AFL 2020: West Coast – Midseason Report Card

After a slow start, the Eagles have found their form and look ominous. How has Hank Ryan graded their first nine rounds?

After a slow start to this crazy season the West Coast Eagles are back, and their form is looking ominous. A bevvy of home games will further help their cause, with Perth afforded the luxury of 30,000 attendees at games to spur them on.

Can’t get enough footy? Check out more of our Pinch Hitters Mid Season Report Cards here.

What’s gone right

Josh Kennedy has had some sort of resurgence. I was guilty of writing him off early in the season, when they looked to be struggling – Kennedy looked slow and unwieldy. He has turned that around amazingly well, with three bags of four and one of seven in a great win over Collingwood.

The fact that WA has been in the position to provide a hub, as well as crowds of 30,000 fans has been a major boon for the Eagles also. They’ve saluted too, having now won five on the trot against the Swans, Crows, Dockers, Magpies and Cats.

The Eagles are leading the competition in marks per game, are second for hitouts and fourth for clearances. On the hitout stat, Nic Naitanui is proving especially dominant.

The Eagles are ranked highly in the fields of marks per game (1st), hitouts per game (2nd) and Clearances per game (4th). On the hitout stat, Nic Naitanui is proving to be dominant.

What’s gone wrong

Early form away in a Queensland hub wasn’t great for the Eagles, suffering consecutive losses to the Suns, Lions and Power. During that period, they were particularly bad offensively with scores of 46, 44 and 41. No wonder that their fortunes have turned on the back of Josh Kennedy providing some vintage form.

Injuries to Josh Redden and All-Australian defender Jeremy McGovern have been covered well, but the Eagles will benefit greatly from their return.

The Eagles do rank low in pressure stats, ranked 16th in tackles.

Standout player

Nic Naitanui

Because I’ve already mentioned Kennedy, NicNat is the obvious candidate here. He doesn’t rack up the touches or even impose in a marking sense, but his ruck work is truly beautiful to watch.

His game against Geelong provided the Eagles mids with first option more often than not and set up more than a couple of sensational goals off the back of some ridiculously good tap-work.

Run home

Rd 11CarltonOptus Stadium
Rd 12HawthornOptus Stadium
Rd 13GWSOptus Stadium
?North Melbourne?
?St Kilda?
?Western Bulldogs?

With Hawthorn and Carlton next up, their five game winning streak should become seven but with four games against current top eight teams there are some tests ahead of the Eagles in the last six rounds.

Final Grade


Four on the trot, and a likely win against Carlton at home, the Eagles are looking dangerous. If Kennedy can continue his rich form and the Eagles midfield brigade are at their best then it’s them and Brisbane as the flag fancies for mine.

Can’t get enough footy? Check out more of our Pinch Hitters Mid Season Report Cards here.

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