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Round 9 Docklands
Sun, 21 May 2017 • 11:10 WST
West Coast Essenscum
8.16 (64) 19.11 (125)
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Round 10 Subiaco Oval
Sun, 28 May 2017 • 14:40 WST
West Coast v Greater Western Sydney
Game Focus


Injury List

Player Injury Weeks
Cripps Ankle test
Petrie* Hand test
Nelson Wrist test
Rioli Hamstring test
Watson Ankle 3
Lycett Shoulder 3
Tunbridge ACL 6
Naitanui ACL indef
Waterman Foot indef


AFL Ladder

Team P % Pts
1. Adelaide 9 135.1 28
2. GWS Giants 9 118.9 28
3. Geelong 9 117.6 24
4. West Coast 9 103.2 24
5. Fremantle 9 90.6 24
6. Port Adel. 8 150.8 20
7. Richmond 9 107.0 20
8. W. Bulldogs 9 103.7 20
9. St Kilda 9 103.1 20
10. Essenscum 9 99.2 20
11. Melbourne 9 108.6 16
12. Sydney 9 100.9 12
13. Coll'wood 9 94.5 12
14. North Melb. 9 94.5 12
15. Gold Coast 8 86.2 12
16. Carlton 9 78.0 12
17. Hawthorn 9 76.8 12
18. Brisbane 9 63.9 4


by Matt Quinn
6th May 2016
It seems an article of faith this year that the Eagles play the struggling teams at home, and the tough ones away. Wins, like last week's dispatching of the Pies, see the Eagles rated as flat track bullies - despite the fact that *no* top eight team has, as yet, beaten another on the road in season 2016.

The Eagles have had more of these games than any other club so far this year - with this being a third in a row on the road against top opposition, this time a visit to the Cattery in Geelong, a venue that has not been particularly nice to .. well anyone in the last decade.


Squads

West Coast Ruck B Will Schofield (31)
Eric MacKenzie (16)
Brad Sheppard (5)
Geelong Ruck
Nic Naitanui (9)  F Josh Caddy (23)
Tom Hawkins (26)
Rhys Stanley (1)
Zac Smith (9)
Mark Hutchings (34)  HB Sharrod Wellingham (12)
Jeremy McGovern (20)
Shannon Hurn (25)
Cameron Guthrie (29)
Luke Shuey (13)  HF Lincoln McCarthy (6)
Shane Kersten (39)
Steven Motlop (32)
Patrick Dangerfield (35)
  C Andrew Gaff (3)
Matthew Priddis (11)
Jack Redden (8)
  C Andrew Mackie (4)
Joel Selwood (14)
Mitch Duncan (22)
  HF Elliot Yeo (6)
Jack Darling (27)
Chris Masten (7)
  HB Mark Blicavs (46)
Lachlan Henderson (25)
James Bartel (3)
  F Mark LeCras (2)
Josh Kennedy (17)
Josh Hill (33)
  B Harry Taylor (7)
Tom Lonergan (13)
Corey Enright (44)
West Coast Interchange Scott Lycett (29), Lewis Jetta (23), Liam Duggan (14), Jamie Cripps (15),  
Nakia Cockatoo (5), Tom Ruggles (36), Darcy Lang (11), Darcy Lang (11), Geelong Interchange


Weather

Chance of a shower
Maximum Temperature:25

Changes

The Eagles have been forced to make one change, with last week's late withdrawal, Elliot Yeo back into the team for Sam Butler, who is out injured yet again, this time with a groin complaint.

Despite winning by a billion points last week over the Suns, Geelong have dropped three players, with Jake Kolodjashnij (probably because they couldn't spell his name on the board), Nathan Vardy and Jed Bews all omitted, to recall Andrew Mackie, Rhys Stanley and Tom Ruggles.

Injuries and Suspensions

Sam Butler's career run of injuries takes another hit this week with a groin injury seeing him missing this week, while Elliot Yeo comes back into the team after missing with illness last weekend. Realistically though the Eagles injury list hasn't been more than an annoyance in recent weeks.

