Cody Weightman celebrates kicking a goal during the match between the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast at Mars Stadium in round two, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

ALTHOUGH the early centre clearance dominance took centre stage in the Western Bulldogs' win over Gold Coast on Sunday, it was elsewhere they really put the Suns to the sword.

In a performance that put the round one loss to Melbourne well and truly in the rearview mirror, the Dogs generated a mammoth 78 points from turnovers.

It was more than any game they played in 2023.

While Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore led the midfield charge, and Cody Weightman's six goals was the icing, Luke Beveridge's defensive unit deserved plenty of plaudits.

Ed Richards affected nine intercepts, Liam Jones eight, Buku Khamis and Bailey Dale six apiece, and Bailey Williams five, as the Bulldogs not only defended 52 inside 50s, but turned them into scores the other way.

Overall, the Dogs took 28 intercept marks for the game, a club record.


Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick said that's where the game was won and lost.

"They get numbers back really well and we couldn't equalize. They took 16 marks … in the D50 alone, that's the game," Hardwick said.

Of other statistics provided by Champion Data, the Dogs' work inside 50 was terrific. They scored 55 points from 13 chains that started in that part of the ground – the 13th most points from F50 chains ever, and the most by the Dogs in 13 years.

The AFL average for this scoring pattern is 16 points, with Gold Coast kicking just one goal from three chains in the same part of the ground.