AFL: All the action from the Round 16 Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne clash

Western Bulldogs have surged to the top of the AFL ladder after outclassing a spirited North Melbourne by 29 points.

After Melbourne’s surprise loss to Greater Western Sydney on Saturday, the Bulldogs only needed to win to regain top spot, and they withstood a Kangaroos fight back early in the final term at Marvel Stadium on Sunday evening.

North Melbourne again showed their improved form from recent weeks that saw them beat Gold Coast and draw with GWS, but were unable to convert several quality chances in the last quarter.

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Young gun Cody Weightman sparked the Bulldogs with the best game of his young career. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

The Roos had 12 scoring shots in the final term but could only manage four goals and eight behinds and couldn’t close the margin on a classy Dogs outfit.

The Bulldogs were more clinical with their forward 50 entries, highlighted by livewire forward Cody Weightman who starred with a four-goal haul, while North Melbourne also squandered several opportunities in front of goal in the third quarter.

The win propelled the Dogs to 12-3, their best record at this point of the season since 2008, as they continue to charge towards September.

North Melbourne were competitive across the ground most of the day and had the better of the centre clearances through Todd Goldstein who asserted his dominance in the ruck battle.

But they were unable to capitalise with the lack of a dominant forward target and poor entries meaning they couldn’t turn it into scores.

Bulldogs fans will be sweating on the fitness of high flying forward Aaron Naughton who will miss at least the next week with concussion after landing heavily in a marking contest.

Josh Bruce and the Bulldogs had plenty to celebrate. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


The Bulldogs showed none of their recent goal kicking woes with four straight goals from set shots to start the game.

The Dogs had scored more behinds than majors in their previous four outings, but turned it around on Sunday evening, kicking 16 goals and 12 behinds.

The Roos came out firing in the first term with plenty of aggression and intensity, nailing three opening quarter goals of their own.

But as the Bulldogs settled into the game, they opened up North Melbourne with plenty of run and carry through the centre of the ground and were able transition from half back deep into their forward 50 with ease.

Cody Weightnman’s stunning performance will warm the hearts of every Bulldogs fan. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Weightman was on fire early as coach Luke Beveridge started him deep out of the goalsquare.

The blonde livewire kicked three of the Bulldogs first four goals and set up the other with a neat pass to Josh Bruce on the lead.

It was such a hot start in the opening quarter that by the end of the first term the Roos were forced to move veteran defender Robbie Tarrant onto him, and finished the day with four goals.

Cameron Zurhaar also had a day out up forward for the Roos with four goals of his own.

Aaron Naughton suffered a head injury in the second quarter. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia

Naughton was subbed out of the game with concussion. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia


The Bulldogs will be without high flying forward Naughton for at least next week after he was subbed out of the game with concussion at half time.

Naughton landed heavily after leaping for a huge mark on defensive 50 late in the second quarter and left the ground immediately.

Naughton had earlier missed a couple of chances to hit the scoreboard, including a simple set shot from 15m out after taking a nice mark over the top of three North Melbourne defenders.

Ben Cunnington played a lone hand in a losing effort for the Roos. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


WESTERN BULLDOGS 5.1 9.6 13.8 16.12 (108)


NORTH MELBOURNE 3.1 5.3 7.5 11.13 (79)


Bulldogs: Weightman 4, Wallis 3, Bruce 2, Liberatore 2, Dale 2, Hannan, Williams, Garcia

Kangaroos: Zurhaar 4, Cunnington 2, Goldstein 2, Scott, Davies-Uniacke, Thomas


Bulldogs: Liberatore, Macrae, Bontempelli, Weightman, Williams, Dale

Kangaroos: Cunnington, Ziebell, Zurhaar, Goldstein, Tarrant


3 — T.Liberatore (WB)

2 — M.Bontempelli (WB)

1 — D.Cunnington (NM)


Bulldogs: Naughton (concussion), Ed Richards (illness), replaced in selected side by Mitch Wallis.

Kangaroos: Kyron Hayden (hamstring tightness), replaced in the selected side by Bailey Scott.

Umpires: Nicholls, Broadbent, Dore.

Venue: Marvel Stadium

Crowd: 18,216

Originally published asYoung gun unleashed as Bulldogs claim top spot

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