A CAREER-high five goals to Aaron Naughton has fired the Western Bulldogs to a drought-breaking 47-win over Richmond at Marvel Stadium.
The Bulldogs had lost four games in a row going into the match, but their high- energy play was too much for the depleted Tigers, Luke Beveridge’s men scoring a 15.9 (99) to 7.10 (52) win in front of 36,151 fans on Saturday night.
Naughton turned the match with a breathtaking three-goal burst early in the first eight minutes of the second quarter.
The exciting 19-year-old finished the night with 16 possessions and 14 marks, nine of them contested, just one shy of the AFL record for contested marks held by North Melbourne champion Wayne Carey.
Marcus Bontempelli also starred with 27 disposals, seven clearances and three goals, with Caleb Daniel (36 possessions) and Jack Macrae (36) getting plenty of the ball as the Dogs won a lopsided possession count 440 to 327.
With Jack Riewoldt and David Astbury joining Trent Cotchin and Alex Rance in the casualty ward this week, Richmond had the look of a side that had reached a tipping point on the injury front.
Dustin Martin had 25 disposals but wasn’t able to have his usual impact, while Tom Lynch continued his lean run, the spearhead held goalless to make it just one major from his past three games.
The Dogs hadn’t kicked more than nine goals in any of their past four matches but they looked dangerous every time they went inside the attacking 50.
However, their recent inaccuracy in front of goal continued in the first term allowing the Tigers to take a three-point lead into the first break.
But Naughton’s first goal in the first minute of the second quarter gave the Dogs a lead they wouldn’t surrender for the rest of the night.
Richmond finished the half strongly and trailed by just seven points early in the third quarter after Noah Balta’s goal, but Toby McLean made it a 31-point game at three-quarter time.
The Dogs’ energy waned in the final term, but they booted three goals to none to help Beveridge enjoy a win in his 100th AFL match in charge.
© AAP 2019
WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.5 6.7 12.8 15.9 (99)
RICHMOND 3.2 4.6 7.7 7.10 (52)
Goals: Western Bulldogs: A Naughton 5 M Bontempelli 3 B Gowers 2 B Smith E Richards J Johannissen S Lloyd T McLean. Richmond: B Houli J Caddy J Ross K McIntosh L Baker N Balta S Stack.
Official Crowd: 36,151 at Marvel Stadium.