Marcus Bontempelli celebrates a goal during the match between Richmond and the Western Bulldogs at the MCG in round nine, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have posted their highest score of the season and given under-fire coach Luke Beveridge some relief from fierce criticism with a 91-point thrashing of Richmond at the MCG on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs were dominant from the opening bounce, holding Richmond goalless in the first quarter on their way to the crushing 19.19 (133) to 6.6 (42) victory.

TIGERS v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats

Injury-riddled Richmond (1-8) slipped further into the mire and lost Maruice Rioli jnr (lower leg), Sam Banks (concussion) and Jack Graham (hamstring) in the process.

The contest never reached any great heights, with both sides guilty of a raft of skill errors.


Aaron Naughton, Sam Darcy and James Harmes (four goals each) cashed in on the Bulldogs' territorial dominance as they won a lop-sided inside-50 count (77-41).


Adam Treloar (41 disposals), Marcus Bontempelli (32), Bailey Dale (30) and Ed Richards (34) were prolific ball-winners, with skipper Bontempelli and Riley Garcia adding two goals each.

Dion Prestia (23 disposals, one goal) battled hard for Richmond on return from injury, Shai Bolton kicked two majors from 19 touches and Daniel Rioli (26 possessions) was busy, but the Tigers had few winners.

Bontempelli sparked his side with a classy opening goal under pressure but the Bulldogs didn't take full toll from their early control, leading 3.6 to 0.1 at the first break.


Having not kicked a goal in Bulldogs colours before tonight, former Demon Harmes kicked three of his four goals in a blistering second quarter as the Bulldogs stretched the advantage to 47 points by half-time.


It got ugly for Richmond in the second half as Treloar squeezed through a right-foot snap under pressure on the boundary line and the margin temporarily blew out beyond 100 points.

Unlucky Tigers midfielder Graham was substituted out with yet another soft-tissue injury just minutes before Banks was hurt in an awkward landing from a third-quarter marking contest.

Dogs ruckman Tim English accidentally took Banks' legs from underneath him after being pushed into the contest by Noah Balta, with play held up for several minutes while medical staff assessed Banks before he was driven off the field on a stretcher.


The Bulldogs kicked six goals to two in the final quarter to complete the rout.

One step forward, two steps back for Tigers
Richmond can't take a trick on the injury front this season. Just as the Tigers were boosted by the returns of Noah Balta, Dion Prestia and Jack Graham from injury this week, they once again finished the game with multiple players on the bench. Graham was subbed out in the third quarter with a hamstring injury, young midfielder Sam Banks entered concussion protocols after a sickening collision in the third quarter brought a premature end to his night, while Maurice Rioli jnr was hurt in the dying stages after his left leg got caught and twisted under the weight of a Adam Treloar tackle. The Tigers' injury list sits in double figures, making life extremely tough for first-year coach Adem Yze.


Under-fire Dogs respond emphatically
The pressure had been rising on the Western Bulldogs, who entered the match with a 3-5 record on the back of four losses from their past five games including a lacklustre showing against lowly Hawthorn last week. But Saturday night's response was emphatic, and although it came against one-win Richmond, it was a win that could prove crucial as the Bulldogs look to turn their season around. It doesn't get any easier for the Dogs over the next month though, with matches against Greater Western Sydney (away) Sydney, Collingwood and Brisbane (all at Marvel Stadium) to come. But with a thumping win under their belts, the confidence should be high at the kennel.

Treloar stakes his claim for GOTY
Whether he meant to kick it or not, Adam Treloar booted what will certainly be among the NAB Goal of the Year contenders with a stunning snap from the boundary in the third quarter. After ruckman Tim English tapped it down to him, Treloar threw it on the boot and watched in disbelief as it sailed through for a goal.



RICHMOND                      0.1     3.2      4.3       6.6 (42)
WESTERN BULLDOGS      3.6     9.13    13.15    19.19 (133)

Bolton 2, Balta, Mansell, Prestia, Rioli jnr
Western Bulldogs: Naughton 4, Darcy 4, Harmes 4, Bontempelli 2, Garcia 2, Treloar, Ugle-Hagan, West

D. Rioli, Bolton, Prestia, Short, Nankervis
Western Bulldogs: Treloar, Richards, Darcy, Harmes, Bontempelli, Dale

Banks (concussion), Graham (hamstring), Rioli jnr (leg)
Western Bulldogs: Vandermeer (shin)

Noah Cumberland (replaced Jack Graham in the third quarter)
Western Bulldogs: 
Luke Cleary (replaced Laitham Vandermeer in the second quarter)

Crowd: 38,007 at the MCG