AFL 2020: West Coast v Collingwood – Round Eight Knee Jerk Reaction

Hank Ryan does his best to make some sense of the Eagles Round Eight demolition of the Magpies at Optus Stadium on Sunday Afternoon.

The Eagles go BANG! in a big way against their fierce rivals and 20178 grand final nemesis Collingwood, pissing it in to the tune of 66 points.

Are the Eagles Good?

We asked the question last week, and we called it – the Eagles were back, but rusty. Looks as though Adam Simpson pulled out the CRC during the week because they are certainly swinging freely now.

Are Collingwood Shit?

No. Buckley was adamant that yesterday’s thrashing was an outlier, and I’m inclined to agree. The late withdrawal of one of the classiest players in the AFL in Scott Pendlebury certainly didn’t help, nor the absence of Steele Sidebottom for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

They were shit on Sunday though, yes.

How the Game Was Won

Dare. The Eagles notched their fourth straight win by taking on the Pies through the corridor, and being clean with ball in hand. Josh Kennedy ripped in the biggest bag of the year, monstering the Collingwood defence and plundering 7 sausage rolls. Oscar Allen was excellent also.

They pulled out all the tricks, and it came off time and again for the boys from Lathlain, even Buckley made the comment that they “performed their roles as the Washington Generals well today against the Harlem Globetrotters”.

The Eagles, who are enjoying a run of games at home in front of 30,000 adoring fans are playing with a freedom and confidence that is reminiscent of their premiership year in 2018. You’ve been warned!

What the Coaches Said

West Coast

Adam Simpson wouldn’t be drawn on whether the result made his team a flag fancy. “It goes from being crisis to flag favourites. It has got nothing to do with what we do,” Simpson said. But he believed the Eagles were now “ready to compete with anyone. The identity of our side was a bit off. I thought our players really took ownership. They are playing a pretty distinct brand and today is another step forward.

Simpson had a message for those who have questioned the form of their boom recruit Tim Kelly. “There have been some people a little critical of Tim’s impact this year but he is hopefully building into a seven or eight-year career with us. He had a good day today. He is going to have bad days sometimes. It is not a quick fix getting Tim in it is a long term investment,” he said.

He also praised the performance of Josh Kennedy. “He is not in the side to kick seven goals. We will take it. He is at the back end of his career and he is going to have days where he has a really good look like he did today. I thought our ball movement was really good. He finished off with some really accurate kicking, a lot of it has got to do with if he wants to continue or not. That is up to Josh at the moment. I haven’t seen a drop off in anything in his game and he got rewarded tonight.”


Nathan Buckley was critical of his teams performance but confident that it would be a one-off. “We are all accountable to that performance, but we won’t dwell on it. We want to be more like Collingwood and less like that was, That’s an outlier performance for us as a team and an outlier performance for the games we’ve seen in 2020, they’ve rarely been that one-sided and it only happens when one side is right on and one side is right off.

“It looked like we were out there to be the opposition to a side that had all the tricks, being clean inside, hard inside, effective with their offence, really good with their ‘D’. Everything that they were, we weren’t today.”

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WEST COAST     2.0    7.2     13.2      18.3   (111)
COLLINGWOOD   4.2     5.3     5.6      6.9    (45) 

West Coast:
 Kennedy 7, O.Allen 3, Waterman 2, Cripps, Darling, Kelly, Naitanui, Ryan
Collingwood: Cameron, Hoskin-Elliot 2, Daicos, Elliott

West Coast:
 Naitanui, Kennedy, Allen, Kelly, Gaff, Ryan
Collingwood: Treloar, Crisp, Adams, Quaynor

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