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“Gracious in defeat and humble in victory”: Veteran Dog admits post GF tension with Dees


There is unquestionably some bad blood between Western Bulldogs and Melbourne heading into the 2022 season stemming back to some post Grand Final shenanigans.

Following the triumphant victory, Dees players linked arms and sang ‘Freed From Desire’, a song the Bulldogs had adopted as their own in wins across the season.

It escalated further at a Perth nightspot a few days later with tensions rising between the playing groups at the venue.

The two teams will open the 2022 season at the MCG and the tension is clear.

Dogs leader Taylor Duryea’s comments on SEN’s The Run Home on Thursday speak for themselves.

“Look, I thought that was our song and we were disappointed that that got out post the Prelim,” Duryea said.

“That’s just a song we’d sing after each game, whether it was a Round 5 game or a final.

“That’s something we did, it was our song, if they want to sing it, good on them, I don’t think it means anything to them.

“I’ve always been of the opinion that you’ve got to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory and that’s sort of something Hawthorn at our time we were good at.

“On-field we were fierce and I’m sure there was sledging and physicality, but the way you carry yourself off-field is important and a reflection on the group.”

However, the two time-time premiership Hawk isn’t quite ready to label the matchup a rivalry, just yet.

“No, a little bit was blown out of proportion. It’s hard to know if there’s a rivalry built because this season will be the first time we’ve played them since the Grand Final,” he said.

“Sure there will be tensions high in Round 1, and we’ll see what comes of that, but I think you can only build a rivalry on many games and seasons going head to head.

“The Geelong-Hawthorn rivalry was fuelled by a bit of off-field stuff with Jeff Kennett as well, so you’ve got to add a lot of things in to make it a fully formed rivalry, but I’m sure we’re going to have some good battles with them, we’re two good sides.”

Duryea, who was recently named in a five-man leadership group, played 25 games for the Bulldogs in 2021 and has played 160 across his career.

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