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It’s simply a must-watch game for the Western Bulldogs on Friday night, as last year’s top runners look to stay in touch with the top eight ahead of Hawthorn.

The Dogs (7-6, 118.6%) have recovered from a slow start to the season, winning four of their last five games, and could be tied for sixth by the end of the night with a win.

Hawthorn (4-9, 87.5%) has shown great promise despite their lopsided record of wins and losses, with Sam Mitchell’s side pushing many of the best teams in the competition this year.

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There were no late changes on either side. Lachlan McNeil (Bulldogs) and Josh Morris (Hawks) were the medical backups.

Mitch Lewis scored the first goal of the game, after signing a four-year contract extension with the Hawks.

Hawthorn looked brilliant early on, with an end-to-end transition pass from the defense leading to a Dylan Moore goal, while Lewis featured prominently as he netted his second goal.

Ed Richards was traded to Moore, who had two assists and a goal of his own less than seven minutes into the game.

While Jason Johannisen would get the first goal for the Dogs, the Hawks were still sizzling, with Luke Breust scoring his first goal of the night to put his team 19 points ahead.

“The Hawks brought intensity, they have pace and they untangle the Bulldogs defense,” Gerard Whateley said on AFL Nation.

The game kicks off at 7 p.m. from Marvel Stadium.

Watch it live on Fox Footy (channel 504) and Kayo starting at 6:30 p.m.

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