Over at Geelong, the younger Selwood is yet to debut, suffering from a foot injury. Other than him, they're missing ex-Demon, Lion and not-quite-Docker Mitch Clarke with a calf injury, while Jackson Thurlow is out for the season. As per the Eagles, the Cat's injury list is pretty minimal.
Player Injury Weeks
Ellis Achilles test
Priddis Groin test
Sheed Pectoral 6
Brown Finger 6
Waterman Glandular Fever indef
Tunbridge Back indef
Cavka Foot/Retired seas


Lead up

Geelong pretty much pissed off the entire of the rest of the competition in the off season by holding free agency over other clubs to force trades, netting them most notably Patrick Dangerfield, but also, closer to home, former Eagles vice-captain Scott Selwood - who is currently injured. As a result, the fading Cats have made a run back toward the top of the table, winning four of the first five; the loss being away at GWS in Canberra (yet another top-8 loss on the road...)

The Eagles have beaten and bashed lowly opponents at home - Brisbane, Richmond and Collingwood, but have come up against strong opponents on the road in Hawthorn and Sydney. Against the Swine, the Eagles at times looked the goods, but failed to run out the game, letting Sydney run over the top in the latter stages of the game to win easily. Question: can the Eagles win against strong opponents on the road?

Matchups

Strangely the Eagles go to Geelong and are being exposed to very un-Geelong weather - in fact, it's early-season Perth weather, with 25 degrees and fine the order of the day. That's one that will hit the Geelong boys who aren't really used to hotter weather... but really it just means perfect weather for footy.

On the field, the addition of Dangerfield to the Cats' midfield rotation this year has certainly lifted a flagging centre for Geelong. With Joel Selwood alongside him, the Cats have a couple of the elite midfielders in the competition - not to mention the likes of veteran Jimmy Bartel, experienced Andrew Mackie and up and comers in Cam Guthrie and Nakia Cockatoo. It's a very strong midfield - and the Eagles, while strong with 2015 AA players Matt Priddis and Andrew Gaff and Luke Shuey coming off a great game, will need to perform at the very best to counter it. The ace will of course be how Nic Naitanui runs out against the inexperienced Zac Smith.

Up forward Josh Kennedy had a great day last week - except when kicking on goal. The Eagles have long had a problem with conversion, and don't need the spearhead to be kicking 3.6 any week. If the ball gets forward enough though, any and all of Kennedy, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras (BOG last week) and Jamie Cripps can score. Just what score - one or six?

The key defensively is to stop Tom Hawkins, a job clearly earmarked for Eric MacKenzie. Other than that, the Eagles will want a better day out of Sharrod Wellingham, but the form coming in from last week of Jeremy McGovern and Brad Sheppard was back to 2015 quality, and that will be key to the Eagles getting the win.

Recent Meetings

Last year at Subiaco the Eagles crunched Geelong in a big win - one that both symbolised the Cats' fall and the Eagles' rise in 2015. It's a long way from this game.
2015, Round 9 Subiaco Oval
West Coast 2.6 4.17 9.21 16.24 (120)
Geelong 3.1 5.2 9.3 10.4 (64)
Sun 31st May 2015 West Coast by 56

2014, Round 4 Kardinia Park
Geelong 4.3 10.4 13.9 16.11 (107)
West Coast 4.1 4.2 4.5 4.8 (32)
Sat 5th Apr 2014 Geelong by 75


Head to Head


Overall: West Coast 24 Geelong 23 Draws 1
At Kardinia Park West Coast 8 Geelong 13 Draws 1

West Coast biggest win: 80 points; West Coast 20.23 (143) d Geelong 8.15 (63) at MCG, 1994, Grand Final
Geelong biggest win: 135 points; Geelong 28.14 (182) d West Coast 5.17 (47) at Subiaco Oval, 2008, Round 13


Other Matches


Summary

It's hard to travel so far and win against quality opposition - as mentioned before, no top eight team has beaten another on the road so far this year. As a result you'd have to tip Geelong, though the lack of Geelong weather and a bit of a rocket directed at the Eagles as flat track bullies should provide some impetus that could lead to a surprise win for the Eagles

Prediction: Geelong by nine points.



 
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