New recruits give Dogs more bite
STAR midfielder Marcus Bontempelli has praised the influence of experienced recruits Sam Lloyd and Taylor Duryea after the pair played key roles in Western Bulldogs' Round 1 victory.
Former Richmond forward Lloyd was a standout in his first game for the Bulldogs, collecting 22 possessions and kicking two goals including the match-winner deep into the fourth quarter against Sydney.
Duryea, who crossed to Whitten Oval from Hawthorn in last year's trade period, finished with 15 disposals and a goal in his Dogs debut.
Bontempelli said the experience Lloyd and Duryea had added to the developing Bulldogs side would be crucial to their prospects this year.
"(They) have both had a significant influence straight away," Bontempelli said.
"Both because they are a little bit older and they have been around a footy club for a little bit of time.
"They know what they are about, they are confident in their ability and they know what they can provide.
"They bring a great level of leadership and confidence to our group which is a pretty young group still.
"Especially with the fact we lost Dale Morris a couple of weeks ago."
Duryea was a dual premiership player at Hawthorn, featuring in 118 games including the club's 2014 and 2015 grand final victories.
While he was not part of Richmond's breakthrough flag-winning side, Lloyd played eight games during the Tigers' premiership campaign.
"Their off-field leadership has been something really important for us," Bontempelli said.
"You can tell with Lloydy, he's a natural forward with his ability to move and read the play and hit up and influence at times.
"Taylor Duryea's courage and ability to find targets and kick the ball well as a result of probably his time at Hawthorn have been really valuable for us."