AFL 1 year ago

'Dogs have fierce AFL rivalry with Giants

  • 'Dogs have fierce AFL rivalry with Giants

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Robert Murphy of the Bulldogs hugs Easton Wood and Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs after winning the second AFL semi final between Hawthorn Hawks and Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 16, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Forget seeing red - it's the colour orange that will have the Western Bulldogs snarling for Saturday's AFL preliminary final.

Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy admits they quickly have developed a rivalry with the Giants that has an edge to it.

The two clubs have had a succession of connections since the Giants joined the AFL five years ago and Murphy says there is no love lost.

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Giants coach Leon Cameron and co-captain Callan Ward are former Bulldogs players.

More recently, Tom Boyd went from the Giants to the Bulldogs two years ago and 'Dogs captain Ryan Griffen headed the other way in a monster player swap.

"In a short space there's been a fair bit of history and there have been some pretty spirited games of footy," Murphy told AFL360.

"It will all be on the line ... it will be a ripper.

"There's not a lot of love lost there and it will be played hard and fast and tough."

Murphy said unlike their three-straight losing preliminary finals in 2008-10, this time the 'Dogs have momentum.

Their semi-final triumph last Friday night ended Hawthorn's bid for four-straight premierships and it followed their much-lauded elimination final win in Perth over West Coast.

In the three Septembers between '08-10, they had to rebound from a losing qualifying final.

Murphy added the ending to last Friday night, when teammates mobbed Caleb Daniel after he kicked a goal on the final siren, was another big moment for the club.

He compared it to last season's win over Sydney at the SCG, which showed the 'Dogs were a fast-emerging team.

"The last couple of years, it just has felt like the horizon has lifted, every so often," Murphy said.

"The win up in Sydney last year - for me, it (last Friday night's finish) was that moment again."

A knee reconstruction ended Murphy's season after only three games, but he is rapt for his team.

"I'm good - I'm having the odd moment, of course," he said.

"You're aching not to be out there, but it's small fry in the bigger picture.

"Where the club has been, to now, where it's at, it fills me with enormous pride."

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