Izzy and Bonnie show: Twin towers fire Dogs to another win

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have four straight victories and are emerging as a genuine AFLW premiership threat, with a 25-point win over Greater Western Sydney on Saturday the latest emphatic statement of their intent this season.

It was the dynamic forward partnership of Isabel Huntington and Bonnie Toogood that inspired the 7.5 (47) to 3.4 (22) win at the VU Whitten Oval, with the pair providing an unstoppable combination in attack to haunt the Giants all afternoon.

BULLDOGS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats

Huntington finished with a career-best three goals from five big marks in a powerhouse performance up forward, with Toogood adding three goals herself to act as the perfect foil alongside the former No.1 pick.

AFLW Match Highlights: Western Bulldogs v GWS

04:44 Feb 27. 2021. 5:55 PM

The Bulldogs and Giants clash in round five of the NAB AFL Women's competition

Rebecca Beeson (24 disposals, five tackles) typified the Giants' performance, fighting hard all afternoon and perhaps shading the red-hot Ellie Blackburn (17 disposals, five tackles) in the midfield. But the Dogs had too many contributors to ease over the line.

It didn't all go their way, with the Giants controlling the territory battle throughout a tough and tense start to the match. But it was the Bulldogs who were putting on a counter-attacking clinic to ultimately claim the significant early advantage.

After the scores were level at the opening interval, Huntington and Toogood were the beneficiaries of some smooth transitions through the middle of the field to finish the half with a combined five goals and hand their side a 24-point buffer at the main break.

Toogood living up to the name with stunner

00:37 Feb 27. 2021. 4:47 PM

Bonnie Toogood shrugs off an opponent before finding the sticks in superb style

Their stellar work in attack inspired five consecutive goals on either side of half-time, with Huntington soon adding another as the speed and athleticism of Kirsten McLeod (nine disposals, one goal) forced yet more headaches upon the Giants.

It was almost the perfect afternoon for the Western Bulldogs, before the win – and the performance – was marred by a late non-contact knee injury to Deanna Berry that sent a hush over the Whitten Oval.

Devastating blow as Berry injures knee

01:27 Feb 27. 2021. 5:20 PM

An emotional Deanna Berry is helped off the field after a cruel knee injury

Flag chance?
A round one loss to St Kilda, combined with five straight defeats to end the 2020 campaign, meant the Western Bulldogs had lost six consecutive games earlier this season. They looked anything but a premiership contender. But how much difference a month can make. The Dogs now have four straight wins, are entrenched inside the top-six, and look a genuine shot at the flag. Look out title contenders, Nathan Burke's side are coming.

Blink and you missed it
The Giants can feel hard done by. Having gone into quarter-time level, they dominated the early stages of the second term. They moved the ball forward nicely and worked repeat entries through awesome pressure inside 50, but had no means of converting the territorial control into goals. As it happened, the Bulldogs poured forward rapidly on the break, kicked four goals in 11 minutes, and the match was as good as done.

Tully terrific with super snap

00:43 Feb 27. 2021. 5:04 PM

Britt Tully earns GWS a superb major with a slick shot from distance

The difference 
Isabel Huntington is a star. The Dogs might have struggled to get going throughout the first quarter, but back-to-back Huntington goals in the second term soon broke the game wide open. Her contested marking has been a feature of her young career, but it was a stunning goal on the run – having just out-bodied her opponent in the contest – that signalled why she is one of the game's most influential players. She finished with three goals for the first time in her AFLW career, complementing nine disposals and five strong marks.

Hungry Dogs off to the races, Huntington goals

00:42 Feb 27. 2021. 4:44 PM

Isabel Huntington is the beneficiary of some quick Bulldogs movement through the middle

WESTERN BULLDOGS                  1.2     5.2     7.2     7.5 (47)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     1.2     1.2     3.3     3.4 (22)

GOALS
Western Bulldogs: Toogood 3, Huntington 3, McLeod
Greater Western Sydney: Privitelli, Tully, McKinnon

BEST
Western Bulldogs: Huntington, Toogood, Lamb, Blackburn, Brown, McLeod, Lochland
Greater Western Sydney: Beeson, Parker, Eva, Tully, Bennetts

INJURIES
Western Bulldogs: Berry (knee)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil

Reports: Nil

Crowd: 2461 at VU Whitten Oval

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