Macrae top Dog as Lions tamed

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - SAM ED­MUND

JACK Macrae just plays foot­ball.

There’s no con­tro­versy, no quirky back story or even a strange off-field pur­suit.

When­ever the name Jack Macrae is writ­ten or spo­ken, the word “unas­sum­ing” is never far away.

In­deed, for­mer cap­tain Bob Mur­phy calls him “the most con­fi­dent shy per­son I’ve ever met”.

And there’s noth­ing wrong with any of that, par­tic­u­larly when you just might be the most in-form mid­fielder in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Macrae fin­ished with a per­sonal-best 47 dis­pos­als — 26 com­ing in the first half — in the Western Bull­dogs’ 14point win over the Bris­bane Lions last night.

A week af­ter hav­ing 40 touches against Gold Coast, the wiry left-footer torched the Lions with an equal game­high 18 con­tested pos­ses­sions, a game-high 10 clear­ances and an equal game-high eight in­side 50s. Macrae also had 10 score in­volve­ments — six more than the next-most.

Macrae was the head­line act in a Bull­dogs side with an av­er­age age of just 22 who made the Lions their third straight scalp.

Yet while they could never rest easy against this fight­ing Bris­bane side.

A side who no­to­ri­ously strug­gles to turn en­tries into scores, kicked 16.11 from 64 in­side 50s. It was only the third time in eight games the Dogs have kicked more goals than be­hinds.

It was just as well, given their 24-point three-quar­ter time lead had shrunk to seven with nine min­utes left. But the Lions’ charge had the stuff­ing knocked out of it when Lewis Tay­lor in­ex­pli­ca­bly hand­balled straight to Bai­ley Dale when the Lions were on the at­tack and Bon­tem­pelli kicked his fourth goal.

The Lions sur­vived — and threat­ened — on the back of fierce tack­ling pres­sure, but their turnovers were mer­ci­lessly pu­n­ished by the Bull­dogs, who kicked 11 of their 15 goals off the back of Bris­bane blun­ders.

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