The Western Bulldogs have put its finals destiny in its own hands leading into its final game of the season in Ballarat against the Adelaide Crows.
The Bulldogs moved up from 10th to eight on the AFL ladder following its 126-65 win over the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Giants Stadium, meaning a win in Ballarat would lock the Bulldogs into a finals appearance.
It was a high scoring, fast paced game early against the Giants as the Bulldogs opened up an early 43-33 lead to close the first term.
GWS clawed its way back into the contest in the second term, taking the lead thanks in part to a stellar first half from mid-fielder Lachie Whitfield.
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said after the game he wasn't pleased with some of the aspects of his side's play across the first two quarters.
"We were disappointed in the way that we defended - GWS got way too much bang for their buck," he said.
"We challenged each other at half time to lift our energy levels."
Lift its energy levels is exactly what the Bulldogs did, beginning its second-half demolition of the Giants, booting five unanswered goals to open up a 29-point advantage to close the third quarter.
The final term mirrored the third, as the Bulldog's relentless pressure stifled the Giants, restricting GWS to just five second-half-points while the Dog's added another five goals to the margin to secure the 61-point victory.
Having won six of its last eight outings, Beveridge said he has been pleased with the way his side has built following a slow start to the year.
We've given ourselves a little bit of a look at (finals) and now we've got to focus ahead at the challenge this week.Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge
"When we turned after the bye you could see the commitment... it's a good cohesion and I think we've played some footy together... we've been able to lay a foundation.
"There's a lot of moving pieces within a football team... regardless of your plan or your vision as a football team you're no good as long as your players can execute it and our players have just been outstanding."
The coach isn't getting ahead of himself when it comes to comparisons between this side and the Bulldogs' 2016 premiership side.
"I don't get too worked up about it... whether they're talking about 2016 in a positive light or a negative light because we haven't lived up I just can't get too worked up about it. I focus on what we can control and influence and we've moved on, just to see the development progress in everyone... that's what I get off on."
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