On an individual basis, how did the valiant but ultimately vanquished Bulldogs preform on Grand Final day? Let’s rate them out of 10.

Back line

#10 Easton Wood – 3

A tough night for the veteran. Made an extraordinary spoil in the 3rd term to deny a surefire Demons goal, but also spent most of the night matched up with Bailey Fritsch, who booted just the lazy six goals.

#34 Bailey Williams – 4

A horrid opening term as nerves clearly got the better of him. Panicked by a Kysaiah Pickett chase to turn the ball over leading to an easy Charlie Spargo goal, whilst a simple dropped mark saw Fritsch kick his 2nd. Got better as the game wore on. Was by no means the Bulldogs worst.

#42 Alex Keath – 4

Worked hard, but was ultimately overwhelmed. Rotated between Ben Brown, Tom McDonald and Max Gawn, holding each well in the opening half. Brown eventually got on top of him as the Demons late wave of dominance saw him with little support.

#35 Caleb Daniel – 7

Had an unbelievable 26 disposals to half time, acting as a half back/sweeper. The diminutive quarterback was one of the keys in getting the Dogs back into the game in the 2nd term. Still found the football even as the Demons dominated late, though was somewhat wasteful with possession late on.

#12 Zaine Cordy – 7

A potential weakness in the Bulldogs defense proved to be a strength as Cordy repaid the faith of coach Luke Beveridge with a solid display. Had Tom McDonald in his pocket until the final term. Also matched up with Brown and Gawn on occasions, acquitting himself well.

#31 Bailey Dale – 6

Finished with 21 possessions, but was unusually shaky in the early stages. His blown kicks gifted goals to Fritsch and Spargo in the opening term. Pulled himself together to play a decent game of football, but was below his best.

Midfield

#6 Bailey Smith – 6

His stats – 26 possessions – flatter him. Like many of his teammates, was very good in the 2nd term as the Bulldogs mounted a comeback. After half time, the only reason you knew he was on the field were those lovely, flowing locks.

#7 Lachie Hunter – 4

Perhaps his worst performance for the season. Aside from a skilfully won free kick – the resulting shot at goal giving the Bulldogs the lead – was almost anonymous. Had the quietest 16 possession game you could imagine.

#11 Jack Macrae – 6

Was pounded in the early stages by Jack Viney, but rebounded extremely well to have 10 possessions in the opening term. Was the Bulldogs best player to that point. Was a key driver in their 2nd term fightback, but faded dramatically after the main break.

#8 Stefan Martin – 4

Started well enough against former teammate and great friend Gawn, but as expected the veteran just couldn’t go with Gawn or Luke Jackson around the ground. Was soundly beaten by Jackson in the ruck contests in the 3rd term, helping to ignite the Demons devastating comeback.

#4 Marcus Bontompelli – 8

Started slowly, as he sometimes does, but exploded in the 2nd quarter. Kicked two goal and was the best player on the ground by a mile in the opening half. Snapped a wonderful goal in the 3rd term that had the Demons on the ropes. It proved to be the last significant Bulldogs action of the night.

#21 Tom Liberatore – 6

Looked a broken man late in the game. A shame, as his performance didn’t warrant that. Worked manfully as always, finishing with 23 disposals (15 contested) seven clearances and eight tackles. Was often chasing Norm Smith medallist Christian Petracca, which didn’t help the optics.

Forward line

#19 Cody Weightman – 1

An awful night for a young man that has the potential to turn any game on his own. Only two handballs to half time, he finished with just seven disposals. His only impact came with the goal post when unsuccessfully flying for a mark against Michael Hibberd.

#1 Adam Treloar – 8

Alongside, Bontompelli, was his team’s best on the night. Kickless in the opening term, but finished with 28 all up. Was THE catalyst in the Dogs 2nd quarter fightback, kicking a pair of goals against the run of play before winning a centre clearance to feed Aaron Naughton for his only major of the contest.

#44 Tim English – 4

Disappeared after half time, but was solid to that point. Showed that at this stage of his career is definitely a forward who can pinch hit in the ruck. Gave Harry Petty all sorts of issues when he played forward, but was bamboozled by Gawn at the stoppages.

#39 Jason Johannisen – 5

A Norm Smith medallist in 2016 playing as a dashing, counter attacking defender, he’s a full time forward these days. Linked up well and provided some of that old dash in the early stages. Took a spectacular mark in the goal square to open the 2nd half, but fell away dramatically from that point on.

#19 Mitch Hannan – 2

The former Demon played a blinder in the preliminary final, but was utterly awful against his former mates in the big one. Just seven touches, the closest he came to impacting the scoreboard was a shot that missed everything. One to forget, that’s for sure.

#33 Aaron Naughton – 3

Potentially a painful match up for Melbourne, the fleet of foot Naughton was unable to escape Steven May, despite the latter’s hamstring issues. Just the one goal – a clever snap early in the 2nd term – and a solitary mark is all he has to show in a game where his team desperately needed him to stand up.

Interchange

#13 Josh Schache – 5

Like in the preliminary final, did his job as a defensive forward quite well. Unlike in that game against Port Adelaide, he wasn’t able to run off Jake Lever to impact the scoreboard in the same way he did against Aliir Aliir.

#15 Taylor Duryea – 8

An excellent game from the Premiership winning former Hawk. Completely blanketed Demons live wire Pickett, whilst using the ball smartly and efficiently when the ball was in his hands.

#37 Roarke Smith – 5

Was lively early. Came off the bench with immediate effect, kicking the Dogs opening goal. Like many of his teammates he couldn’t find another gear to go with the rampaging Demons late on.

#5 Josh Dunkley – 6

Was excellent in the early stages with 12 disposals in the opening term. Went to Petracca in the 2nd quarter and nullified him. Worked hard in the 2nd half though was a little bit like the boy standing at the dyke – so many holes to plug and not enough fingers.

#23 Laitham Vandermeer – N/A

Medical substitute – not activated.

Coach

Luke Beveridge – 7

His pregame plans generally worked. Schache limited Lever’s effectiveness; Roarke Smith pushing forward was a success; Daniel as a free man across half back worked extremely well; Dunkley to Petracca was a temporary win. Unfortunately, Goodwin’s in game moves trumped his own. Wasn’t able to find an answer to the Demons ruck dominance and once the Dees manned up Daniel, the defensive side the stoppages opened up to devastating effect.

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