Cody Weightman celebrates a goal during the Western Bulldogs' clash against Gold Coast in round two, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

CODY Weightman has booted six goals to steer the Western Bulldogs to a 48-point triumph over Gold Coast for their first win of the season.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge wanted a response to his side's round one capitulation to Melbourne – and he got it, as a nine-goal first quarter paved the way for the 18.7 (115) to 10.7 (67) victory.

BULLDOGS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

The Bulldogs withstood multiple charges from the Suns to condemn them to their first defeat under Damien Hardwick.

Small forward Weightman was magnificent at Ballarat's Mars Stadium, booting four first-quarter majors to set the tone, then going on to equal his career-best haul.


Skipper Marcus Bontempelli (31 disposals, 10 clearances and two goals) and Adam Treloar (27 touches) were typically prolific while Tom Liberatore had an entertaining battle with Matt Rowell.

Ed Richards was excellent off half-back but had to leave the fray with concussion after being collected high by David Swallow early in the final quarter.


Recalled young gun Sam Darcy (two goals) also impressed.

The Bulldogs' win was also soured by a first-quarter right shoulder injury to defender Nick Coffield – though his replacement Oskar Baker stepped up to kick three goals, including a wonderful snap from the boundary.

Noah Anderson (24 touches) and Touk Miller (30) were busy for the Suns while Sam Collins marshalled their defence and Ben King booted two goals.


Suns young gun Bailey Humphrey was a late withdrawal with a shoulder injury suffered in training and is awaiting scans to determine the timeline on his return.

Gold Coast was already without co-captain Jarrod Witts (groin).

With the breeze at their backs, the Bulldogs were red-hot, booting the first three goals.

Weightman kicked the opener, then took a huge hanger and converted the Bulldogs' second from the subsequent centre bounce.


Bontempelli goaled from long range on the siren to deliver a 41-point lead at the first change. 

Gold Coast reduced the deficit to 28 points at half-time, with Weightman's crumbed fifth goal the Bulldogs' only major for the second term.

In a see-sawing third quarter, the Bulldogs booted four goals in a row to stretch their lead to 46 points.


But Gold Coast booted the final three of the term, with two via Nick Holman, to cut the three-quarter time margin to 28 and remain in touching distance.

But early in the fourth, Weightman snapped his sixth to steady the Bulldogs before Bontempelli kicked the sealer.


The Bulldogs (1-1) return to Marvel Stadium to host battling West Coast next Sunday while Gold Coast (2-1) has the bye.

Defender's unlucky run continues
Nick Coffield's luckless run has extended into a new club in 2024. The former Saint was substituted early on Sunday after hurting his shoulder in a marking contest with Ben King. The No.8 pick in 2017, Coffield missed the 2022 and 2023 seasons before being traded to the Bulldogs from St Kilda, but another stint on the sidelines now looms.


Contrasting fortunes for young guns
Back in the Dogs side for his eighth AFL game, Sam Darcy produced a strong performance. He had 15 disposals, 12 hitouts and kicked two goals in an impressive display. Meanwhile, the Suns' No.3 draft pick Jed Walter made his AFL debut in tough conditions. Walter showed glimpses of what he will deliver in the future, but was held to four disposals while also providing a goal assist.


WESTERN BULLDOGS        9.1     10.3     14.4     18.7 (115)
GOLD COAST                     2.2      5.5       9.6      10.7 (67) 

Western Bulldogs: Weightman 6, Baker 3, Naughton 2, Darcy 2, Bontempelli 2, Liberatore, Khamis, Ugle-Hagan
Gold Coast:
King 2, Holman 2, Swallow, Moyle, Lukosius, Flanders, Berry, Ainsworth

Western Bulldogs: Weightman, Bontempelli, Liberatore, Jones, Dale, Johannisen, English
Gold Coast:
Collins, Miller, Rowell, Flanders, Powell, Anderson

Western Bulldogs: Coffield (shoulder), Richards (concussion)
Gold Coast:

Western Bulldogs: Nil
Gold Coast:
Bailey Humphrey (shoulder) replaced by Rory Atkins

Western Bulldogs: Oskar Baker (replaced Nick Coffield in the first quarter)
Gold Coast:
Rory Atkins (replaced Ben Long in the third quarter)

Crowd: 9,752 at Mars Stadium