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Bulldogs' Jack-hammer causing big headaches

Highlights | Western Bulldogs v Brisbane (Rd 8) The Bulldogs and Lions clash in round eight.

FORGET a headache, Western Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae is beginning to become a migraine for opposition teams.

Macrae had a career-best performance in the Bulldogs' 14-point win over Brisbane, recording 47 disposals (18 contested possessions), 10 clearances, eight tackles and eight inside-50s.

It came on the back of 40 touches and a goal against Gold Coast the week before and sent his season average to 34 a match.

Coach Luke Beveridge asked mock-seriously if the media could "keep a lid on Jack," but went on to praise his game on the back of some close attention from Lions captain Dayne Beams.

"I just said to him and his teammates that now he becomes a pretty big headache for the opposition.

"We're pretty surprised, we didn't necessarily think Beams would go to him. But for him to be so prolific with possession in the first half, then they needed to make some adjustments, everyone benefits because then you put the opposition on edge.

"He's working extremely hard and he's learnt through stealth on how to manage a tag or two. For him to accumulate like that becomes important, as long as he uses the ball well for us."

Asked where he sat in relation to some of the game's other elite midfielders, Beveridge said he wasn't sure.

"His skill set is a bit different than the others.

"He's very dour and strong and tough in close, and that left foot can sometimes be unusual but sometimes quite deadly, and those hands are elite."

The Bulldogs may have won the clearance battle against a side containing Beams, Dayne Zorko, Mitch Robinson and ruckman Stefan Martin, but were badly beaten in the hit-outs 20 to 62.

With Tom Boyd, who usually plays forward, rucking virtually the entire game (with a bit of help from Josh Dunkley), Beveridge forecast some possible changes ahead of their next match against Adelaide and star ruckman Sam Jacobs.

"I talked to all the ruck-forwards during the week and I said there was a spot there. Roughy's (Jordan Roughead) missed a bit of footy, Jackson Trengove has missed a little bit and is working on his match fitness.

"Tommy Campbell's playing all right and … Tim English has just [been omitted] and has to recalibrate. He's learning to play at the highest level. Tommy Boyd was brilliant at the end there. We needed him to stay on the ball for most of that last quarter, which he did.

"We just felt that tonight our other ruck-forwards weren't ready to play at the level and really influence the game. We don't want to bring them in just to go through the motions and get match fitness, we want them to come in and be in our best six players."