THERE'S a new top dog in town as the Western Bulldogs moved to the top of the AFL ladder with a hard-fought 29-point victory over North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Sunday evening. 

They couldn't replicate the 128-point Good Friday massacre of the Kangaroos earlier in the year, but the 16.12 (108) to 11.13 (79) triumph was enough for the Dogs to leapfrog the Demons at the head of the table and, in the process, further strengthen their already strong premiership credentials.

BULLDOGS V ROOS Full match coverage and stats

Marcus Bontempelli's ball-winning abilities and Cody Weightman's three first-quarter goals provided the early spark that ignited the Dogs and the new ladder leaders did enough during an even second half to close out their 12th victory of the season.

The only negative for the Dogs was losing star forward Aaron Naughton to concussion late in the second quarter and the 21-year-old will be forced to sit out next week's clash against the Swans at Marvel Stadium due to concussion protocols.

00:50 Mins
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High-flying Naughton hurt on landing

Aaron Naughton takes a stunning mark and only moments later hurts himself in another courageous attempt

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With Naughton subbed out it was left to Mitch Wallis, Josh Bruce and Weightman to fill the void and the trio performed admirably, with Weightman's high marking and lively play in particular standing out in his career best four-goal haul.

Bontempelli finished with 27 disposals to be in the mix for another best on ground performance, while the ever-consistent Jackson Macrae (31 touches) and Tom Liberatore (25) also won a lot of the ball.

08:06 Mins
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Highlights: Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne

The Bulldogs and Kangaroos clash in round 16

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North Melbourne played well in patches - with Robbie Tarrant and Cameron Zurhaar particularly impressive - but the gulf in class between the two sides was too big as the Dogs flexed their muscles every time David Noble's young side threatened to challenge.

When Zurhaar kicked his fourth goal midway through the final term the margin was just 22 points, but the Dogs never really looked seriously threatened and did enough to cruise home.

01:02 Mins
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Zurhaar the provider with two gems

Cam Zurhaar breathes some more life into the Roos with two goals in the last

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Aaron Hall won a team-high 31 disposals for the Kangaroos, while skipper Jack Ziebell (28) and the evergreen Cunnington (26) also found plenty of the football.

Bont Brownlow watch
The chances of Marcus Bontempelli becoming the Bulldogs' first Brownlow winner since Adam Cooney in 2008 continue to rise each week and his latest performance certainly won't have done any harm. The Bulldogs skipper collected 27 telling disposals, but it was his four inside 50s and massive 12 score involvements that made it hard not to catch the eyes of the umpires in charge.

00:47 Mins
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Dogs forwards must love this incredible service

Marcus Bontempelli and Jack Macrae link up beautifully in the middle and deliver the ball on a plate for Josh Bruce

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Kangas can do some damage during run home
Experienced defenders Robbie Tarrant and Luke McDonald have made an impact since returning from injury in recent weeks and David Noble will have some more key personnel to call on for the remainder of the season that could easily help lead to a couple more wins. Running defender Jared Polec has now had two games in the VFL after a hamstring issue and is sure to come into contention for senior selection shortly, while midfield bull Jed Anderson got through his first game back from injury unscathed in the VFL on Sunday and could also make an impact in the closing rounds.

01:03 Mins
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Cunnington can't be caught in this position

Ben Cunnington uses his sheer power to snap through a beauty for the Roos

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Elvis unsighted on debut
Being named as substitute on debut is an unusual oddity to say the least and for North Melbourne's Eddie 'Elvis' Ford it became a reality as the first gamer failed to get on the ground against the Bulldogs. Yet due to the rules implemented earlier this season, Ford will of course be credited with a game, meaning his next senior appearance - his first - will actually count as his second game. Let's hope that all makes sense to someone.

WESTERN BULLDOGS     5.1       9.6       13.8     16.12 (108)  
NORTH MELBOURNE      3.1       5.6       7.5       11.13 (79)  

GOALS  
Western Bulldogs: Weightman 4, Wallis 3, Bruce 2, Dale 2, Liberatore 2, Garcia, Hannan, Williams
North Melbourne: Zurhaar 4, Cunnington 2, Goldstein 2, Davies-Uniacke, Scott, Thomas

BEST  
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Weightman, Dale, Liberatore, Macrae, Williams
North Melbourne: Zurhaar, Tarrant, Cunnington, McDonald, Hall, Thomas

INJURIES  
Western Bulldogs: Naughton (concussion)
North Melbourne: Nil

SUBSTITUTES  
Western Bulldogs: Lipinski (replaced Naughton)
North Melbourne: Ford (unused)

Crowd: TBC at Marvel Stadium