Slick Bulldogs dismantle Bombers

Stewart Crameri has kicked seven goals against his old side as the Western Bulldogs thumped Essendon by 87 points.

On a disappointing day for the Bombers, Crameri eclipsed his old side’s total score with his career-best personal tally of 7.2 in the 19.13 (127) to 5.10 (40) demolition.

With percentage likely to play a big role as sides jockey for positions in the top eight, the big win could prove pivotal as the Bulldogs storm towards September.

Lachie Hunter continued his fine run of form with a 37-possession performance, but the headline act was the Dogs’ forward line that also featured four-goal bags from Jake Stringer and Tory Dickson.

The Bombers had few winners in a largely lacklustre display on Sunday, but Dyson Heppell was valiant with 32 touches and nine clearances, while Brent Stanton gathered 34 possessions and kicked a goal.

There was little evidence of what was to come in a dour first quarter under the roof at Etihad Stadium that yielded just one goal, to Crameri, as both sides engaged in an ugly display of possession-heavy circle work.

But coach Luke Beveridge managed to straighten up his Bulldogs, who came out and kicked the first four goals of the second term on the back of a more direct and daring approach.

The Bombers didn’t venture inside their attacking 50 for the first 15 minutes of the quarter as the Dogs opened up a 32-point lead, with Mitch Wallis important on the ball and Crameri and Stringer doing the damage up forward.

Stringer kicked three goals in a devastating seven minutes as the Bulldogs took the game away from Essendon to lead by 39 points at halftime and then 70 points at three-quarter time.

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