Anthony Scott celebrates kicking a goal during the Western Bulldogs' match against Adelaide at Mars Stadium in round 10, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

THE WESTERN Bulldogs overcame their own inaccuracy in front of goal to clinch their fifth consecutive victory with a 45-point win over an underwhelming Adelaide at Mars Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs triumphed 11.19 (85) to 5.10 (40) at their home away from home in Ballarat to improve their record to 7-3 as they chase an elusive top-four spot in 2023, while the Crows slumped to their third loss in four games with a dismal display, leaving them 5-5 and in danger of slipping out of the top eight.

BULLDOGS v CROWS Full match coverage and stats

Luke Beveridge's side have now won seven of their past eight games, having started the season 0-2. The Dogs' five-game winning streak is their first since starting the 2021 campaign with six wins, eventually losing the grand final that year to Narrm.


It could've been worse for Adelaide, with the Dogs wasteful in front of goal in fair conditions in Ballarat, particularly in the first half where they recorded 5.13.

The Bulldogs won more footy (398-297 disposals), enjoyed more territory (54-41 inside 50s) and applied more pressure (16-5 tackles inside 50) throughout, with Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks labelling the first half his side's "worst of the year" at half-time.


Bailey Smith, continuing in his on-ball role with Adam Treloar out, went head-to-head with Rory Laird in the midfield and was dominant throughout with a game-high 37 disposals. Tom Liberatore finished with 33 touches, including 16 contested possessions and Tim English continued his strong year with 21 touches, seven tackles and 29 hitouts.

The Crows missed veteran forward Taylor Walker, with the Dogs launching attacks off half-back led by Bailey Dale (36 disposals) and Bailey Williams (22 disposals), while Liam Jones was a wall in defence with a joint game-high eight intercept possessions.


Laird was Adelaide's leading ball-winner with 35 disposals, while captain Jordan Dawson was down on his usual output and damage, finishing with 22 touches.

It wasn’t all rosy for the Dogs, who lost the in-form Jason Johannisen in the third quarter after a concerning left hamstring injury.


The Crows looked off early, giving up 23 turnovers in the opening term. Aaron Naughton claimed a trademark aerial grab to boot the Dogs' third goal as they opened up a 23-point quarter-time lead with Smith having 15 touches by the opening break.


Adelaide wasn't helped by losing defender Mitch Hinge to concussion after a brave spoil, yet bounced back to win the second term on the scoreboard with 2.2 to the Dogs' 1.6, as they arrested the lopsided inside 50 count.


The Dogs, however, looked the better side and started to capitalise in the third quarter, albeit still missing numerous chances, with four goals to one. Scott grabbed his second, while Cody Weightman's crafty finish opened up a 50-point buffer shortly prior to the last change.

Marcus Bontempelli, who finished with 29 disposals after shaking off a third term knee concern, slotted the first goal of the final term, while Jack Macrae added a second goal to his 26 possessions, as the Dogs cruised to a comfortable win.

Bontempelli injury scare
The Dogs' skipper sought treatment to his left knee after Luke Pedlar fell across his leg in a chase-down tackle in the third term. Medical staff assessed the four-time All-Australian on the sidelines, but cleared him to return to play, even booting his only goal of the game after the incident. However, Bontempelli admitted on the broadcast after the game he felt a "bit sore" from the knock, although he was bullish he'd be available for next week's clash with Gold Coast in Darwin.


Rankine on report for Duryea bump
Izak Rankine was reported by umpire Nathan Williamson midway through the third term for a bump which connected with Taylor Duryea's head. The Match Review Officer's assessment will likely divide opinions, with Rankine turning his body and getting low in an attempt to win the loose ball, while Duryea had the same endeavour. But complicating the matter was the fact Duryea was regaining his feet, meaning Rankine crashed into head, although arguably he had no other alternative.


Baz goes head-to-head with Laird

Smith lined up next to Laird at the first bounce and the pair ran free throughout, racking up possessions at will. Smith had the bigger impact when the game was up for grabs, including 32 disposals with six inside 50s by three-quarter time. Laird was back to his best at the contest, with a game-high nine tackles and a game-high 19 contested possessions. Smith, though, had nine score involvements and Beveridge will be mulling how to use him when Treloar is fit again.


WESTERN BULLDOGS     4.7    5.13    9.19   11.19 (85)
ADELAIDE                       1.2    3.4      4.6     5.10 (40)

Western Bulldogs:
Scott 2, Macrae 2, Gardner, Naughton, Williams, Daniel, Lobb, Weightman, Bontempelli
Adelaide: Rachele 2, Gollant, Rankine, Dawson

Western Bulldogs:
Smith, English, L.Jones, Dale, Liberatore, Daniel, Bontempelli
Adelaide: Laird, Pedlar, Jones, Dawson, Rachele, Murray

Western Bulldogs:
Johannisen (hamstring)
Adelaide: Hinge (concussion)

Western Bulldogs:
Lachlan McNeil (replaced Jason Johannisen in the third quarter)
Adelaide: Sam Berry (replaced Mitchell Hinge in the first quarter)

Crowd: 10,114 at Mars Stadium