AFL 2021 LIVE updates: Bulldogs take early edge over Eagles, Richmond overwhelm young Hawks
Nic Naitanui lays a crunching tackle on Mitch Wallis. The Eagles ruckman is having his usual impact today with 10 disposals, 16 hitouts, seven clearances, five score involvements and four inside 50s.
Carlton AFLW forward Darcy Vescio has clinched the leading goalkicking title for season 2021 with 15 majors. Great effort!
Much had been made of the strength of the Western Bulldogs midfield over the off-season and so far on Sunday at Marvel Stadium they are more than living up to their lofty reputation.
The way their midfield is dominating West Coast’s engine room – down Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo – is the reason for their seven-point lead.
West Coast are doing well stifling the Dogs when they have the ball in space, pressuring their run-and-gun players as well as possible.
But the sheer weight of opportunities going forward the Dogs are having as opposed to the Eagles - plus the fact they are running harder to outnumber West Coast in the forward line – means they are in front. It really is a miracle the margin isn’t bigger.
The inside-50 count is 29 to 18 in the Dogs’ favour.
When West Coast get the ball forward their tall forwards can’t be stopped by the Dogs’ undersized backline. In short, if the Dogs midfield drops off and West Coast’s lifts then this game will tighten more.
Josh Kennedy is dominating with three goals for the Eagles.
Marcus Bontempelli is playing a blinder. He has kicked one goal, a nice snap in the second term, and has 21 touches, four marks and a tackle.
Like Adelaide’s Taylor Walker, West Coast star Josh Kennedy looks like another veteran full forward who is benefiting from the new rules that have been implemented this year.
Kennedy already has three goals at half-time as the efficient Eagles stay in touch with the Bulldogs who only lead by seven points, 6.10.46 to 6.3.39.
Kennedy kicked his 650th career goal in the second quarter, and we all know how much he loves playing against the Bulldogs - he now has 58 goals against them, nine more than his next favourite opponent (Collingwood, 49).
Marcus Bontempelli has been the best player so far with 21 disposals, nine score involvements, five clearances, four marks, four inside 50s and a spectacular goal.
The Western Bulldogs have been very wasteful in attack, with six more scoring shots (13-7), but they only have a six-point lead, 5.8.38 to 5.2.32.
The hosts are leading the disposals 180-131, inside-50s 23-15, clearances 13-10 and marks inside 50 (9-4). So it’s been a frustrating first half for them so far.
In the AFLW, Collingwood have lost to spot on the ladder and the week off in the finals after loing to Adelaide, while Melbourne star Daisy Pearce hasn’t ruled out playing again this season despite hurting her knee. Click here to read the report.
A tight first quarter at Marvel Stadium ends with the Bulldogs taking a one-point advantage, 3.3.21 to 3.2.20.
Bulldogs skipper Marcus Bontempelli is off to a sizzling start with 15 disposals, five clearances, four score involvements, three marks and three inside 50s already.
Meanwhile, Liam Ryan kicked one of the best goals of the year so far as he danced around Ryan Gardner a few times before strolling into the open goal with smarts and skill.
The Doggies are dominating the disposals 122-82 and tackles 10-5.
Click here to read Daniel Cherny’s match report from the MCG today as the Tigers proved too strong for Hawthorn.
Best: Richmond: Martin, Prestia, Lambert, Bolton, Riewoldt, Short, LynchHawthorn: Mitchell, Jiath, Impey, Hardwick, Howe, Brockman
VotesD. Martin (Richmond) 8T. Mitchell (Hawthorn) 8D. Prestia (Richmond) 7C. Jiath (Hawthorn) 7K. Lambert (Richmond) 7
If Daniel Rioli had his kicking boots on, the Tigers’ victory might have been an even bigger one.
Instead, Rioli finished the day with 0.4 and Richmond ran out comfortable 29-point winners, 11.12.78 to 7.7.49.