Numbers favour the Dogs at the death

Marcus Bontempelli was the key that sparked the Dogs midfield. Picture @westernbulldogs on Twitter.

The Western Bulldogs’ large weight of numbers was crucial in their victory against the West Coast Eagles on Sunday afternoon.

One of the keys to this dominance was Marcus Bontempelli, who had 15 disposals to quarter time and finished with 30 for the match.

The Bulldogs run-and-gun style of play saw them have 100 more handballs and end up with nearly 100 more disposals for the match.

Alongside Bontempelli, Jackson Macrae had 40 disposals, Tom Liberatore and Josh Dunkley had 26, and Adam Treloar and Bailey Smith had 25.

Beveridge said such strong numbers were not entirely surprising, given they had the bulk of possession for the match.

“The handball-to-kick ratio, is always skewed towards handball, when you think of us, comparatively,” he said.

“For most of the game, we used our hands pretty well, we put each other under pressure and in trouble a few times.

“But, Stef [Stefan Martin] and Tim [Tim English] fought manfully, we know big Nic [Naitanui] is a goliath in there at times.

“They had eight clearances to one in that third quarter, and we only gave up one goal from those.

“Our mids hung in there, and the weight of possession and what they did with the footy, at times was impressive.”

“I thought they chained pretty well, and began to find some hit-up entries, and kick to advantage a bit more. In the end we took more marks inside 50 then they did.

“That’s a real win for us against a seasoned team with some key influential players.

“All our mids had a really productive game for us.”

One crucial stat for Bontempelli came at the death, when he kicked the winning goal for the Dogs with less than a minute remaining on the clock.

Beveridge spoke about the skipper’s impact on the contest as a whole as well.

“He’s done it before, Marcus, he’s lifted us,” he said.

“And he’s a prime example of that midfield group who’ve, you know when the game was on the line, like it is all game, but when there’s not much time left on the clock, and the time is now.

“Just what he did in the last quarter and they [the midfield] lifted each other, there’s no doubt he gave us significant momentum, and really sparked us into action.”

When the Eagles looked comfortable early in the last quarter it was another statistic that was threatening to cost the Dogs victory, with inaccuracy a concern after 3.7 in the second quarter.

Beveridge was not concerned, however, despite the inaccuracy from normally accurate players such as Aaron Naughton.

“He missed a couple that he would normally kick, he’s a pretty good set shot usually,” he said.

“He’s an arrow sort of executor with the way the ball goes out usually.”

“The game was played a little differently too, our forward half turnover stuff was pretty good in the first half and then we just didn’t get anything in the second half.

“In the end our stoppage scores, I think we kicked 6.9 or something, it’s just a lot of points from stoppage. But we looked dangerous.

“It’s about creating opportunities and preventing opportunities.

“We’re doing that well at the moment, we’d like to take a few more opportunities.

“But hopefully if we keep this going, then we’ll keep getting the rewards.”

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