A SICKENING leg injury suffered by Britney Gutknecht has overshadowed the Western Bulldogs' party-crashing 19-point win over Port Adelaide at a sold-out Alberton Oval.
With 1:36 remaining in the first half on Saturday, the lower part of Gutknecht's right leg snapped after Abbey Dowrick's attempted smother.
Play was halted for 31 minutes while Gutknecht, in obvious agony, was attended to by trainers, medicos and paramedics before eventually being taken to hospital via ambulance.
POWER v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats
Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke, captain Ellie Blackburn and other teammates consoled Gutknecht's parents who were in attendance.
Gutknecht had been playing well before the injury, which meant the second term lasted almost 50 minutes from siren to siren.
The Bulldogs went on to win 3.10 (28) to 1.3 (9).
The Dogs were comfortably the better side in the first half, owning distinct advantages in disposals (106-78) and inside 50s (17-6), but their 1.7 conversion kept the Power in the hunt.
Blackburn, after a quiet start, had a major influence with her playmaking, while Kirsty Lamb and Isabelle Pritchard were busy.
Amid the flurry of Dogs misses, Richelle Cranston converted a free kick early in the second stanza, which was matched at the other end when Gemma Houghton, who nailed the Power's historic maiden AFLW goal last week against West Coast, snapped Port's first major at Alberton.
It was their only moment of joy for the day.
Power skipper Erin Phillips got going in the third period, almost having the parochial crowd on their feet when her left-foot snap looked on target, only to slam the ball into the woodwork.
Opposite number Blackburn's nifty hands then set up Celine Moody's major as the Bulldogs pushed ahead by 10 points at three-quarter time.
Gabby Newton's contested marking in attack was a feature of the fourth quarter, dominated completely by the visitors.
The Power gave away numerous free kicks towards the end and failed to enter their attacking 50 for the entire term as the Dogs continued to press home their advantage, only their inaccuracy in front of the sticks preventing a percentage pile-on.
Port welcomed by strong crowd at Alberton
Playing its first AFLW home game, Port Adelaide was well supported by a strong crowd at Alberton Oval. They made plenty of noise, with Erin Phillips getting the loudest cheers, including as the superstar almost kicked an important goal in the second half.
"Our work ethic and our contested footy is something we base ourselves on. We lost contested footy today, Doggies are a good side and while I'm extremely disappointed with the result and so is our group, we had 5,500 people packing out Alberton today. I'm watching a lot of young girls and boys and their families back on Alberton, that's a positive while we're disappointed with the result." – Port Adelaide coach Lauren Arnell
"You love to win, but it's that knot in your gut for Britney. I'm not going to go into the whole back story, but she's just worked so hard to get herself into this team, playing in a position that's not quite hers. I just had to put her in the team because of how hard she's worked and the girls were a bit flat in that third quarter, come out and that's just natural that they're going to feel that way, but at the end of the day Britney's last words were telling them to win and they did so she'll be pleased with that." – Western Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke
The Bulldogs host Fremantle at Ikon Park on Friday, while the Power will be at the same venue two days later, taking on Carlton.
PORT ADELAIDE 0.1 1.1 1.3 1.3 (9)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.4 1.7 2.7 3.10 (28)
Port Adelaide: Houghton
Western Bulldogs: Cranston, Moody, Bennetts
Port Adelaide: Ewings, Ballard, Phillips, Dowrick
Western Bulldogs: Lamb, Blackburn, Pritchard, Cranston, Lynch
Port Adelaide: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Gutknecht (lower leg fracture)