The Christchurch Bulldogs are Premiers of the Canterbury AFL league for 2016 after defeating a gallant University Cougars side at Northwood Park over the weekend.
The Bulldog’s last won the Grand Final back in 2013 while the Cougars have gone 10 years without a flag, winning their last back in 2006.
The Dog’s jumped out to a fast start and kicked 6 goals to 2 in the first quarter thanks to full forward Dale Stevenson. The Cougars seemed to be doing the right things but were snuffled by an experienced Bulldogs side.
Midfielder Jamie Exeter was dominant in the middle of the park all game for the Dog’s and he gathered many possessions in the centre square and delivering quality ball into the forward line. Exeter was well supported by Wayne Sullivan and NZ Hawk Kyle Smith who also had outstanding games.
The Dog’s were all class throughout the whole game as they kept the Cougars scoreless in the third and went on in the fourth to run out 131 point winners and claim the 2016 Premiership.
A highlight for the Cougars was a running goal to Brennan Clarke who completed a chain of marks as the Cougars moved the ball quickly down the far side of the ground after a switch play. This was a rare moment that caught the Dogs defense off-guard.
Full forward Dale Stevenson ended up with 10 goals for the game and was announced at the 2016 Best and Fairest winner after a sterling season.
Best on ground was awarded to Bulldogs midfielder Wayne Sullivan, who has recently been selected to be apart of the AFL New Zealand National Draft. With this form, Sullivan could be amongst the first round picks.
The Cougars can celebrate a successful season after making their first Grand Final in 7 years and will look to go one further in season 2017.