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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