pace of play and the numbers behind the ball.
It was devastating in the last quarter, with the Dogs setting up four goals directly from centre bounces.
Jack Macrae was his prolific best, finishing with 38 disposals, while Adam Treloar picked up 34.
The Medical Room: Early hamstrings for both teams, late worries for the Dogs
Western Bulldogs midfielder Lin Jong’s run of awful luck continues, suffering a hamstring injury in the first quarter of his return game.
Jong has been hampered by knee, shoulder and even appendix injuries in recent years and looks set for another stint on the sidelines.
Ruckman Tim English was knocked out in a marking contest, with Aaron Naughton’s knee collecting him in the head.
Star Bulldog Josh Dunkley also came from the ground late in the fourth quarter with a dislocated shoulder. He returned to the game before the shoulder popped out a second time.
The Giants also lost a player early, with All-Australian defender Nick Haynes also going off with a hamstring injury.
How GWS replaces him, with Phil Davis already on the sidelines, will be a point of interest through the week.
The Giants travel to take on Adelaide next Saturday afternoon, while the Bulldogs stay on the Friday night stage, facing Richmond on the MCG.
GWS Giants: 1.1, 4.5, 6.8, 9.11. (65)
Western Bulldogs: 2.3, 5.7, 6.11, 15.14. (102)
GWS Giants: Greene 4, Taranto, Stone, Himmelberg, Hopper, Ward
Western Bulldogs: Dale 2, Liberatore 2, Bruce 2, McNeil 2, Naughton 2, Hunter, Treloar, Bontempelli, Johannisen, Macrae
GWS Giants: Greene, Ash, Taranto, Hopper, Taylor, Cumming
Western Bulldogs: Macrae, Dunkley, Bontempelli, Hunter, Treloar, Liberatore, Dale
GWS Giants: Haynes (hamstring), O’Halloran (shoulder)
Western Bulldogs: Jong (hamstring), Dunkley (shoulder), English (head)
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