Set free from hub life are the Eagles poised to fly high?
What a difference a few weeks make. After two wins in a row, the Eagles now head home just a game behind second with a long run of home games ahead of them. After weeks of questions being asked about their resilience are they now perfectly positioned to make a genuine run at their second flag in three seasons?
How the Game Was Won
With the pregame focus on him after Riley O’Brien’s Twitter mishap, it was fitting that Nic Natanui had a big say in this result. His work in the ruck was superb and helped the Eagles dominate clearances 29-17. The other player who had a big bearing on this dominance in the middle was Tim Kelly who had his best game in blue and gold. He finished the match with 25 disposals as he and his fellow on-ballers propsered.
Despite their midfield ascendancy, it took a third quarter surge from the Eagles to finally shake a determined Crows team looking for their first victory of the season. In a devastating five minute period, Oscar Allen, Jack Redden, and Jack Darling all kicked goals to help West Coast take a stranglehold on the match.
What the Coaches Said
With his teams stay on the Gold Coast officially at an end, Adam Simpson was in a reflective mood post match. “I think we’ve done it the hard way. We’ve come out hopefully in a positive frame of mind and a better brand than when we got here and I think we’ve had some growth in our young players as well,” Simpson told reporters. “We’ve corrected some things on-field that have got nothing to do with the hub. In fact, it probably addressed it quicker (being here). “I think we probably went in a different direction after the Port (Adelaide) game in terms of how we play and we had to fix a couple of things on-field.”
He was understandable excited about the prospect of playing Fremantle in front of fans next week at Optus Stadium. “Can’t wait for that, that’s going to be exciting, and it’s a derby, so hopefully a good build-up, plenty of publicity back in Perth and hopefully we can put on a good show,” Simpson said. “We’re looking forward to it (getting back to Optus), it’s been a long time coming.
Happy with his side’s effort and intensity, Matthew Nicks lamented another area of concern post match. “We’re able to move on from intensity… the effort and intensity is right where it needs to be,” Nicks said. “We need to be able to adjust when the opposition adjusts, that was the difference today.”
WEST COAST 2.3 4.4 8.7 10.7 (67)
ADELAIDE 1.1 2.1 3.3 5.4 (34)
West Coast: Darling 2, Naitanui, Ah Chee, Kennedy, Allen, Redden, Ainsworth, Cripps, Ryan
Adelaide: Lynch, Jones, Frampton, Smith, Sloane
West Coast: Kelly, Sheed, Redden, Yeo, Allen, McGovern
Adelaide: Smith, Keays, M.Crouch, Doedee, O’Brien
West Coast: Nil