Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs vs Wellington City Saints
26 November, 3:00pm, Hutt Park
The stage was set to continue the fierce rivalry that has simmered over the past few seasons. It was a warm day with a light southerly blowing down the ground, and the physicality started from the opening bounce. With the wind at their backs, the Saints looked to capitalise quickly, with the ball staying locked in their attacking half early, but the Bulldogs were able to wrestle the momentum back, winning the quarter.
The second quarter saw the Bulldogs use the wind advantage, piling on 5 goals, and holding the Saints scoreless. The halftime siren sounded with the scores set at ESB 8-5-53 v WCS 0-2-2.
Lesser teams would have called it quits at this point, but the Saints rose to the challenge, and dominated the third quarter, with the ball rarely leaving their attacking half. The Bulldogs defense was under constant pressure, and after keeping the Bulldogs scoreless, a Saints goal after the siren saw them in high spirits.
The Bulldogs bounced right back though, and even with a Saints goal in the middle of the quarter, the wind coupled with the Bulldogs experience made them clear winners by the final siren: ESB 11-9-75 v WCS 2-3-15
BOG for the 2017 Premiers was Dan Lewington who held strong in a tough ruck, and notable mention of Blake Neve (wing), who bagged 5 goals. Also notable is first year ‘pup’ Jayden Plumb (18yr) is the first recorded occurrence of a father-son playing in WAFL GF’s [Dave Plumb: GF’95 & GF’96]!
BOG for the Saints was James ‘Smokey’ Corcoran with a stellar performance in the ruck, and notable mentions for the on-ballers: Tim Parkes, Andrew Bisset, and Coby Dodds, with the experience of Simon ‘Red’ Charles and Jason Cox providing a solid foundation. Great to see the young saints Jonah Christians (16yr), and Jaydn Robson (16yr) standing up in their first Grand Final, and showing plenty of potential for the future! Although they weren’t happy with the scoreboard, the Saints felt they delivered a strong performance in the centre of the park, and at either end to suggest they are in good shape looking towards 2018.
This is the second Grand Final appearance in a row for the Saints, and the 5th Premiership in a row that the Bulldogs have won. Will the Bulldogs be able to grab a 6th straight flag in 2018, or will their dynasty be broken?