The Western Bulldogs have leapt to the top of the AFL ladder but are counting the cost of their 111-point thumping of St Kilda with midfielder Adam Treloar facing a stint on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Saturday night’s 21.18 (144) to 5.3 (33) victory was soured by the second-quarter injury to Treloar, who attempted to play on but was substituted for Lewis Young shortly before halftime.
Treloar was optimistic post-match, telling Channel Seven he wasn’t in pain and didn’t believe the injury was “anything too serious” ahead of scans on Sunday, but coach Luke Beveridge was prepared for several weeks without the midfielder.
“I just spoke to our medicos and they’ll need to assess it but he’ll be out for a little while,” Beveridge said.
“The boys are talking about that (syndesmosis).
“They think it’s a low-grade syndesmosis injury and usually that means you’re out for a number of weeks – I’m not sure how many.”
Treloar will therefore miss next week’s top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne but Beveridge was confident Anthony Scott would be okay after he made an early exit from the game due to third-quarter head knock.
“He’s just had a bit of blurred vision, Scotty, and the way the game was going, we just thought we’d be a bit conservative with him,” Beveridge said.
“We think he’ll be fine.”
Beveridge admitted he hadn’t seen the Bulldogs’ stunning performance coming but relished the “balance” between a ruthless attack and a “manic” performance without the ball.
The Saints were left to rue a wasteful opening quarter before a breathtaking seven-goal second term put the Dogs out to an unassailable 51-point halftime lead.
Skipper Marcus Bontempelli was sublime with four goals and 26 touches while running defender Bailey Dale (33 disposals and two goals) continued his stunning form off half-back and Jack Macrae (41 touches) and Tom Liberatore (31 disposals) were typically influential.
The Saints booted the first goal of the third term – then collapsed.
Aaron Naughton booted five majors across the final two quarters as the Bulldogs piled on 11 consecutive goals to turn the thrashing into a humiliation.
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten lamented the Saints’ lack of consistency and promised to swing the axe at selection.
“The gap between our best and our worst, it’s just too big and it’s unacceptable,” Ratten said.
“To think that (last week) we kept Geelong to 45 inside-50s but the Bulldogs get 69.
“Our pressure was enormous against Geelong but really we got out-tackled by about 24 and they won contested possessions by about 11.
“So they won the ball and they got it back off us. It’s unacceptable and we’ve got to do something about it.”