Politics

Western Bulldogs slammed after 53-point Sydney Swans thrashing, reaction, Garry Lyon, Gerard Healy


Greats of the game have taken aim at the Western Bulldogs after last year’s grand finalists were taken to school in Sydney in prime time.

The Western Bulldogs’ finals hopes are all but hanging by a thread after an absolute thumping at the hands of the Sydney Swans.

The 17.18 (120) to 9.13 (67) drubbing was set up by the first quarter as the Swans piled on 7.8 (50) by the first break.

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The upside for the Dogs was that it was only 50 points as wayward kicking stopped the result from being even worse.

Another six goal to three term in the third quarter put the game well beyond reach heading into the final quarter and iced the game for the red and white.

On Fox Footy at full-time, Garry Lyon said “it’s a side that, on the back of a grand final appearance last year, may very well miss the eight.

The Bulldogs are just four points out of the eight but down on percentage to the current eighth-placed team Richmond.

It doesn’t get any easier for them, facing St Kilda next week before a run of top four sides in Melbourne, Geelong and Fremantle in the next month weeks.

“It looks precarious now,” Nick Riewoldt said. “After that disappointing performance, and it’s as much about that performance as it is the road ahead, if you’re playing the type of footy you dished up tonight, it doesn’t matter really who you come up against.”

Asked if he was “putting a line through them”, Riewoldt said: “Almost.”

“It’s about the sort of footy you’re actually playing as a group. The really good part of their game coming into tonight where they’ve been strong, the contest game, the clearance game, in the clinches, they were obliterated tonight.”

Jonathan Brown said: “But they haven’t been the last two weeks and that is concerning. When your back’s to the wall, season’s on the line against the Brisbane Lions and tonight against the Sydney Swans, they haven’t shown the fight, the pressure, the will to compete and defend against opposition that good finals teams do.”

Lyon also stuck the boot in, saying the Dogs were “pathetic”.

“They’ve got problems all over the ground the Western Bulldogs,” he said.

“Their back half just can’t defend in the air or on the ground, their forward half is so reliant on one man and he’s still carrying such a big load and one of your best midfielders Treloar is playing off half back.”

But they weren’t the only ones.

On AFL Nation, Gerard Healy said it appeared as though the Swans had a rocket put up them during the week.

“The Swans look like they’re playing like John Longmire told them to wear the mouthguard this week (at training),” he said.

“The Dogs are deadset quiet and in the Kennel at the moment.”

He said it was hard to tell where the Swans were after this performance as the Bulldogs were so poor.

“This has been a sensational win by the Swans … but it’s hard to know just how good they’ve been because the Dogs have been horrible,” Healy said. “This is the worst I’ve seen them play all year.

“Once you’re two games out of the eight, you’re just about cooked aren’t you?”

Alastair Lynch said Sydney’s victory was “super impressive”.

“The Swans just smashed them off the park,” he said.

“When they did lose possession, they just raised the bar in terms of pressure. They did it beautifully.”

The do-or-die clash was over at the first break as Sydney rattled up the highest opening-quarter score a Luke Beveridge-coached Bulldogs team has ever conceded.

The meek Dogs were simply powerless to stop the Sydney tsunami as the Sydneysiders booted the first five goals.

It all amounted to a remarkable first quarter for the Swans, who had 22 inside 50s to 10, producing 15 scoring shots to 3 — and a 37-point lead at the first break.

It was an emphatic bounce back from the Swans, after a last-round shocker against the Bombers.

Heeney said the Swans steeled themselves to come out hard from the first bounce.

“We knew these guys were a good side and it was an eight-point game and we came out firing with a four-quarter performance,” Heeney said on Seven.

“It was really pleasing and it makes it a hell of a lot easier up forward when your midfielders are getting after them and getting that ball in deep.”

Firebrand Papley tore the Dogs apart with 24 touches and could have had seven goals, were it not for wasteful kicking. Papley’s 17 score involvements were the most by any player this season.

With Michael Randall, NCA Newswire

Originally published as ‘Pathetic’ Western Bulldogs slammed after 53-point Swans thrashing



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