Talking Points

Stringer repays Fantasy coaches

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There were some who felt Western Bulldogs forward Jake Stringer had been a touch overpriced at the start of the season.

But those Fantasy coaches who picked the 21-year-old were repaid after the youngster’s stand-out performance against Adelaide. The Bulldogs’ 57-point victory over Adelaide was as ruthless as it was surprising, and Stringer was integral to the hosts’ win, with the forward clocking up a career-best six goals on his way to recording a mammoth 105 fantasy points in his side’s 18.7 (125) to 10.8 (68) triumph.

In what has been an impressive start to life under new head coach Luke Beveridge, the Bulldogs showed the rest of AFL how to break the Crows’ forward line in a game that they had started as underdogs with the likes of bet365. In all areas of the field, the Bulldogs never gave Adelaide a chance of getting anything out of this game, producing a scintillating attacking display and a defensive performance that really showed just how much of an influence the new coaching set-up has had.  

Stringer’s performance was made even better by the fact he was forced from the field in the fourth quarter with a tight hamstring, During the three quarters he was on the field, the 21- year-old kicked six goals, three of which came in the third quarter to help turn a 35-point lead into an unassailable 75-point deficit heading into the final period. Adelaide, who had started the new season with three straight wins to help put themselves near the top of the AFL ladder, simply couldn’t get to grips with the powerful forward, and Stringer’s display will have certainly attracted a lot of admiring glances from fantasy coaches.

But while Stringer was the star of the show, he was by no means the only Bulldogs player who the Crows won’t be keen on seeing again anytime soon. Veteran Robert Murphy put in another extremely solid display on his way to 71 fantasy points, collecting 25 possessions and 17 handball receives. Midfield trio Lin Jon, Jack Macrae and Liam Picken were all deserving of mentions after sensational performances, gaining the upper hand on the Crows despite the visitors’ superior clearance advantage. Key defender Michael Talia had been given the unenviable task of keeping Taylor Walker quiet throughout the match, and the fact the Crows skipper was restricted to just one goal and nine possessions shows just what a brilliant job the Bulldogs man managed to do.

A bad day for Adelaide was highlighted by the fact the Crows were out-tackled by the hosts despite the fact the Bulldogs had more of the ball, a worrying sign for new head coach Phil Walsh, who suffered his first defeat at the club. Following the game, Walsh made it clear the Crows needed to bounce back from what was a disappointing and error-strewn performance and make sure they get back to winning ways as soon as possible. For the Bulldogs, though, this was a result that proved they might be underestimated by a lot of AFL fans this season, especially with a player like Stringer beginning to hit his stride.

by  zoonabar

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