Have the Bulldogs cost themselves a premiership?
THE Western Bulldogs were sitting pretty at the top of the ladder after round twenty and on the brink of securing a double chance in the finals.
But three straight losses to Essendon, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide on Friday night saw the Bulldogs drop to fifth after Brisbane beat West Coast by 38 points on Saturday.
The Lions made up the required percentage to leapfrog the Dogs into fourth spot to set up a qualifying final clash against minor premiers Melbourne.
Power champion Kane Cornes has put a line through the Bulldogs’ premiership hopes after throwing away a top four spot.
“They’ve cost themselves a premiership. It’s one of the greatest chokes of all time,” Cornes told Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.
“After round 20 they’re on top of the ladder, they lose three games in a row to Essendon, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide, so that’s bad enough.
“They’re three goals up with 12 minutes to go for a top four spot on Friday night, they allow Port Adelaide to kick the final three goals of the game… and there goes your premiership.
“They’re so hard to win, they fought, they were a lot of people’s favourites for 20 weeks of the year, and they end up in fifth spot with no hope of winning the flag.
“Luke Beveridge should be frustrated, because as I said, they have capitulated in the last month – and it’s cost them a premiership.”
The Dogs will have to win the flag from outside the top eight, like they did in 2016.
They face an in-form Essendon in an elimination final at Launceston on Sunday.
– BY ALEX ZAIA/ SEN