Bulldogs claim 2021 Wellington AFL title

The Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs have won back to back Wellington AFL titles as they produced a strong second half to overcome a gallant Wellington City Saints side.

The two best sides contested the final at Hutt Park, with the Saints full of confidence after upsetting the Dogs in their previous round robin clash.

Determined not to let their bark be worse than their bite, the defending Premiers were focused and ready to pounce from the opening bounce.

The Bulldogs held onto the ball for long periods and controlled the early stages of the game, but despite their possession advantage, they struggled to convert chances into goals. Their strong defensive work meant the Saints had few opportunities of their own as they went into the first break, leading by 14 points.

The Dogs suffered some early injuries with Dale Sabbagh (calf) and Andrew Eastwood (ribs) sidelined for the rest of the game. Sam Green and Doug McJorrow were both hard at the ball as the Saints worked their way back into the contest, winning contested ball and working hard through the midfield.

The Saints physicality and skills saw them take the lead early in the third quarter as they kicked two goals into the wind. But the experience of the Dogs shone through as they kept their composure and stuck with their game plan to get themselves back in the game.

The reigning premiers put the hammer down in the final quarter. Maintaining composure, the Bulldogs forced multiple errors from the Saints and held onto the ball with a vice-like grip. The Saints, chasing the scoreboard hurried their kicks which provided multiple turnovers, which saw the Dogs take advantage and kick their way to another Wellington Premiership title.

Final score:
Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs: 7.11: 53 def. Wellington City Saints: 5.5: 35