Bulldogs dominant in big derby fizzer

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
The Bulldogs were happy after recording a resounding victory over rivals South Bunbury.
Camera IconThe Bulldogs were happy after recording a resounding victory over rivals South Bunbury. Credit: Justin Fris

Bunbury cruised to an 83-point victory over South Bunbury in the Dale Alcock Homes WA Derby at Payne Park.

Despite the Tigers showing quality at times during Stephen Bilcich’s first game as league coach, they were routinely overrun in the corridor by a relentless Bulldogs engine room.

The home side weathered an intense opening seven-minute burst from the visitors, before booting three majors in 11 minutes to put the Tigers on the back foot.

It took the Tigers until the 22nd-minute mark of the second quarter to register their first goal of the afternoon — a tidy finish from Kelvin Lawrence — and by then, they trailed by eight goals.

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Seasoned campaigners Brett Peake, Dylan Heasman and Matthew Martin rubbed further salt into South’s gaping wounds during the second half with the trio capitalising on excellent delivery from Aaron Mills and Trent Gribble.

Post game, Dogs coach Jamie Nani believed his men were steadily building towards where they were hoping to be.

“We thought because they had a new coach they were going to come hard early and that would be the style they’d go with,” he said. “We said that if we crack them, we would open them up at some stage.

“The run and carry did get there – we had a couple of lapses I think in the second half where we were probably cruising I suppose but I’m still happy. If you win by 83 points, there are not a lot of negatives.”

Bilcich reaffirmed his commitment to establishing a core game plan to the Tigers playing group and backing his side post game.

“You have got to make the most of opportunities,” he said. “We had enough opportunities to be on par if not in front – as far as I’m concerned – at half-time.

“And it’s a mental game sometimes but to our boys’ credit, they kept persisting and it didn’t work for us today.”

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