Picken stretchered off in Bulldogs win

04 March 2018 06:13:09 EST
Tom Liberatore

A strong third term from Western Bulldogs saw them beat Hawthorn by 22 points in Ballarat.

Luke Beveridge's side came back after trailing by 10 points at half-time, piling on five goals in the third quarter of their JLT Community Series clash.

The Bulldogs, who last year missed the finals for the first time since 2009, gave signs that they can put that right as they prevailed 15.10 (100) to 11.12 (78) at Mars Stadium.

The only sour note of their first pre-season game was when they lost veteran forward Liam Picken to concussion late in the third quarter. Picken was stretchered off after being knocked out in a collision with teammate Josh Dunkley.

Stand-in coach Daniel Giansiracusa said: "We'll assess him throughout the week so, hopefully, he's all okay but at least he was up and about after it."

Key forward Josh Schache, who sat out the first half, made an impact when he linked up with Jason Johannisen to boot his first goal in Bulldogs colours early in the third term.

Midfielder Tom Liberatore was solid with 18 disposals and a goal.

Hawthorn had the better of a first half in which the lead changed hands a dozen times.

Alastair Clarkson's side saw fringe key forward Ryan Schoenmakers slot three goals while Tom Mitchell  was influential with 30 disposals and 10 clearances.

Jarman Impey, signed in the off-season from Port Adelaide, displayed his blistering speed in an impressive first quarter, finishing the match with 15 disposals and six inside-50s.

"He's going to be pretty electric for us," said Clarkson. "He'll provide a pretty potent forward line when Cyril returns with (Paul Puopolo) and Lukey Breust."

Hawthorn are 30/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Hawks are 11/2 to finish in the top four.

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