Dogs ride Hollywood hype to famous AFL win

Marcus Bontempelli impressed Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge in their AFL win over Sydney.
Marcus Bontempelli impressed Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge in their AFL win over Sydney.

Luke Beveridge didn't get the Chris Hemsworth autograph he was after but the Western Bulldogs coach didn't have much else to complain about after his side hung on for a famous win over Sydney.

Wearing their Thor-inspired guernseys, the Bulldogs brought the hammer down in a stunning first half before hanging on for a pulsating 11.16 (82) to 9.11 (65) win at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

Hemsworth and Hollywood buddy Matt Damon were at the stadium to witness the enthralling contest, but the Thor actor and ardent Dogs fan left before Beveridge could get him to sign the replica hammer he brought into his post-match press conference.

"This is Thor's hammer ... I was a bit jealous tonight of the boys wearing a Thor jumper," Beveridge said.

"I know there has been a lot of talk about it.

"But there's strength and power in it. We were after a bit of that tonight, it looked okay, and we've beaten a good side in the Swans so we were pretty happy.

"I actually wanted to get Chris to sign that for my younger brother but he's taken off, unfortunately, so I will have to track him down later on."

The Dogs, a disappointing eight-win, 13th-placed side last year, looked more like the hard-running team from their premiership year in 2016 than they have for some time.

The rampant Bulldogs took control and stormed to a 33-point halftime lead, keeping Sydney to just one goal, before the almost-inevitable challenge came.

The resurgent Swans put through the first four goals of the last quarter to slash the margin to four points before Marcus Bontempelli and Sam Lloyd booted the last two majors of a the scintillating contest.

"To find the energy just for that last six minutes it's a real credit to them because it seemed like we were out on our feet," Beveridge said.

"I thought our players did their best under some duress so that's a good sign for us."

Bontempelli was brilliant for the Dogs with 29 possessions and his vital late goal, with Jack Macrae and Tom Liberatore, in his first game back from a knee reconstruction, important with 32 and 28 touches, respectively.

Beveridge stuck with rising star Aaron Naughton in attack and the versatile tall repaid his coach with three goals in an influential display.

The Bulldogs have an injury concern with Matt Suckling hurting his ankle after the oft-maligned turf at Marvel Stadium gave way under him.

Australian Associated Press