Naughton injured in Bulldogs’ win

Naughton injured in Bulldogs’ win

ACE Western Bulldogs forward Aaron Naughton will have scans on his injured right forearm after pulling up sore in his team’s resounding 39-point AFL practice- match victory over Melbourne.

The 21-year-old took no part in Monday’s second-half at Marvel Stadium after hurting himself before the main break, and the strong marking goal threat was later seen with his arm in a sling.

With just 11 days until the Bulldogs’ round-one clash with Collingwood, concerns over Naughton took some of the shine off a clinical hit-out for Luke Beveridge’s men.

Captain Marcus Bontempelli put on a masterclass as the Bulldogs asserted their dominance on the scoreboard in the third quarter and ran out winners 15.16 (106) to 10.7 (67).

Champion midfielder Bontempelli controlled the game with 32 possessions and three goals.

Caleb Daniel and Jack Macrae also found plenty of the ball as Melbourne defenders Steven May – who copped a late head knock – and Jake Lever prevented the margin from blowing out further.

Bulldogs ruckman Tim English seemed to enjoy the support of veteran big man Stefan Martin, who arrived at the club from the Brisbane Lions during the off-season, putting in a brave display against Max Gawn.

But Josh Dunkley did still have to attend some centre bounce contests against Gawn, even though the midfielder’s use as a makeshift ruckman last year was behind his failed trade request to Essendon.

If the Bulldogs do need to make changes before playing the Magpies, they are well placed to do so.

Norm Smith medallist Jason Johannisen and premiership defender Taylor Duryea were relegated to the reserves match earlier on Monday.

Star recruit Adam Treloar joined them in the VFL game at the Whitten Oval as the former Collingwood midfielder continues to build up fitness after battling calf tightness during the pre-season.

Melbourne was without key forwards Ben Brown and Sam Weideman but Bayley Fritsch played an important role with three goals against the Bulldogs.

Melbourne defender Jay Lockhart was taken to hospital after suffering a testicular injury during the first term.

(C) AAP 2021

WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.6 5.8 11.11 15.16 (106)

MELBOURNE 2.2 5.5 6.6 10.7 (67)

Goals: Western Bulldogs: M Bontempelli 3 P Lipinski 3 A Scott 2 B Dale 2 J Bruce 2 B Smith L McNeil T English. Melbourne: B Fritsch 3 A Neal-Bullen 2 C Petracca K Chandler M Gawn N Jones T Sparrow.

Umpires: Ray Chamberlain, Andrew Stephens, Curtis Deboy, Hayden Gavine.

Venue: Marvel Stadium.