A remarkable finals run has continued, the Bulldogs have won their way to the Grand Final with an astonishing 71-point win over Port Adelaide.
After three losses at the end of the home and away season, including a devastating two-point loss against Port Adelaide in round 23, the Western Bulldogs, who were in the top four for most of the season, dropped back to fifth. Their finals campaign was a do or die from the first week and it was evident that the Bulldogs were going to Yield to None.
After a win in week one against Essendon, they had to beat Brisbane at home. It was tight but they got there. In week three it was Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval. While Port Adelaide had been rested at home since week one, the Bulldogs had been on the road, with interruptions not derailing the task at hand. From Launceston, to Brisbane, to Perth to Adelaide, not even the extensive travel, hard quarantine, or the chance not to train on Adelaide Oval before the game could stop them.
Many doubted that the Bulldogs could beat Port at home. The deafening sound of the Port fans have shaken many before them. But the boys of the west, came out firing. An incredible first half, saw them build a 58-point lead.
Mitch Hannan was instrumental in the early onslaught, kicking three first half goals while Bailey Smith’s red-hot form continued – he kicked a game-high and career-high four goals, and racked up 23 disposals.
VU students continued to dominate, in the midfield Jack Macrae finished with 36 disposals and six tackles, Marcus Bontempelli kicked two and had 10 inside 50s, and Josh Dunkley had 22 possessions and eight tackles. Zaine Cordy who returned this week for the injured Alex Keath and Ryan Gardner held up in their key defensive posts, and the Dogs running half backs, including student Bailey Dale, were influential. Aaron Naughton was also in full flight converting two goals from some impressive marks.
The Western Bulldogs will now play Melbourne in the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final on Saturday 25 September at Optus Stadium, Perth. The Grand Final will be Melbourne’s first in 57 years after an inspiring win against Geelong. The Dees and the Bulldogs have met already twice this year (round 11 and round 19) with a win each this year, we are hoping the Western Bulldogs continue their finals form and yield to none.
2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final
Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs
Saturday 25 September
Start time 5.15pm AWST (local Perth time), 7.15pm AEST (local Melbourne time).