Dogs look to suffocate Hawks in AFL

The Western Bulldogs are confident the manic pressure that suffocated West Coast can be replicated against Hawthorn on the wider expanses of the MCG.

The Bulldogs will go into Friday’s AFL semi-final full of confidence after their surprise 47-point elimination final win over the Eagles at Domain Stadium.

West Coast were held to their second-lowest score of the season in the 14.15 (99) to 7.10 (52) loss as the Bulldogs dominated the contests.

Stopping Hawthorn’s precise ball movement at the wide MCG might be a harder task but Bulldogs veteran Matthew Boyd says he’s confident it can be done.

“Hawthorn are a really hard team to defend at any ground they play on,” Boyd said on Monday.

“Subiaco’s quite narrow but we thought we defended the ground pretty well and we think that was evident by keeping West Coast to a pretty low score.

“We feel that if our team defence stacks up, we can defend any team.”

Thursday’s triumph over the Eagles was the Bulldogs’ first ever interstate finals win and their first victory in September since 2010.

Boyd said the win was up there with the best he’d experienced in his 14 seasons with the Bulldogs.

“You’ve got to enjoy the wins when they come, and we try to do that throughout the year as well, whether it’s a final or not,” he said.

“You work really hard all week for those two hours that come on the weekend.

“But we’re certainly not celebrating yet.”

Forward Toby McLean and midfielder Lukas Webb were held out of the VFL and are in contention to replace midfielder Lin Jong, who broke his collarbone in the win over the Eagles.

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