Corey Weightman and Aaron Naughton kick five goals each as Bulldogs thrash Kangaroos by 68 points

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Corey Weightman and Aaron Naughton kick five goals each as Bulldogs thrash North Melbourne by 68 points… with Kangaroos suffering another Good Friday shellacking after dismal first quarter

A hot-start has set the tone for the Western Bulldogs’ 68-point win over struggling North Melbourne in their Good Friday AFL clash at Marvel Stadium.

The game was effectively over at quarter time after the Bulldogs had piled on eight goals to one to lead the shell-shocked Kangaroos by 45 points.

North were embarrassed by 128 points in the corresponding match last year and supporters feared another crushing blowout defeat in the marquee game.

Cody Weightman kicked five majors as the Bulldogs thrashed North Melbourne on Friday

Cody Weightman kicked five majors as the Bulldogs thrashed North Melbourne on Friday

The Kangaroos fought their way back into the game with a five-goal-to-two second term, sparking the pro-North crowd into delirium.

But the early damage proved insurmountable for North as last year’s beaten grand finalists improved their record to 2-3 by winning 21.13 (139) to 11.5 (71).

Bulldogs star Bailey Smith continued his prolific start to 2022, gathering 22 first-half possessions on his way to a career-high 43 as he capitalises on a matchwinning finals series last year.

Aaron Naughton also booted five goals as the Bulldogs kicked 21 majors on Friday

Aaron Naughton also booted five goals as the Bulldogs kicked 21 majors on Friday

Bailey Smith dominated proceedings in midfield, finishing with a team-high disposals

Bailey Smith dominated proceedings in midfield, finishing with a team-high disposals

Pundits blasted the Kangaroos for an 'embarrassing' first quarter display against the Bulldogs

Pundits blasted the Kangaroos for an ’embarrassing’ first quarter display against the Bulldogs

Livewire Cody Weightman did his best work early, booting four first-quarter goals as his feats immediately brought back memories of Josh Bruce’s 10-goal haul against the Kangaroos last year.

Weightman slotted his fifth late in the contest for the biggest haul of his 24-game career.

Key forward Aaron Naughton made up for a frustrating and inaccurate start to the season by finishing with 5.3 in a much-needed confidence boost.

Captain Marcus Bontempelli was used in a deep forward role and the move reaped dividends with three goals, including two in the first term.

North Melbourne lost Aaron Hall to a hamstring injury towards the end of the third term

North Melbourne lost Aaron Hall to a hamstring injury towards the end of the third term

The Kangaroos have lost four of their first five games this season and are 17th on the ladder

The Kangaroos have lost four of their first five games this season and are 17th on the ladder

Jy Simpkin, in his 100th AFL game, was clearly the Kangaroos’ best player as the improving midfielder racked up 27 possessions.

Both teams lost players to injury, with North speedster Aaron Hall (hamstring) and Bulldogs youngster Riley Garcia (knee) subbed out at halftime, while the Kangaroos’ Jack Mahony (ankle) sat out the final 10 minutes.

After a sluggish start to the season, the Bulldogs now have a chance to build as they host struggling Adelaide in Ballarat next weekend before more winnable games against Essendon and Port Adelaide.

North, who have slumped to 1-4, will host Geelong in Hobart in round six.

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