Western Bulldog: 2022 finals hopes shattered by Dockers

After a blockbuster year full of trials and tribulations, the Western Bulldogs’ Premiership dream has come to an end – but they didn’t go down without a fight.

The sons of the west kicked off their finals campaign at Optus Stadium, in front of over 58,000 screaming fans.

Their goal? To return the Premiership Cup to Melbourne’s west. But despite a valiant four quarter effort, they couldn’t keep their finals hopes alive.

It was a fight to make it into the top eight, with the team plagued by a number of injuries, which saw key players like forward Josh Bruce ruled out. Yet, the Dogs still managed an eighth-place finish in the final game of the season, with a hard-fought win against Hawthorn.

A finals appearance secured for the fourth year running, the next battle would be up against Fremantle in the Elimination Final.

The Bulldogs came out snarling, storming to a 34-point lead at the quarter time break.

Fremantle charged on, kicking four goals and saving the way for an incredible 41-point comeback.

The Dogs fought back, maintaining a 15-point lead at the main break and kicking the first goal of the third term. But the Dockers continued the momentum, reducing the margin to just 6 points leading into the fourth quarter.

In the end, the visitors could not hold the hosts at bay. Fremantle booted the first three goals of the final term – resulting in 54-point turnaround and signalling the end of the Doggies’ season.

Despite the loss, there were plenty of winners on the field. Both Marcus Bontempelli and Jack Macrae put on a valiant display in midfield and Aaron Naughton, Zaine Cordy, Toby Mclean and Ryan Gardner were all instrumental.

Proud partnership

Victoria University is proud of our partnership the Western Bulldogs and what they have been able to achieve this year.

Congratulations to the eight VU students who lined up in the elimination final this year: Aaron Naughton (who played his 100th game on Saturday night), Cody Weightman, Jack Macrae, Marcus Bontempelli, Ed Richards, Ryan Gardner, Sam Darcy, Toby Mclean and alumnus Zaine Cordy.

These players have done an amazing job studying around their club commitments, most of them making their mark with distinctions or high distinctions.

A few players are very close to completing their studies at VU. We look forward to celebrating their graduations in the very near future.

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