Bulldogs stun demons in AFL GF rematch

No. 1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has come of age to propel the Western Bulldogs to a 10-point win over Melbourne in the AFL’s Grand Final rematch.

After most of Saturday night’s game at Marvel Stadium, the Bulldogs stormed home to snatch the lead through Riley Garcia four minutes before the end of the game.

The Bulldogs defended his life in the dying stages, before Ogle-Hagan smashed his fifth goal from the borderline seconds earlier to claim the club’s 10th and best win of 2022.

Luke Beveridge’s men were humiliated by Melbourne in the Grand Final last year and then in the first round this season, but they saluted 17.8 (110) to 15.10 (100) in a classic this time.

More importantly for the Bulldogs, it puts them inside the top eight with four rounds remaining, surpassing struggling Richmond, who tied with Fremantle on Friday night.

Melbourne has led in every change, up to 27 points, but the Bulldogs had more runs in the final chapter with five-to-one.

Superstar defender Stephen May had a great game but made a terrible mistake in the last quarter that led to an important goal from the Bulldogs.

Ogle Hagan, in just his 17th game in the NFL, delivered his earnest promise of a high return after pitching three majors last week.

His sealing goal in the match could long ago be seen as the moment the star’s career finally took off.

The Bulldogs managed to break through the much-touted Melbourne defense, as the Devils conceded 100 points or more for the first time since Round 19, 2019.

Having kicked off their prime ministerial defense with 10 straight wins, Melbourne have lost five of their last eight matches to risk finishing the league outside of first and second places.

Melbourne midfielder Clayton Oliver has been a normally brilliant after missing last week with a broken thumb, collecting 28 touches and 13 blocking balls.

Bailey Fritsch (four goals) and Sam Weidmann (three), who joined Ben Brown recently, were Demons’ most underrated players in attack.

Star defender Jake Lever also missed Melbourne of late.

Melbourne has six days to prepare for its Fremantle match at Optus Stadium on Friday night, while the Bulldogs head to Geelong to face the cats that top the ladder.


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