Figtree beat Wollongong Bulldogs in AFL South Coast

Closing in: Wollongong Bulldogs player Adam Weston is under pressure against Figtree at Keira Oval on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts
Closing in: Wollongong Bulldogs player Adam Weston is under pressure against Figtree at Keira Oval on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts

The team song came with a sigh of relief, as much for surviving a blistering seven-goal Bulldogs onslaught, as Figtree finally throwing the monkey off their backs.

The Roos had left their Wollongong rivals shellshocked with an 11 goals to one first half, only to endure a stunning fightback in the third. 

But having failed to beat a top-three team all season, Figtree refused to yield, hanging on to win 15.8 (98) to 12.9 (81) at Keira Oval. 

“It’s great for the group, they’ve deserved a big win and we had to work hard to stop the Bulldogs’ momentum in that second half,” coach Will Ryan said. 

“There was a bit of relief afterwards, but to their credit, they were already talking about Kiama next week, so it’s another big test.

“It’s just the nature of the competition, when you have the momentum you have to make it count, because it turns very quickly. 

“They kicked about seven goals in 15 minutes, so I know why coaches have their hair go grey pretty quickly.”

The Kangaroos led 6.4 to just one point at quarter time and extended the lead to 61, but then braced for the backlash as the gap closed to just 18 at the final change. 

Daniel Perger finished with five goals, while Bart Tuohey and Nick Hay were among the Roos’ best. 

But as if Figtree needed any reminder about the task ahead, Kiama walloped Northern Districts, finishing 22.11 (143) to 3.1 (19) winners. Troy Cole booted nine to take his season tally to 54. 

Premiers Wollongong Lions beat Shellharbour by 29 points.