Six goals to Aaron Naughton has come close to single-handedly ousting St Kilda in its return to Marvel Stadium, with the big man’s haul seeing the Western Bulldogs through to a powerful 60-point prime-time triumph.

Although the Bulldogs were without leading man Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Tom Liberatore, the under-fire outfit had no trouble finding the sticks with 10 individual goalkickers to put their opposition to the sword 9.10 (64) to 19.10 (124).

Naughton and Cody Weightman had three majors apiece by quarter-time to hammer home a seven-goal opening term in emphatic fashion, opening up a lead - and the floodgates - which couldn’t be reined in.

It’s St Kilda’s heftiest defeat under Ross Lyon since Round 7, 2010, seeing the Saints slump to a 2-4 record after conceding its previous three defeats by a total of 13 points.

Commentary around Luke Beveridge’s Bulldogs was at an all-time high in the lead-up to Thursday’s encounter, but the bite back on-field was significant. 

The Bulldogs appeared as if they barely needed to change gears and at times effortlessly moved the ball from one end to the other to the delight of Naughton. Previously out-of-favour prime movers Bailey Dale (39 disposals) and Jack Macrae (30) were immense in the Dogs’ dominance and drive into attack, with skipper Marcus Bontempelli uncharacteristically playing second fiddle despite having 24 touches and three goals of his own.

SAINTS MATCH CENTRE: View all news, stats and videos from Round 6

While the Bulldogs’ forwards had their names up in lights as the goals flowed readily, the stringent defence was just as vital in the final outcome which limited their shaky opponents to just nine goals for the night, four of which came in the fourth term.

Bradley Hill (31 disposals) attempted to get his side going and provided rare zip in an otherwise stagnant night for ball movement, however the Saints were comprehensively outplayed on the inside and outside, and consequently struggled to have any impact forward with Max King out of the line-up through injury.

Adam Treloar and Tim English led the Bulldogs’ easy access out of centre bounces (9-16), with the visitors’ ability to work into space and farm uncontested ball (205-270) and marks (74-148) compounded the Saints’ situation as the game progressed.

There were slight glimpses in the opening half as first-years Hugo Garcia and Darcy Wilson fired through important goals to keep their side in the contest and Marcus Windhager rolled up the sleeves to chart 29 possessions. 


But as hard as the Saints’ fought for their minimal reward, the Dogs were on-hand to offer the immediate reply without much struggle. 

Tim Membrey’s three final-quarter majors repaired the deficit in the final term, but the damage was done - Dan Butler coming off the ground with a suspected hamstring injury the final blow - as the red, white and black were the ones left to lick their wounds.

ST KILDA  1.0  4.3  5.7  9.10 (64)
7.1  12.4  17.6  19.10 (124)

St Kilda:
Membrey 3, Caminiti, Jones, Garcia, Wilson, Owens, Sharman
Western Bulldogs:
Naughton 6, Weightman 3, Bontempelli 3, Darcy, Dale, Treloar, West, English, Gallagher, Macrae 

St Kilda:
Hill, Windhager, Steele, Ross, Byrnes
Western Bulldogs:
Naughton, Dale, Macrae, Treloar, Bontempelli, Jones, English, Johannisen

St Kilda:
Butler (hamstring)
Western Bulldogs:

St Kilda:
Dan Butler replaced Zak Jones in the third term (tactical)
Western Bulldogs:
Ryley Sanders replaced Laitham Vandemeer in the third term (tactical)

26,719 at Marvel Stadium