An electrifying early blitz by the Western Bulldogs set up an emphatic 98-point win over Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
In a blistering assault, the Bulldogs scored the first 12 goals of the AFL match before the Demons managed a drought-breaking major in the 16th minute of the second quarter.
Paul Roos’ side did well to fight back with a five-goals-to-nil third quarter but that resistance proved short-lived as the Dogs rolled to a percentage-boosting 24.9 (153) to 8.7 (55) win that could prove vital in their bid for a top-four finish.
The Bulldogs had winners all over the ground with Luke Dahlhaus, Lachie Hunter and Mitch Wallis impressive on the ball, while Jake Stringer led the way with four goals in an attack that had 12 different goal kickers.
Jarrad Grant did the damage early with three first-quarter goals as the rampant Dogs ran rings around Melbourne.
The Demons were as deplorable as the Bulldogs were impressive with missed tackles, skill errors and a lack of run allowing the opposition to do largely as they pleased.
A 49-point lead at the first break blew out to 74 when Stringer slotted his first goal in the ninth minute of the second term but with a record demolition in the offing Melbourne found first gear.
Successive goals stemmed the bleeding and set up a stunning reversal in the third quarter.
Led by Nathan Jones and Bernie Vince, the Demons lifted their work rate and applied greater pressure on the Dogs, who didn’t handle the slower game tempo.
Melbourne booted five goals while the Bulldogs reorganised themselves to slash the margin to 42 points but normal transmission resumed in the final term.
Luke Beveridge’s side slipped back into top gear and piled on 10 goals to the fading Demons’ one to put an exclamation point on an impressive display.