Suns rise to defeat Bulldogs in AFLW thriller

Gold Coast are ready to shake off their rank outsider status after surviving an almighty scare from the Western Bulldogs in a thrilling four-quarter AFLW arm wrestle.

Withstanding a late-term surge from the visitors to snatch their third consecutive win on Sunday, the Suns stood up in their second meeting with the Bulldogs to win 7.6 (48) to 7.2 (44) at Heritage Bank Stadium.

Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke said their inability to commit to every contest cost them the game.

"Games are bloody tough to win. It's not like it was (in) season one to seven," he said post-match.

"Every team is going to come out and have a crack, and if you don't go every single time that you need to go, the team will score and that's what happened tonight.

"Every single contest, it's do or die, it's make or break."

True to form, Charlie Rowbottom (28 disposals, seven clearances) starred for the Suns while Lucy Single diligently played a tagging role on Ellie Blackburn, limiting the Bulldogs skipper to 20 disposals and three score involvements.

Alice Edmonds (27 hit-outs, 15 disposals) was prominent in the ruck for the Bulldogs, standing up after her side lost Celine Moody to a shoulder injury.

A free kick for tripping to Kirsten McLeod opened the game and gave the Bulldogs their first major, though Suns defender Vivien Saad was adamant the ball was touched.

Without a score review system in the AFLW, the Bulldogs were awarded the six points before Brianna McFarlane (two goals) put another major on the scoreboard.

The hosts found an immediate response when Gaelic football convert Niamh McLaughlin kicked her first career goal to reduce the margin to six points before quarter time.

Inaccuracy cost both sides in a goalless 10 minutes in the second quarter, before Suns skipper Tara Bohanna (two goals) ran away from a pack of Bulldogs and kicked truly for a one-point lead.

With already 10 goals in the season to her name, Jamie Stanton built on Bohanna's work and added two majors in as many minutes.

McFarlane capitalised on a downed Suns defender in Lauren Ahrens to reduce the margin to eight points, but her goal was countered by a terrific snap from Jac Dupuy a minute before halftime.

Both sides kicked two goals in the third term to reach the last break with the Suns 13 points up.

A mammoth effort by Deanna Berry (one goal) and Kirsty Lamb (two) kept the Bulldogs alive as the deficit shrank to just one-point with 10 minutes to go, but despite wayward kicking the Suns scraped home by four.

"I said during the week that they're 0-3 ... we knew that they'd come and come pretty hard to get their first win," Suns coach Cameron Joyce said.

"Probably 12 months ago, in this corresponding game, we lost it.

"It's just a little sign of maturity that we're able to win that one."

Gold Coast (3-1) fly to face the undefeated Adelaide Crows while the Bulldogs (0-4) - missing Gemma Lagioia after a Sunday concussion - return home to a redeveloped Whitten Oval for the first time since season six to host St Kilda.