The Western Bulldogs’ stunning victory over Sydney could end up being a critical point in their AFL season.
But coach Luke Beveridge stopped short of likening its potential impact to that of last season’s identical four-point triumph at the SCG.
The Bulldogs set up their excellent 2015 campaign with an epic defeat of the Swans in round five.
On Saturday, they returned to the same venue for the first time to beat the Swans by the same margin.
Jason Johannisen’s goal in the dying seconds lifted the Dogs into fifth place on a sardined ladder, equal second on points alongside the Swans and another three teams carrying 10-4 win-loss records.
A loss – which seemed likely once Lance Franklin (five goals) offset the Dogs’ dominant third quarter by scoring two of three Swans fourth-term majors – would have left them in eighth.
However Beveridge was less inclined to believe the result would prompt the same effect as the last, which came when the then new coach was little-known, and months before he’d be voted AFL coach of the year by his peers.
“They were obviously the overwhelming favourites in the betting agencies, but I think last year we were more of an underdog than we were this year,” Beveridge said.
“So the magnitude of beating the Swans was probably amplified last year.”
The Dogs now look ahead to next weekend’s home clash with Richmond.
While they’ll fancy themselves against the 12-placed Tigers and the top eight appears all but set, Beveridge was careful not to write off contenders outside the eight waiting for their moment.
“It’s so tight in the eight, you can’t afford to drop off,” he said.
“Port Adelaide are sniffing around, and some others.