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The Dogs made history, beating Sydney Swans by 22 points

The Western Bulldogs have beaten the Sydney Swans in the AFL grand final by 22 points at the MCG, to end a 62-year premiership drought.

AFL grand final: SYD v WB


10.7 (67)

Sydney
v
Western Bulldogs


13.11 (89)
at MCG, October 1 2016
372Disposals383
30Clearances37
41Inside 5059
101Tackles89

Sydney: 10.7 (67) - J Kennedy 3, T Mitchell 2, L Franklin, N Smith, G Rohan, L Parker, G Hewett

Western Bulldogs: 13.11 (89) - T Dickson 3, T Boyd 3, L Picken 3, Z Cordy, T McLean, C Smith, J Stringer


The Dogs made history, becoming the first team to ever win the AFL flag after finishing seventh on the ladder, with a 13.11 (89) to 10.7 (67) victory.
In 2005, the Swans under Paul Roos had had the bulk of fan support behind them as they broke a 72-year premiership drought that dated back to the club's days as South Melbourne.
Since then, the Bulldogs were the ones with the longest wait between premierships.
This time, it was their turn to try and secure a fairytale finish and in a gripping second half they came home over the top of their fancied rivals.
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge paid tribute to the Swans, describing them as "an unbelievable side" before speaking of his playing group.
"This group of players are just incredible. Their hearts are so big," Beveridge said. 
"We know how long you've waited for some success. And we really thought at half time that it was going to take something extra special, even though they had given their all already."
Speaking to Grandstand, Bulldogs' utility Lachie Hunter put the win in perspective.
"We haven't won since '54 and all the prelim losses and things like that it seems liked there was a bit of a curse going on for a while but it just makes it that much more special," he said.
"It's been such a long wait for the fans and everyone at the club, it's just unreal.
"You never want to think you won, but I wasn't going to go too early but I looked to the bench and saw that everyone was in tears and hugging each other so I though it was probably time for me to start celebrating as well.
"That was nice to run around for the last minute or two knowing that you were going to win the flag."
For the Swans, midfielder Josh Kennedy played an incredible game - with 34 disposals including 17 contested possessions and three goals - but he was left to wonder what might have been.
"Credit to the Bulldogs they were just a little bit more consistent over the four quarters, a real team effort, an even contribution across the board," Kennedy said. "In the end they hurt us on our turnovers."
He said coach John Longmire's post-match message was that the turnovers had been critical and that the Swans had been "probably a little bit conservative with our ball movement."
Kennedy deflected suggestions that the lop-sided free kick count - which favoured the Bulldogs 20-8 - had any impact on the result.
"I feel like at the end of the day those sort of things tend to even themselves out and credit to the way the Doggies' went about it," he said.
"It's a great brand of footy, their contested footy is elite. They kept the ball in motion and try to surge it forward at all costs and it seemed to play dividends."
Before Saturday, the Swans had played 16 grand finals for five premiership wins.
The Bulldogs had played twice, for a win in 1954 and a loss in 1961.



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