Gutknecht injury mars Bulldogs' AFLW win

·2-min read

Western Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke was left feeling "a knot in his gut" as his side's party-crashing 19-point AFLW win over Port Adelaide at sold-out Alberton Oval was overshadowed by Britney Gutknecht's sickening broken leg.

With 1:36 remaining in the first half of the Bulldogs' clinical 3.10 (28) to 1.3 (9) triumph on Saturday, the lower part of Gutknecht's right leg snapped when Port's Abbey Dowrick's flying attempt to smother her opponent's kick went horribly wrong.

Play was stopped for 31 minutes while Gutknecht, in obvious agony, was attended to by trainers, medicos and paramedics before eventually being taken to hospital via ambulance.

"You love to win but it's that knot in your gut for Britney," Burke said.

"She's worked so hard to get herself into this team, playing in a position that's not quite hers.

"The girls were a bit flat in that third quarter. That's just natural that they were going to feel that way."

Burke, along with captain Ellie Blackburn and other Bulldogs team members, consoled Gutknecht's mother.

After the pain relief from the "green whistle" penthrox kicked in, Gutknecht's spirits lifted enough for her to voice some encouragement.

"Britney's last words were to tell them to win - and they did," Burke said.

"Her mum made the trip over. There's nothing worse than for that to happen and your mum's back in Melbourne.

"She'll be supporting her and we'll support her as much as we can."

According to Power assistant Hamish Hartlett, Dowrick was "very remorseful and apologetic immediately after the incident".

Port coach Lauren Arnell offered her best wishes for Gutknecht and her support for Dowrick.

"I actually coached (Gutknecht) in the talent pathway when she was a top-age under-18 player," Arnell said.

"Hope she's OK. It didn't look great.

"For Abbs, that's a contest she creates and has created her whole life.

"I had a chat to her over the phone when it happened.

"From where I'm sitting, it's a footy contest."

Blackburn, after a quiet start, had a major influence with her playmaking and leadership, while midfielder Kirsty Lamb and winger Isabelle Pritchard were busy.

Gemma Houghton, who nailed the Power's historic maiden AFLW goal last week against West Coast, snapped Port's first major at Alberton early in the second term to cut the Bulldogs' early advantage to four points.

It was their only moment of joy for the day.

Port gave away numerous free kicks towards the end and failed to enter their attacking 50 for the entire fourth quarter as the Dogs continued to press home their advantage, only their inaccuracy in front of the sticks preventing a percentage pile-on.