Dogs Hope Paw Form Run Is Over

Source: Getty Images/theaustralian.com.au
The Bulldogs have an outstanding record in Darwin at TIO Stadium. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/Getty Images
Last Five Meetings

Round 12, 2012 – Western Bulldogs 95 d Port Adelaide 57 (Etihad Stadium)
Round 22, 2011 – Western Bulldogs 157 d Port Adelaide 97 (AAMI Stadium)
Round 16, 2010 – Western Bulldogs 83 d Port Adelaide 47 (TIO Stadium)
Round 12, 2009 – Western Bulldogs 137 d Port Adelaide 44 (TIO Stadium)
Round 14, 2008 – Western Bulldogs 135 d Port Adelaide 81 (TIO Stadium)


Form

     Rd 5       Rd 6       Rd 7       Rd 8       Rd 9   
Western Bulldogs   L  L  L  L  W
Port Adelaide   W  L  L  L  L

Where there’s life, there’s hope for Doggies fans. The Western Bulldogs looked all at sea this season until a second half burst against St Kilda last weekend saw them pull off their second win of the season. The nine-point victory saw the Dogs pull level with the Saints on eight points, and they have another very winnable game this weekend against Port Adelaide .

Port’s run of five straight wins to start the season is now a distant memory after a fourth successive loss last weekend, this time to a rampant Geelong. The next two matches against the Bulldogs and Giants are must wins if they’re to stay in contention for September action.

Matthew Boyd was a standout for the Doggies last week, but he’s out with a calf problem, meaning young pup Mitch Wallis comes back in to the side. The Power have made three changes, with goalsneak Jake Neade coming back in to the team.


Key Men

(Bulldogs) Koby Stevens – He never really got a look in at the West Coast Eagles, but Koby Stevens is having a crack at turning himself in to a genuine AFL player in the west of Melbourne. Not the most talented footballer and he doesn’t always use the ball well at this stage of his career, but he is tough and throws himself around at stoppages. He played his best game ever against the Saints last week finishing with 31 touches and eight marks.

(Power) Travis Boak – Port Adelaide was pumped across the ground by Geelong last week, but one player who could hold his head high was Travis Boak . Even in a well-beaten side he found plenty of the ball, finishing with 28 possessions and six marks, along with six tackles. Apart from a quite night against Carlton – one of the teams that hotly pursued him at the end of last season – his production hasn’t dipped during Power’s losing streak.


Prediction

The Bulldogs have an outstanding record in Darwin having won their last six, and four of those have been against Port Adelaide. They were much better Doggies teams in days gone by, though. After getting their second win of the season, the last thing they needed is to lost their skipper and best player, Matthew Boyd. Much was made of Port’s off-season fitness regime in the opening weeks of the season, and the added heat in the top end will test both teams heading in to the business end of the match. Port probably has a few more mature bodies at this stage to cope with the conditions. Power by 15 points

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