GWS coach Adam Kingsley might be inclined to send a hard tag to Bontempelli, but he played free early on and helped himself to 15 contested possessions, 10 clearances, six inside 50s and a dreadful first-half goal .
Despite the wet weather, the Bulldogs shared the forward load with nine individual goalies, their power trio of Naughton, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Rory Lobb finding six between them, and a young excitement machine early on. Just ahead.
Arthur Jones scored twice in a lively cameo in Game 6, and his high-energy play inside the 50 helped them to 10 at the quarter-break.
Green’s absence clearly hurt the Giants, who were ineffective inside the 50s, and veteran Callan Ward gave his team a lifeline with two kicks before Green hit the scoreboard.
Midfield leaders Rudge Whitfield and Josh Kelly completed a combined 65 passes, while running backs Rudge Ash (28 touches) and Connor Eden (28) were particularly disruptive .
In eight games under Kingsley, the Giants have never finished by more than 21 points, but remain 3-5.
Midfielder Adam Treloar’s potential hamstring injury led to his immediate removal, the only major downside for the Bulldogs.
Demons dig deep to overcome the indomitable sun
Melbourne won a thrilling win over the Gold Coast Suns at the Heritage Bank Stadium, with Darcy McPherson missing a chance to equalize with 20 seconds remaining.
It was an intense and often ill-tempered game, with frequent skirmishes, Suns guard Charlie Ballard arriving late with a neck injury and ending with the referees being booed from the floor by the rapt home crowd. Ballard will undergo a precautionary scan, but the club is confident he will be fine.
The Suns are missing their best player, Tucker Miller, one of their best players, Rach Weller, and key small forwards Ben Ainsworth and Nick Holman. By half-time, however, they had a decisive advantage on the ground in both clearances and contested possessions.
That was against Melbourne’s proud midfield of Christian Petraka, Clayton Oliver and Jack Winnie. Matt Rowell picked up five clearances in a quarter and Noah Anderson continued his steady ascent into the AFL’s elite ranks of midfielders.
But it was in the air that Melbourne dominated. Suns captain Jarrod Witz was a match for Max Garn and Brody Grundy in stoppage time, but the real damage was done when the Devil’s guns went on.
That’s why Grundy was recruited from Collingwood. The duo scored three goals at half-time and were clearly marking each other. Otherwise, Diss had a wider range of contributors, with seven goalkeepers in the half.
The last of them, Alex Neil Bren with just a few seconds on the clock, sucked some air out of the Suns’ tires as they continued to challenge, keeping a seven-point lead in the main changeup. advantage, and Kysaiah Pickett’s second restart within a minute extended it.
However, the Suns didn’t go down without a big fight. Ben King was lucky: Steven May, who barely touched the ball, made the most of two free-kicks, the second of which equalized with three quarters to go.
It took a lot of effort for Petracca to break the deadlock, stealing the ball from a stop and hooking a shot from nearly 40 meters from the steps. Free kick on Levi Casboult awarded to Gawn from 100 metres.
That should have sunk the Suns, but they came again, Anderson dragged them back with a goal for the best ground performance, and Rosas’ fourth had the Devils fighting to save the game.
Gold Coast Suns 3.3 7.4 11.6 13.7 (85)
Melbourne 4.4 8.5 11.6 13.12 (90)
Gold Coast Suns: Rosas 4, Chol 2, Casboult 2, King 2, Lukosius, Ellis, Anderson.
Melbourne: Grundy 2, Pickett 2, Gawn 2, van Rooyen, Chandler, Jordon, Neal Bulls, Bowey, Sparrow, Petracca.
Gold Coast Suns: Anderson, McPherson, Powell, Ballard, Swallow, Rowell.
Melbourne: Gawn, Petracca, Brayshaw, Oliver, Pickett, May.
Gold Coast Suns: Ballard (concussion).
referee: Rebeschini Mollison Wallace Strybos.
crowd: 11,440 at Heritage Bank Stadium.