Thursday, July 14, 2016

Western Bulldogs

So two weeks ago I saw the Western Bulldogs kick a goal in the closing seconds to defeat Sydney. It was a great game that had some violent mood swings and several lead changes.

The Dogs have had some rough patches over the last couple of decades, including poor play on the field as well as financial troubles and low membership totals off it. They've only won one premiership, in 1954.

But these days they've put a solid team on the field and even made the playoffs last season. I watched them play Hawthorn in round 3 and they gave the Hawks all they wanted before coming up short. To add insult to injury (or injury to insult), the Dogs lost captain Robert Murphy to a knee injury at the very end of the game. They were seen as premiership contenders beforehand, and I thought they would regress a little because of it. However they're playing well and are in the thick of the chase, trailing Hawthorn by one game as we head into week 17.

AFL ladder after round 16. Hawthorn has already played Sydney as we go to press.
No spoilers here.
Bulldogs captain Murphy is planning to return for his 17th season at the club following knee surgery and rehab. I think he sees something special right now and wants to be part of it. He probably deserves the chance to see it through, given that he's been there for the bad times, though there was talk that he should retire. It's interesting to me how there is such open talk on whether a player should do this (Matthew Pavlich at Fremantle is hearing it too), even during the season. I don't think we see this in the states-- we'd likely view it as quitting on your team.

In returning from vacation I watched Sydney beat up on Geelong and I got to see the GWS (Greater Western Sydney) Giants play Collingwood. The Magpies picked up their third straight win after beating GWS by 32 points. The Giants played well in the first quarter, scoring 44 points, but it took them almost the whole rest of the game to score that many again.

On tap for this week: Geelong/Fremantle and Collingwood at Adelaide.

Play on!

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