The Eastern Bulldogs dominated the 2022 Wellington AFL Grand Final, victorious over the Hutt Valley Eagles. The Bulldogs performed strongly across the park, running the Eagles ragged with a skillful and fast paced handball game.
The Eagles provided a fast start, winning a lot of the early ball and kicking the first goal of the match through full forward James Kusel. The Bulldogs’ early nerves calmed as they worked themselves back into the match through midfield veterans Michael Martinez, Matt Goosen, Tom Robinson, and Dale Sabbagh cleaning up loose ball.
Early chances for the Eagles in the second quarter were snuffed out rapidly by a well organised Bulldogs backline, led by the skipper James Sharp. The Eagles had no answer for the silky-smooth handball skills of the Bulldogs and the pace on ballers Blake Neve and Paul Willis, quickly turning defence into attack.
The physicality and work rate of the Bulldogs midfield through the third quarter began to take a toll on the Eagles’ on-ballers and the mid-field battle was done. A further five goals in the last quarter saw the Bulldogs complete yet another grand final success.
Kade Riddell’s 5 goals and his assistance with many others, earned him best on ground honours.
Eastern Bulldogs: K Riddell (5), R McLean (3), M Bridges, T Robinson, B Neve, M Martinez, P Willis, J Sabo, M Goosen, J Bird, L Noema, D Sabbagh (1)
Hutt Valley Eagles: J Kusel (1)
2022 WAFL Golden Boot Winner: Tyson Sholl
Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs: 3.4 7.6 13.10 18.11 (119)
Hutt Valley Eagles: 1.1 1.1 1.4 2.4 (16)