The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Fresh legs bear the load as Bull­dogs hunt home fi­nal

- GREG BUCKLE

WESTERN Bull­dogs coach Luke Bev­eridge says he may have to rest sev­eral play­ers and “drain” the VFL side to find re­place­ments for Satur­day’s lastround clash with Bris­bane, as the Bull­dogs pre­pare for their first fi­nal since 2010.

The Bull­dogs strength­ened their hopes of host­ing an elim­i­na­tion fi­nal with a 23-point win over fel­low top-eight side North Mel­bourne yesterday, end­ing the Kan­ga­roos’ sev­en­match win­ning streak.

Bev­eridge said there was al­ways a nag­ging doubt af­ter a trip to Perth last week that tired legs could be a fac­tor. But the Bull­dogs kicked four of the last five goals yesterday.

“Com­ing into these last three rounds in Perth, Mel­bourne, Bris­bane, was go­ing to be a chal­lenge for us,” he said.

“Our boys have done re­ally well to re­cover. We made six changes, some fresh legs in there.

“When it’s an op­po­nent that has played in a pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal re­cently and touted by many to press at the end of the year, that gives us a bit more belief.”

Yesterday’s win was the Bull­dogs’ 11th vic­tory from 13 games in 2015 at Eti­had Sta­dium. How­ever the MCG, where the Bull­dogs have one win and one loss this year, is loom­ing as a pos­si­ble venue for the Bull­dogs’ home fi­nal in a fort­night’s time.

North Mel­bourne coach Brad Scott last night said his side would not keep any aces up its sleeve against Rich­mond on Fri­day night de­spite the pos­si­bil­ity of meet­ing again in a cut-throat fi­nal the fol­low­ing week.

A flat Scott said the Kan­ga­roos were de­ter­mined to en­ter Septem­ber with mo­men­tum.

Kan­ga­roos key for­wards Drew Petrie, Ben Brown and Jar­rad Waite com­bined for a whop­ping 23 marks but the Roos could muster just five goals in the first three quar­ters as their mid­field was com­pre­hen­sively beaten.

 ??  ?? REST UP: Western Bull­dogs coach Luke Bev­eridge.
REST UP: Western Bull­dogs coach Luke Bev­eridge.

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