Eagles grind out Derby win

TomC Roar Guru

By TomC, TomC is a Roar Guru

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    West Coast have recorded a scrappy win in the Western Derby over the Fremantle Dockers, to sneak back into the top eight at the end of the round.

    While the Dockers arguably had the better of general play, finishing with 12 more inside 50s, they were unforgivably wasteful in front of goal, and ultimately recorded five goals and fourteen behinds.

    That trend began early, with Freo held goalless in the first term despite a number of chances. Liam Duggan, Shannon Hurn, Tom Barass and Jeremy McGovern were stifling in the Eagles’ defence, and made it hard for the Dockers to get a good look at the big sticks.

    At the other end, West Coast were battling to get first use of the ball, but were much more effective than their opponents moving the ball into their forward line. They found forward space and more importantly goals much easier to come by, and went into quarter time with a solid four goal lead.

    That early break roughly held for the rest of the game, as a familiar pattern began to emerge.

    While the Dockers seemed to have an advantage in the middle, they simply couldn’t find a cutting edge in front of goal. David Mundy, Michael Walters, Nat Fyfe and the Hills all missed gettable chances, which prevented Freo from making real inroads into the margin.

    West Coast for their part didn’t really take advantage of the Dockers wastefulness to the extent they should have done. It was a strange first half marked by a lot of skill errors and more tension than real excitement. But the Eagles continued to hold a healthy lead.

    The Eagles started more brightly in the third term to kick the first couple of goals and push the margin out to five goals. The Dockers continued to miss chances, and it wasn’t until the final minute that Walters broke his side’s second half duck.

    Having been given a tiny glint of opportunity to get back in the game, a sloppy 50m penalty gave Josh Kennedy a goal after the siren to push the margin back to 29 points at the last change.

    To their credit, Freo kept fighting, and looked like they might finally make their charge in the last quarter, kicking consecutive goals.

    But that was as close as it got, as the Dockers seemed to run out of legs and West Coast finished them off to record a 30 point win.

    West Coast captain Shannon Hurn was unanimously awarded the Ross Glendinning medal after a fine defensive performance on a back flank, with 34 possessions.

    Liam Duggan was also noticeable in a similar role, playing arguably the best game in his young career.

    Andrew Gaff, Jack Redden, Dom Sheed and Matt Priddis were all busy in the West Coast midfield, while Josh Kennedy was a solid forward target with third goals.

    For the Dockers, Lachie Neale was probably their best with 34 touches, Connor Blakely continued his good season with 33 possessions, and Fyfe continued to build on his improved form with 30.

    Walters with two goals was their only multiple scorer, but he didn’t have the influence he has done in previous weeks.

    This result brings the Eagles to a 9-7 record, and hanging on just barely to eighth spot.

    One could argue that today’s unconvincing performance was a bit below what you’d expect of a finalist, but then they did get an important win.

    They travel to Melbourne next week for a big game against the Pies, and a chance to push themselves further inside the top eight against a lower ranked team.

    The Dockers now sit two clear games and a heft lot of percentage outside the eight, and it’s hard to see them recovering to play finals from here. Today they appeared to kick themselves out of finals contention.

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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • July 16th 2017 @ 11:04pm
      Mattician6x6 said | July 16th 2017 @ 11:04pm | ! Report

      Must win against the pies.
      Ugly game meant an ugly victory, great to see Duggan play a break out game and hurn winning the Rosco with a excellent captains game.
      Jk back we look a lot more potent but our weakness through the middle is still noticeable.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 11:35pm
      Don Freo said | July 16th 2017 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

      If you can beat Freo, you can probably take the flag. Just as well Tabs was playing for Peel. He would have sunk you.

    • Roar Pro

      July 17th 2017 @ 3:08am
      anon said | July 17th 2017 @ 3:08am | ! Report

      I thought West Coast controlled the game. They moved the ball out of the backline with relative ease, picked their way through Rossy’s zone without much trouble, they had a lot of quality inside 50’s.

      Fremantle’s inside 50’s just consisted of bombing the ball in and hoping for the best, and they really struggled to move the ball out of defence. It’s like they have no gameplan at all. Chip the ball into the pocket, then bomb the ball up the line.

      This match was more about West Coast since we know Fremantle are ordinary.

      • July 17th 2017 @ 8:17am
        Don Freo said | July 17th 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

        You must have watched a game from your archives. Either that or you cut and pasted the wrong comment from another year.

        None of that is representative of yesterday’s game.

        • Roar Pro

          July 17th 2017 @ 1:51pm
          anon said | July 17th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

          It’s all representative, Don.

          Fremantle is horrific trying to exit from defence on set plays from full back. They couldn’t make a bigger mess of things.

          Chip to the pocket, stand around looking for 5 seconds waiting for all the targets to be covered, then just bomb it up the line praying Fyfe takes another contested mark.

          • July 17th 2017 @ 3:37pm
            Don Freo said | July 17th 2017 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

            They didn’t have too much trouble doing that. Blakely was a clearance monster there and Hughes, Ryan and Weller were good too.

            WC found it very hard to lock it in. Only when the ball was in Spurr’s hands did we have trouble clearing it. Your cut and paste probably thinks Sheridan and Sutcliffe played too.

