“One of the better things we’ve seen”: Promising Bulldog beams over Bont

SEN - Sat, 22nd Feb 2020 - 0 Comments

Western Bulldogs fans will be attempting to contain their excitement today after life with Marcus Bontempelli as captain started beautifully.

‘The Bont’ was simply sublime in last night’s convincing 44-point win over North Melbourne in the Marsh Series at Marvel Stadium.

In his first full game as skipper, the 24-year-old was absolutely dominant, finishing with 37 disposals, 13 score involvements, 11 inside 50s, 10 clearances, eight tackles, two goals and a sublime pick up late in proceedings.

The skills on show from Bontempelli certainly had promising pup Lewis Young feeling good about things.

“That pick up in the last quarter, we were all talking about it after the game, was one of the better things we’ve seen in a footy game,” he told Bulldogs Media.

“He definitely held his own as the new skipper, it was exciting.”

Young himself enjoyed a solid night out after he was called into the side following Aaron Naughton’s withdrawal due to knee surgery.

The 21-year-old, who has previously spent time in defence out of necessity, was thrown forward and kicked three early goals in a performance which will no doubt give food for thought for coach Luke Beveridge.

“I haven’t played forward for a while so to get that confidence up and about was handy,” Young added.

“We had a lot of good ball coming into that forward 50 and we were able to capitalise. I think the forward line worked really well tonight and the mids got it into us quite nicely.”

Young’s move forward was made possible by the presence of trade period acquisition Alex Keath who looked right at home in the Dogs defence. The former Crow took nine marks and had nine intercept possessions among his 16 disposals in an accomplished showing.

Apart from Bontempelli’s brilliance, usual midfield suspects Jack Macrae, Lachie Hunter and Josh Dunkley combined for 85 touches and 21 clearances while Sam Lloyd contributed three goals and Josh Schache kicked two.

On the Kangaroos side of things, Ben Cunnington led the way for a youthful side with 27 disposals while Nick Larkey and 206cm ruck-forward Tristan Xerri kicked two goals apiece in Ben Brown’s absence.

New recruit Aidan Bonar showed plenty of positive signs with four clearances and 15 possessions, 10 of which were accumulated in the first half, while Curtis Taylor rose above everyone to take a memorable grab.

Marley Williams will be the subject of interest for MRO Michael Christian for his high bump on Ed Richards which prompted the young Bulldog to be helped from the field.

The Dogs are next in action in the Marsh Series against Port Adelaide in Whyalla on March 7 while the Kangaroos will meet Melbourne in a practice match at Arden Street next Friday before taking on Sydney in Hobart on March 9 in their second Marsh fixture.

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