Sports

Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne, Marcus Bontempelli, ahead line, aim scoring, accuracy, Luke Beveridge, Good Friday


Marcus Bontempelli’s transfer ahead is not going to be a one-off, coach Luke Beveridge says, because the Western Bulldogs look to deal with their goal-scoring woes.

The star midfielder began the sport at full ahead in opposition to North Melbourne on Friday and had a right away affect – kicking two of his staff’s first three targets and straight aiding within the third.

Given younger ahead Aaron Naughton has been carrying the load of the ahead line since Josh Bruce suffered a severe knee damage late in 2021, the addition of Bontempelli was seen as a win for the Dogs.

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“(Bontempelli’s) on early in this game playing as the key forward, the deepest forward. That’s a real worry match up down there for North Melbourne early,” commentator Matthew Richardson stated.

“(Aaron) Naughton will be loving it as he knows he’s got an A-grade superstar down there so he’s going to attract players toward him.”

After previewing a “new-look” ahead line pre-game, coach Luke Beveridge stated Bontempelli’s transfer might turn out to be extra everlasting because the season goes on.

“It’s probably the first time we’ve gone in with a plan to play Marcus for longer periods just as a forward and it changed throughout the course of the game,” he stated.

“He’s kicked three in the end; it’s not all about the goals but he’s definitely helped others in there and that helps (rookie) ’Marra (Ugle-Hagan) a little bit,” Beveridge stated.

Western Bulldogs press convention | 12:50

“The complexion of our forward line has changed quite dramatically from how we started the year, so it was great to see 10 goalkickers and the multiples are important. (Bontempelli) had a really telling effect on the game as a forward.”

The Bulldogs ahead line has struggled to search out targets in 2022, averaging just below 11 targets a recreation.

But Beveridge stated the membership had sat down with Bontempelli and give you a plan to face North Melbourne.

“I had a conversation with him during the week around what the balance of his game in a perfect world, what would he want and what we think the team needs now,” he stated.

“Between the two of us, we discussed the early part of the game playing predominantly forward.

“He wanted to do that for the team and he didn’t need an arm up behind his back. He is such a great character.”

North Melbourne press convention | 13:26

Beveridge stated precisely how a lot time Bontempelli spends ahead will change on a game-by-game foundation.

“The balance of his time between midfield and forward will continue to change week to week,” he stated.

“His presence – he is obviously a very big, powerful midfielder – he’s got key forward, key back dimensions. I thought his craft was quite good in the air for someone who doesn’t play forward a lot.”

The presence of Bontempelli allowed Naughton more room inside ahead 50, whereas small ahead Cody Weightman took full benefit in opposition to the Roos.

Weightman completed with a career-high 5 targets – taking his tally to 9 targets in two video games in opposition to North Melbourne.

Bontempelli, a four-time All Australian midfielder, ended up with 18 disposals, three targets and two aim assists.



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