AFL quarantine hub life has got off to a poor start for West Coast, with the Eagles copping a shock 44-point belting by Gold Coast on Saturday.
The Eagles’ first match in their Queensland quarantine stay couldn’t have gone much worse.
Played off the park by a Gold Coast team without a win in over a year, it could be a long four weeks at least for the Eagles if they can’t turn around their performance quickly.
The second leg of their Queensland road trip will be a visit to the Gabba next Saturday to face Brisbane, who claimed a narrow victory over the Eagles’ Western Australian rivals Fremantle in the Dockers’ first hub match.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson admits it will be a challenge to ensure his team doesn’t dwell on the defeat in isolation at Royal Pines Resort throughout the week.
“There’s plenty of time together this week. We’ve just got to be careful,” Simpson said.
“After a loss sometimes it’s good to get away with your families and detach a little bit so we need to give them some space.
“We’re going to review and we need to get better. Whether it’s our system or whether it’s ability to hunt, that needs to improve, we’ll look at that.”
Simpson refused to use the hub and the unusual preparation for Saturday’s game as an excuse for the performance, saying his team simply hadn’t been good enough against their opponents.
He said finding the correct routine for their hub program was a work in progress and one he’d be analysing further in the build-up to the Lions game.
“We’ve played here before. I suppose we’re not used to it but we trained at night the other night. Handled that pretty well. Tonight we didn’t,” he said.
“They looked a lot cleaner with the conditions and we got beaten in all areas in terms of the contest. That’s where we need to start.”