THE WESTERN Bulldogs could be without important defender Bailey Williams for an extended period, after he suffered a suspected crack in his collarbone against Gold Coast on Saturday.

Williams, who recently signed a two-year contract extension with the Dogs following a career best season in 2020, was subbed out at three-quarter time of the Dogs' 62-point win.

BULLDOGS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

Speaking post-game, coach Luke Beveridge said the club feared it could be a serious injury for the rebounding defender. 

He said Williams would undergo scans shortly to assess the severity of the issue.     

“Our guys are a bit concerned that he may have a crack in his collarbone,” Beveridge said. 

“Sometimes when it’s an AC [joint injury] they can keep playing but he had to come out of the game unfortunately and it’d be a surprise if it’s better news than that.

“No one knows what the extent of it is so we’ll wait and see.”

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Full post-match: Bulldogs

Watch Western Bulldog's press conference after round five's match against Gold Coast

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Despite the injury setback, Beveridge was pleased with Saturday’s big win over the Suns, which takes the Dogs to a 5-0 record for the first time since 1946.

He was full of praise for star midfield duo Marcus Bontempelli (33 disposals and three goals) and Josh Dunkley (37 disposals and two goals), as well as key defender Alex Keath (20 disposals and nine marks). 

 “We know that Marcus never waivers from an application point of view, he was outstanding,” he said. 

“I thought [Dunkley] was quite instrumental in helping us get to where we were in the first half.

“They were really consistent players across the four quarters those two, as were others, but they definitely stood out.

“And I thought Alex Keath was enormous down back for the whole game.”    

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said it was “highly disappointing” to allow the Dogs to kick the first 11 goals for the match.

But he said he was proud of the fightback shown in the second half, especially in the third term, when the Suns kicked six goals to two.

“We talked [at half-time] about wanting to respond and the third quarter was obviously the style of play we wanted going into the game,” Dew said.

“They responded, but that’s not a position we want to be in.” 

Dew also praised the efforts of second gamer Jy Farrar (21 disposals) and forward Josh Corbett (three goals), who were the two inclusions for the Suns this week. 

“[Farrar and Corbett] came into the side and played like their lives depended on it,” he said.

“I’m really reluctant to single out guys because I think the whole group responded in the second half, but they [were influential].”