Disposals: White 31, Rice 27, Seccull 24, Fox 23, Phillips 22 & Steven 21.
Goals: Haidon 2, Fox, Mayo, Phillips, Hille, Marsh & Rowe.
The Sandringham Zebras went down to the Footscray Bulldogs by 37 points in their Rival Air Round 16 clash at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval.
The Dogs showed just why they’re a premiership contender with a solid defensive unit and good ball movement, but didn’t have it all their own, with the Zebra’s playing strong football early in the game.
Sandringham struck early in the first quarter with a goal to Jonathan Haidon. The Zebras controlled play early in the first quarter, before Footscray found their feet. The Dogs were unable to capitalise on their opportunities, leaving the Zebras to lead by one point at quarter time.
Pressure was intense from both teams early in the second term. Jack Mayo eventually kicked the first goal of the quarter after nearly ten minutes of play, before Anthony Scott replied immediately for the ‘Scray.
The pressure remained high from both teams throughout the quarter, but it was the dogs who took a ten point lead into half time with the help of some late goals.
Brandon White and Ed Phillips both tallied 15 disposals at half time, with skipper Brede Seccull and St Kilda star Jack Steven both having 11 disposals.
The low scoring contest continued early in the third quarter, with Sandringham applying immense pressure around the ball, but struggling to break through Footscray’s defence. The Bulldogs broke the goalless streak after ten minutes. Shortly after, a mark and goal to Billy Gowers increased Footscray’s lead to 26 points.
Despite ten third quarter disposals to Jack Steven and goals to Haidon and Rowe, it was the Dogs who had the best of the third quarter, leading by 34 points at the final change.
Jackson Hille kicked the first goal of the final quarter after taking a strong mark 35 metres out from goal. The Zebra’s fought hard through the midfield, and goals to Fox and Marsh kept them in the hunt, but the Dogs were relentless through the fourth quarter, kicking the last three goals of the game to finish the game 37 point winners.
Brandon White (31 disposals, 25 kicks, ten marks) led the match for disposals and marks, and Bailey Rice, (27 disposals, 20 kicks, four tackles) worked hard up forward before playing the final quarter through the midfield.
Sam Fox (23 disposals, one goal) finished the match strongly, while Brede Seccull (24 disposals, six marks, seven tackles) continued his solid run of form.
Ed Phillips (21 disposals, one goal, five marks, three tackles) put himself in consideration for senior selection and St Kilda favourite Jack Steven (21 disposals, three marks, three tackles) had a significant impact through the midfield (despite sitting out the final term).
Draftee Rhylee West (24 disposals) and experienced campaigner Fletcher Roberts (21 disposals) led disposals for Footscray, who had five multiple goal kickers.
The Zebras will turn their attention to next week’s Pride Game, in which they take on the Casey Demons at the Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval.