1. Saints rue missed opportunities
The Saints dominated the first half but couldn't capitalise on the scoreboard. St Kilda led the Bulldogs in inside 50s (31-21), tackles (36-24), clearances (18-13) and contested possessions (64-57) but could only manage a three-point lead at the main break. A four-goal burst in the third term gave the Dogs a sniff and they pulled away to lead by 10 points at three-quarter time. Two early goals early in the fourth term had them out to a 21-point lead but the Saints fought back with skipper Nick Riewoldt and Josh Bruce sparking the team. As was the trend, the Saints couldn't make the most of their opportunities with Jack Lonie and Bruce both hitting the post in the final minutes, while David Armitage and Farren Ray also missed shots at goal which could have put the Saints in front.

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2. All Australian contender
Defender Easton Wood is the Bulldogs' most improved player this season. Last season, too often Wood had to play as a key defender with the Dogs backline undermanned through injury. But the 25-year-old has flourished under new coach Luke Beveridge, enjoying the freedom to run and create off half-back. Wood's ability to read the play was outstanding against the Saints, finishing with 22 disposals, 13 marks, seven of those intercepts, and had a hand in a couple of goals. But perhaps his most influential moment came in the final minutes when he took a gutsy contested mark in defence to save the game. If he continues his good form in the second half of the year, he will be in All Australian contention.

3. The F-word looms large for Beveridge's boys
The Bulldogs might not be ready to mention the dreaded F-word, finals, yet but it certainly looks as though they are setting themselves for September footy. The victory over the Saints sees the Dogs move into eighth place on the ladder with seven wins for the season, and with a relatively soft draw they're well placed to finish in the top eight. Eight out of their final 10 games are against teams below them on the ladder, which should give them an excellent chance at a first finals birth since 2010.

4. Minson sees red
For the second week in a row Bulldogs ruckman Will Minson was handed the red vest. The Dogs big man had a measly three disposals and 15 hit-outs against the Lions last week before he was subbed out. Although his output was slightly better against the Saints (six disposals, 15 hit-outs), he didn't have enough impact around the ground or up forward to warrant a full game. The 30-year-old has already spent a five-week stint in the VFL this season and risks finding himself back there if he doesn't find form quickly.

5. Dogs forwards fail to fire
Playing against the Saints hasn’t been memorable for Bulldogs spearhead Tom Boyd. The highly-prized recruit was kept goalless in round six by Saints defender Luke Delaney, and on Saturday night Boyd could only manage one goal and four marks. In comparison to last week where he kicked four goals against the Lions, Boyd fumbled and was out-played by Delaney. Boyd's teammate Jake Stringer didn't fair much better. Sean Dempster wore him like a glove and didn't give the Dogs forward a sniff. Stringer finished goalless, kicking two behinds. Luckily for the Dogs, their midfielders were able to contribute to the scoreboard, helping the team over the line.