Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce kicks 10 goals, first forward since Ben Brown to achieve double digits

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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VideoAFL: Adam Treloar enjoyed quite the first half for the Western Bulldogs against North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.

Josh Bruce... take a bow.

Josh Bruce had three goals to quarter time.
Camera IconJosh Bruce had three goals to quarter time. Credit: Quinn Rooney/AFL Photos

The Bulldogs forward has kicked a whopping 10 goals to almost double the score of North Melbourne in the 25.17 (167) to 5.9 (39) victory on Good Friday.

In a contest that is sure to further ignite debate over whether North Melbourne deserve to host the Good Friday fixture, Bruce was a standout finishing with 10.2.

His 10-goal haul is the best result for any forward since ex-North big man Ben Brown’s 10 against Port Adelaide in round 22, 2019.

Bruce now joins Brown, Jack Riewoldt (three times - 2018, 2014 and 2010), Lance Franklin (twice - 2012 and 2017), Tom Lynch (2013) and Eagle Josh Kennedy (2015, 2014 and 2011) as the only active players to reach the double digit goal milestone.

He becomes the first Bulldog since Simon Beasley in 1987 to kick 10 goals in a game, and is now just the sixth Bulldog/Footscray player to achieve the feat.

Bruce kicked a total 14 goals in 17 matches for the Bulldogs in the entire 2020 season — he now has 14 goals in three games in 2021.

Sadly for North Melbourne, it’s not the first time Bruce has kicked a bag against them.

He kicked six goals against the Kangas in the round five, 2020 clash and another six in round 16, 2019 when he was still with St Kilda.

The Bulldogs’ 128-point win will do little to quell talk of stripping the Good Friday clash from North Melbourne, despite the pleas of club champion David King.

Footy fans took to social media after the club’s woeful display against the Western Bulldogs.

Despite the hype surrounding the debut of number three draft pick Will Phillips — the rookie North selected ahead of WA’s now Swan Logan McDonald, and the return of Ben Cunnington, the Kangaroos had no answers for the Dogs.

The Bulldogs were forced to activate their sub after just a few minutes when Ryan Gardner copped friendly fire. But it didn’t slow their momentum.

Teammates get around Josh Bruce after he kicked his 10th goal.
Camera IconTeammates get around Josh Bruce after he kicked his 10th goal. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

Bruce had three goals to quarter time and four in the final quarter when the game was well and truly over.

Just this week AFL legend Jonathan Brown said the Kangaroos should be “banished” from the prime time Good Friday slot and forced to “earn the right” to host the game.

And the display against the Bulldogs was anything but exciting.

North fans even pleaded for club great Brent Harvey to be activated as the sub after his half-time goal-kicking contest with Bulldogs great Brad Johnson.

The result ensures the Bulldogs remain undefeated in 2021 — the first time in more than a decade the club has started 3-0.

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