AFL grand final: Marcus Bontempelli helps drag Western Bulldogs back in second term

Chris RobinsonThe West Australian
Email Chris Robinson
Marcus Bontempelli celebrates a goal.
Camera IconMarcus Bontempelli celebrates a goal. Credit: Gary Day/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

They were jumped early, but a brilliant response from Marcus Bontempelli helped the Western Bulldogs go to half time with an improbable grand final lead.

A Christian Petracca explosion led Melbourne to a 21-point quarter-time lead - the biggest margin at the first change in a grand final since 2007.

VideoChristian Petracca wheeled round to kick a pearler as the grand final's opening goal.

But the Dogs provided an immediate response, slamming through three goals in little more than five minutes to thunder back into the contest.

Adam Treloar lit the fuse, but it was Bontempelli who was the difference.

The skipper took two strong contested grabs in the forward pocket and kicked truly each time to help the Dogs to a 7.5 (47) to 5.9 (39) advantage.

He may also come under Match Review scrutiny after giving away this head-high free kick against Clayton Oliver, though the Demons midfielder was able to continue.

By half time, Caleb Daniel had racked up an incredible 26 disposals off half-back - as he eyes Simon Black’s modern-day grand final record of 39 in a match.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails