Bulldogs overrun in Miller s big game
Kris Miller with wife Jenae, daughters Hannah and Charlotte and son Noah. Pic: Lincoln Baker

Kris Miller regards the 50-point comeback win over Perth in a night match two years ago as one of the highlights of his 300-match WAFL career.

Sadly for the veteran and the Bulldogs fans at Fremantle Oval last night, Perth returned the favour and spoilt the celebrations for just the sixth triple century in WAFL history.

Down 44 points early in the second term as South were rewarded for their significantly greater intensity and desire, the Demons overcame their early fumbling and bumbling to produce a remarkable upset by just five points, 19.9 (123) to 18.10 (118).

Perth did not hit the lead in the game until time-on in the last term but then ran away from the wilting Bulldogs whose final desperate surge was denied when the siren went after nearly 35 minutes.

The 33-year-old Miller said before the match that his only desire was to "get a kick and get a win".

He got just two of the former, though he fired out 17 handballs and laid a game-high eight tackles, and none of latter as South started the season with consecutive losses.

Perth have been in the doldrums for decades but now find themselves in the heady position of leading the ladder after impressive victories in the opening two rounds.

It appeared for much of the contest that Miller would not be denied as he joined Mel Whinnen, Bill Dempsey, Jack Sheedy, Brian Peake and Bill Walker in the 300 club.

Miller was being lauded at the president's function 30 minutes before play and admitted he needed little preparation time before a milestone that may never be repeated at State league level.

The Bulldogs strolled to a 37-point lead at the first break as they attacked with ball with a level of intent lacking in their opponents.

Ashton Hams was busy in the midfield and in attack, Brendan Verrier found plenty of action on his wing while the veteran Miller started at the first centre bounce with a conspicuous level of enthusiasm.

It appeared South would gallop away with the match when they led by more than seven goals midway through the second term but Perth suddenly found the formula missing for the first 45 minutes.

The Demons boast a formidable array of young Aboriginal talent and the flair and creativity of Clem Smith, Gerard Ugle and Callum Collard provided the spark required to shake Perth from their torpor.

Collard managed four goals and also hit the post in a dazzling display close to goals.

Ugle started in defence but was lively in the midfield while Smith, the teenager who may be considered for the senior State match this season as well as the 18s carnival, would have had AFL recruiters salivating with his exquisite skills and balance.

One spearing pass to spearhead Brennan Stack scythed through the defence while the full forward lifted his rating in the second half to kick three goals and prove a highly effective focal point.

The West Australian

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