THE WESTERN Bulldogs have won their third game in a row off the back of a disciplined team performance.
The Dogs held off a last-quarter press from Geelong to end the game 12 points up at VU Whitten Oval, kicking 3.10 (28) to 2.4 (16).
Geelong often found itself flooding the defensive half in order to support the backline, leaving the Cats with nowhere to go when they won the ball back – a situation they often found themselves in last season.
In the final quarter the Cats changed their defensive structure, choosing to play one on one rather than sitting an extra behind the ball, and were able to control more territory off the back of that. Unfortunately it wasn't enough as the Bulldogs' desperate last line of defence held the Cats to two goals from their last-quarter surge.
Third-year Dog Elisabeth Georgostathis provided support in the midfield for Ellie Blackburn and Kirsty Lamb, ending the game with 23 disposals, four inside 50s, six tackles and a goal.
The Dogs' ball use and willingness to switch the ball went a long way to the victory, as they looked into the corridor as they carefully moved the ball down the ground to keep Geelong's defence on its toes.
Bonnie Toogood worked hard all night, pushing up the ground to provide support then powering back into attack, kicking two goals and causing havoc in the air for the Cats' backline.
Controlling the game
The Western Bulldogs controlled the game from the outset, winning 75 more disposals than the Cats and using it at nearly 67 per cent efficiency. Their ability to cut through Geelong's defensive structure and keep the ball in their own attacking zone was impressive. The only thing really letting the home side down was their accuracy in front of goal.
A lack of creativity
When the Cats were able to win the ball back, they were stunted in how to move forward given they were flooding back into defence. This resulted in long kicks down the line to packs more often than not. As they were so predictable, the well-drilled Western Bulldogs contested in the air and were cleaner on the ground.
BULLDOGS v CATS Full match coverage and stats
The midfield battle
Despite winning the hitouts 38-14, the Dogs lost the clearance battle 12-19, but Geelong simply wasn't able to capitalise on the work of Amy McDonald, Rebecca Webster and Chloe Scheer around the ball.
The Western Bulldogs will be back in action on Tuesday, facing Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium in another postponed game, while Geelong will head to the Swinburne Centre to face Richmond next Saturday.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.2 2.4 3.9 3.10 (28)
GEELONG 0.0 0.2 0.2 2.4 (16)
Western Bulldogs: Toogood 2, Georgostathis
Geelong: Scheer, McWilliams
Western Bulldogs: Snell, Lamb, Blackburn, Toogood
Geelong: Emonson, Webster, Scheer, A.McDonald
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Crowd: 1,530 at VU Whitten Oval
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