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Eagles coach Simpson remains cautious despite hot start

Liam Ryan of the Eagles celebrates a goal during the round three AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on April 8, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
14th April, 2018
5

West Coast coach Adam Simpson isn’t getting carried away by his team’s hot form, saying it’s too early to know where they sit in the pecking order.

The Eagles notched their third win on the trot with an 80-point demolition of Gold Coast at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

The victory followed on from impressive wins over Geelong and the Bulldogs, with West Coast’s only loss a fighting defeat to Sydney in round one.

West Coast were widely predicted to struggle this season, but they are now on track for a finals berth.

They have a chance to make it four straight wins when they take on struggling Carlton at the MCG on Saturday.

West Coast will be 5-1 if they beat both Carlton and Fremantle in the next fortnight.

But Simpson is urging caution.

“I’m not sure where we are at, in terms of where we sit in the pecking order,” Simpson said.

“We haven’t achieved anything yet.

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“There is yet to be a stabilising period of the season when you know the good teams from the poorer teams.

“I think they are events at the moment, and at the moment we have had a few good events.

“We’re still establishing our own brand and what we stand for.”

Eagles forward Josh Kennedy booted 5.3 in his first match back from ankle surgery.

But fellow veteran Mark LeCras could come under scrutiny for his heavy bump that concussed Suns forward Ben Ainsworth.

Eagles midfielder Daniel Venables will undergo scans on an ankle injury.

While West Coast are riding a wave of momentum, the same can’t be said for the travel-weary Suns, who have suffered back-to-back losses.

Gold Coast have played interstate every week during the opening four rounds, with their home ground Metricon Stadium not available until round 11.

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The Suns were obliterated by West Coast’s run-and-stun approach on Saturday night, but Dew wasn’t making any excuses for the poor display.

Dew will consider dropping some of his established players ahead of Sunday’s clash with Brisbane at the Gabba.

Forgotten midfielder Michael Barlow is one of those players in the mix to return to the fold.

Barlow, who broke his leg for a second time last season, has been surprisingly overlooked during the first four rounds, but he has been in strong form in the NEAFL.

“Obviously he’s putting pressure on the people in the side, so once we review that game as well we’ll find out where he sits,” Dew said.

Suns midfielder Aaron Hall, who was held to five disposals against Fremantle in round three, tallied 26 touches against the Eagles.

Dew said Hall was good in parts, but poor in others.