Bulldog’s claim win without “focal point” forward

A Dogs side missing key forward man, Jack Buckley, has recorded a close victory over the Manly/Warringah Wolves over the weekend.

Buckley, who was called up into the GWS Giants NEAFL squad this week, has put away 12 goals so far this season for the UNSW-ES Bulldogs, seven of which were scored over the last two games.

However, the absence of their “focal point” didn’t harm the result, as the Dogs claimed an at times shaky 20 point victory over the Wolves at Weldon Park.

Bulldog’s coach and forward, Steven Pollock, gave credit to the side’s “character” for taking home the win without Buckley.

“Bit different today,” Pollock said. “We started really well and then we saw everyone go to sleep in the second quarter.”

“But in the end the boys are just showing how classy they are and enjoying the hard work.”

Co-Captain, Jeremy Daniher, claimed that Pollock’s presence on the park had helped guide them and keep the side positive throughout the game, which was important after having a deficit at halftime and only a nine point lead at the end of the third quarter.

“[Pollock] provides that voice, whereas, in other games we might drop our heads; he keeps us up and about,” he said.

The first quarter looked more even live than the scorecard reflected at the buzzer. Both teams moved the ball well up the park, however, Manly struggled to find opportunities due good work from Dogs defensive line. In contrast, the Manly defence did not rally as well. Though, solid forward pressure by the Dogs, which included quality smothers, marking, and running helped break it down effectively. In the end the Dog’s lead at the first interval, 29 (4.5) to 8 (1.2).

However, an aggressive Manly dominated the second period. Early on they struggled to put away a goal despite numerous chances, but found their range in the last 10 minutes and made the Bulldogs pay. The Dogs looked panicked and rushed for most of the quarter, as they struggled to move the ball up the park. Nevertheless, this didn’t prevent one moment of brilliance on the wing where a 20 metre grubber from square of the goal secured six of the only seven points gained in the quarter by the Dogs. Manly had claimed back the ascendency with 38 (5.8) points to the Dogs’ 36 (5.6).

Bulldog’s Co-captain, Jack McAnespie, described the team’s play as “stagnant” in the second quarter.

“We just went away from the things we do best,” McAnespie said. “Contested footy and working hard around the contest.”

“Just standing there waiting for them to make all the running which was disappointing.”

Although the Dogs improved in penultimate quarter. Early pressure mounted on them, but they fought through it and ended up getting the better of the half. Manly still looked threatening, though, after wrestling back a few opportunities at the end of the quarter. The Dog’s ended the quarter with a slim nine point lead, 61 (9.7) to Manly’s 52 (7.10).

The final quarter played evenly, however, it was Manly’s ill-discipline that let them down. They gave away countless penalties to give the Dogs the openings needed to seal the win. While the Bulldogs didn’t make optimum use out of all those chances, they did enough to ensure a victory. The final buzzer signalling a 20 point win for the Dog’s as they finished on 85 (12.13) to Manly’s 65 (9.11) points.

After the game, Pollock, hit back at suggestions that Manly turned the pressure around on themselves due to their mistakes while commending the sides ability to turn the momentum around.

“Ill-discipline is a cause of our pressure, because we’re hard at it and don’t get sucked into their stuff,” he said.

“I definitely don’t think [Manly] gave it to us. I think we definitely wrestled [the momentum] off them; they were ahead and we came back.”

The Bulldogs take on the Western Sydney Magpies next week at Picken Oval in Ashbury.

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Manly Warringah Wolves 1.2-8 5.8-38 7.10-52 9.11-65
UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs 4.5-29 5.6-36 9.7-61 12.13-85


Goal Kickers: C. D”Souza 2, L. Behagg 2, L. Kilpatrick 2, A. Robertson, L. Brain, C. Johnston

Best Players: L. Kilpatrick, A. Robertson, C. Johnston, J. Hawkins, E. Burke, W. Brassil


Goal Kickers: J. Hardman 3, J. McLean 2, M. Thompson 2, J. Cann, S. Wilson, J. Deep, H. Annear, M. Lower

Best Players: D. Cordell, H. Annear, J. Hardman, J. Deep, J. Cann, B. Pattison

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