K rock Football

Dogs deal Roos’ finals hopes a big blow

Dale Morris (centre) celebrates victory in his 250th game for the Western Bulldogs. (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)

THE Western Bulldogs have celebrated Dale Morris’ 250th milestone with a seven- point win at Etihad Stadium that also dealt North Melbourne’s AFL finals hopes a huge blow.

The Kangaroos held a game-high 28-point lead at halftime in Sunday’s clash, but could manage just three goals in the second half as the Dogs romped to a 13.14 (92) to 12.13 (85) win in front of 27,031 fans.

The result leaves the Roos outside the eight with two rounds to go and needing some help from other results to make the finals.

Marcus Bontempelli was outstanding for the Dogs with 35 possessions and two goals, with Lachie Hunter (44 disposals), Jack Macrae (40) and Caleb Daniel (40) all getting a stack of the ball.

Morris played on Jarrad Waite for most of the game and was influential in the back half.

Ben Cunnington led the way for the Roos with 26 touches, but the Dogs had 102 more possessions for the game.

Ben Brown kicked four goals to draw level with Richmond star Jack Riewoldt in the race for the Coleman Medal.

Zaine Cordy started on Brown but the Bulldogs defender left the game with a suspected fractured cheekbone suffered in a marking contest early in the second quarter.

Brown was scoreless before Cordy’s departure, but he sprang to life to kick three goals in the second term after youngster Aaron Naughton took over the job.

The Roos appeared in control 28 points up at halftime, but the Dogs somehow summoned a withering burst that rocked Brad Scott’s men.

The Dogs won a lopsided possession count 123-69 in an eight-goals-to-two third quarter, with Bontempelli leading the way with 14 touches for the term.

The Roos trailed by five points at three-quarter time, but with their finals chances on the line they couldn’t muster a comeback.

Adding to their woes, Waite will come under scrutiny for a high bump on Jackson Trengove in the first quarter.

North will take on Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in round 22, while the Dogs take on Carlton at Etihad Stadium.

© AAP 2018

WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.4 4.7 12.9 13.14 (92)

NORTH MELBOURNE 2.2 9.5 11.10 12.13 (85)

Goals: Western Bulldogs: T Dickson 3 J Schache 2 M Bontempelli 2 B Gowers F Greene J Johannissen L Jong P Lipinski T McLean. North Melbourne: B Brown 4 J Waite 2 M Wood 2 K Turner S Atley S Higgins W Walker.

Best: Western Bulldogs: M Bontempelli J Macrae C Daniel L Hunter J Johannissen T McLean. North Melbourne: T Goldstein B Cunnington S Higgins J Anderson J Waite B Brown.

Umpires: Justin Schmitt, Sam Hay, Brendan Hosking.

Official Crowd: 27,031 at Etihad Stadium.

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