            Freo was regularly pushing forward. Just didn’t have effective targets. Time for Johnno up forward.

            • July 17th 2017 @ 5:27pm
              rusty said | July 17th 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

              Anon is right Don. It is actually my biggest gripe with Freo that after 22 years we can’t work the ball out from a kick in. Short pass to the pocket, no one leads, then a kick to the 55 boundary and more often than not it comes racing back in again. Time after time, year after year. If you watch west coast they simply refuse to consider the option that may give the ball up from a behind.
              I sit in the three tier stand and watch the spread and west coast have us totally sussed out. So much more organised. They know what we are going to do before we do it because it is so predictable.

              • July 17th 2017 @ 5:44pm
                Don Freo said | July 17th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

                That makes no sense. 22 years…

                Neesham, Drum, Connolly, Harvey, Lyon…all coached the same way?

              • July 17th 2017 @ 8:06pm
                Mattician6x6 said | July 17th 2017 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

                Was always exciting playing freo when Scott “the prince of pockets” Chisholm was kicking those short ones to the pocket 😉

              • July 18th 2017 @ 1:00am
                dontknowmuchaboutfootball said | July 18th 2017 @ 1:00am | ! Report

                I’m sure I read at one time in 2015 (maybe 2014) that Freo were leading the competition that season in points scored from kick-ins.

              • Roar Pro

                July 18th 2017 @ 10:16am
                anon said | July 18th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

                Fyfe was the most dominant player in the league then and was a contested mark beast.

                Lyon’s gameplay falls apart when he doesn’t have Fyfe polling maximum votes in 9 out of 13 games lol

    • July 17th 2017 @ 11:50am
      rusty said | July 17th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

      I wanted to gouge my eyes out at the end of the game. That was horrible beyond words.

      • Roar Guru

        July 17th 2017 @ 1:17pm
        Dalgety Carrington said | July 17th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

        Deflating forward entry after deflating shot on goal after deflating forward entry…

    • Roar Rookie

      July 17th 2017 @ 2:50pm
      WCE said | July 17th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

      great to see big JK back kicking 3 goals and well done to bunga for the medal , very well deserved. Good to see Schofield not take any crap from ballantyne who still thinks he’s a threat – more of a flea pest than anything.
      Well done boys.

      • July 17th 2017 @ 5:28pm
        rusty said | July 17th 2017 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

        Ballantyne is finished. It’s why on one wanted him at the end of last season when he shopped himself around.

    • July 17th 2017 @ 8:17pm
      Lroy said | July 17th 2017 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

      Just saw the replay, good win for the Eagles.. but if we are brutally honest, horrendous kicking for goal by the Fockers went a fair way to helping the WCE get the result.

      Having said that, they did some of the hard things very nicely, Schofield, Shuey both at times executed brilliant sheperds to clear space for someone else… they wont get a stat for it, but its the kind of thing the purists love.

      Schfield had a great game actually, got in a few fracas as well, so he must have annoyed someone down there.

      They brought the scattergun back and he sprayed it all over the place as usual..the galapagos tortoise was as ineffective as he has been most of this season except for a goal early. Mitchel was pretty good…hes had a good season actually, gives them something in close. Jetta had another good game. Backline great across the board, forwards worked hard. Still think they need a permanet third tall down there…Petrie or Vardy could do it..the other one goes into the ruck.

      Dockers played some nice footy actually, their kicking for goal was simply inconceivable… guys missing open goals from 20-30 yards out on not much of an angle…happened 4-5 times I believe.

      So, will be interesting to see how they go. IF Simpson stopped picking his tried and trusted lemons and instead took a punt on a young guy they might be able to spring a suprise or two come September.

      • July 17th 2017 @ 11:09pm
        Don Freo said | July 17th 2017 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

        It’s interesting this Mitchell/Priddis thing. Mitchell is constantly giving the ball to someone under the pump or going 5 metres sideways for no advantage. Priddis is by far the better clearance player because he gets the ball to team mates in the clear. They need Priddis in the centre square at all times and Mitchell well away from it.

        Mitchell looks like he is doing well but he has fragmented the fluency of WC’s midfield.

        • July 18th 2017 @ 7:42pm
          Lroy said | July 18th 2017 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

          I kind of see it the other way around..but Im not one to argue over opinions, if thats the way you see it, so be it.

          Freo were pretty good i thought…. Apart from that initial 5 goal onslaught it was tight across the board, good hard contest.

          Eagles will be happy to bank the 4 points.

        • July 19th 2017 @ 12:12pm
          Jolly Roger said | July 19th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          Yes, I thought Mitchell has the foot better skills and classier ‘time in space’ moves…and that Priddis was the master of circle-jerking, handball happiness and helicopter kicks? Either way, they need to stay clear of each other..Priddis is a tackle machine all day long, while Sam’s creative disposals come in handy..there was a lot of fumbling bad disposals to flat footed players in the Freo game, painful to watch, pressure I guess. I’d rather keep Mitchell and swap Priddis for Redden, or Partington. (Venables we probably wont see till next season due to a persistent foot injury-shame)

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