Bulldogs win extends Essendon finals pain

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Cody Weightman has starred in the rain as the Western Bulldogs inflicted more AFL finals pain on Essendon with a runaway 49-point elimination match victory.

The small forward kicked four goals, which all came from free kicks, at University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston on Sunday afternoon.

The 13.7 (85) to 4.12 (36) result was the Bulldogs' first finals win since breaking their 62-year premiership drought five years ago and sets up a semi-final at the Gabba against Brisbane on Saturday.

"He was brilliant in the air and on the ground. He's come on in leaps and bounds this year," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said of Weightman..

"I'm wrapt to see what he did in such a big game."

The Bombers, who started the stronger of the two sides but couldn't convert their chances, haven't tasted finals success since 2004 and have now lost six straight elimination games.

The Bulldogs were ahead 34-31 at the main break before flying home courtesy of a eight-goals-to-none second half.

The last club to go goal-less in the second half of a finals match was Geelong in 1956.

Weightman nailed two goals in the crucial third term, one from a tight angle after a free kick for a seemingly innocuous push, while Josh Schache justified his late inclusion with his second.

Schache, who was promoted from the emergencies moments before the first bounce, also set up an important goal to give his side a four-goal break early in the last quarter.

Aaron Naughton finished with three goals and Mitch Hannan two in what ended up a convincing victory.

"Our second half was enormous. We haven't won a final for a little while and everyone felt the pressure. To come through that, is a great experience for us all," Beveridge said.

Essendon's Darcy Parish was one of the best on ground in the first half and finished with a team-high 35 possessions for the match.

Teammate Jake Stringer had his moments, snapping the first goal of the contest and an important major to keep the Bombers in touch just before the main break.

"Our work through the first half was pretty good. I thought we created enough opportunities. We weren't able to convert," Essendon coach Ben Rutten said.

"The second half, the Bulldogs played the conditions a fraction better. It suited their personality a bit more than us."

Tempers flared at the end of the third quarter after Essendon were awarded a free kick for a hit off the ball.

Rutten conceded the Bulldogs put themselves in better physical positions to earn free kicks.

Essendon had the better of inside 50s in the first quarter but trailed 13-10 at the first break.

The Bulldogs went on a three-goal run early in the second term, with Weightman grabbing his second from a high-tackle free kick.

The Bulldogs were forced to overcame a late change when Zaine Cordy pulled out with illness.

Bulldogs' Jack Macrae topped the match disposal count with 36 and Tom Liberatore was next best with 35.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting