Sun, Apr 3, 7:41am by Kevin Pitstock
When and Where:
1.10pm at Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs – 12
Brisbane Lions – 13
Draws – 0
Last Time They Met:
Western Bulldogs 17.19 (121) defeated Brisbane Lions 8.8 (56), round 12, 2010 at Etihad Stadium
Western Bulldogs – L
Brisbane Lions – L
Current Ladder Positions:
Western Bulldogs – 16th (0-1)
Brisbane Lions – 12th (0-1)
For the Western Bulldogs to succeed, Jarrad Grant needs to take the next step in his career. The tall forward needs to relinquish pressure off the shoulders of veteran forward Barry Hall and hit the scoreboard more often if the Dogs are going to be successful today and for the rest of the 2011 season.
Tom Rockliff is a genuine ball magnet and is being touted as the AFL’s new Dane Swan. After averaging just over 22 disposals a game in 2010, the young midfielder would be keen to increase that average a little more in 2011 – and he got off to a great start with 29 touches against Fremantle last week.
Western Bulldogs Team Changes:
IN – Jordan Roughead
OUT – Easton Wood (ankle)
Brisbane Lions Team Changes:
IN – Luke Power and Matt Maguire
OUT – Jonathon Brown (face) and Brent Staker (knee)
Two dismal performances by both of these teams last week has meant they probably have the highest amount of pressure on them of any team going into round two.
Like the Saints, the Bulldogs don’t look like they have changed much over the pre-season. Their 55-point loss to the Bombers was deplorable – they were out-tackled, out-marked and out-ran by a much more determined side. Once again they were too predictable going inside 50 and too reliant on Hall.
The biggest criticism of the Dogs is the lack of defensive pressure their forwards apply when they don’t have the ball. Hall, Grant and other forwards failed to chase Essendon players rebounding out of defense on numerous occasions last week, which for or a team touted as potential premiers is purely unacceptable. The Dogs need to lift their game – a lot.
Meanwhile Brisbane didn’t fare too much better last week and despite losing by two points, the Lions were considered the biggest losers of round one. Besides losing the match, they lost skipper Jonathon Brown to multiple facial fractures and impressive recruit Brent Staker to a torn ACL. They literally fell apart in the final term and had no rotations left towards the end of the game.
However the form of a few of their youngsters would’ve had Lions fans very excited. Daniel Rich’s kicking was superb, Claye Beams got a lot of the footy and Pearce Hanley showed plenty of promise rebounding off the half-back line.
On paper though, the Dogs should walk all over a weakened Brisbane outfit today and should run out winners by a significant margin on their beloved home ground.
Suggested Head-To-Head Bet:
Western Bulldogs by 40+ ($1.97 – Centrebet)
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