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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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Next Game

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
2nd June 2016
Well this match is certainly a test.

Can the Eagles repeat the away win of a fortnight ago against the Bogans of Port, or will the Western Bulldogs at Docklands be a step too far? This is a game that will really say a lot about the Eagles chances of going that elusive one better in 2016. It's the quintessential eight point match against an opponent that will likely be a challenger for the top four if West Coast are in the running this year, and when you get those chances, it's important to take them.


Squads

West Coast Ruck B Brad Sheppard (5)
Eric MacKenzie (16)
Will Schofield (31)
Western Bulldogs Ruck
Nic Naitanui (9)  F Tom Campbell (15)
Jack Redpath (43)
Caleb Daniel (35)
Jordan Roughead (23)
Andrew Gaff (3)  HB Elliot Yeo (6)
Jeremy McGovern (20)
Shannon Hurn (25)
Jack Macrae (11)
Luke Shuey (13)  HF Liam Picken (42)
Jack Stringer (9)
Luke Dahlhaus (6)
Marcus Bontempelli (4)
  C Chris Masten (7)
Matthew Priddis (11)
Mark Hutchings (34)
  C Lachie Hunter (7)
Tom Liberatore (21)
Tory Dickson (29)
  HF Josh Hill (33)
Jack Darling (27)
Jack Redden (8)
  HB Shane Biggs (24)
Dale Morris (38)
Easton Wood (10)
  F Scott Lycett (29)
Josh Kennedy (17)
Mark LeCras (2)
  B Matthew Boyd (5)
Marcus Adams (33)
West Coast Interchange Kane Lucas* (47), Tom Cole (28), Sam Butler (26), Lewis Jetta (23), Jamie Cripps (15), Liam Duggan (14), Sharrod Wellingham (12),  
Bailey Williams (34), William Minson (27), Mitch Honeychurch (22), Toby McLean (16), Fletcher Roberts (18), Josh Dunkley (20), Mitch Wallis (3), Western Bulldogs Interchange


Weather

Indoor venue
Maximum Temperature:17

Changes

The Eagles have added three players, recalling Elliot Yeo and Andrew Gaff who missed last week with injury, while also returning Kane Lucas to the extended interchange - however three players are still to be omitted. It would seem unlikely for any of Wellingham, Butler or Cripps to be omitted, so at least one of Duggan, Cole or Jetta will likely miss from last week's team (and two in the surprise case of Lucas being called up further than the emergency bench)

The Bulldogs are also yet to omit anyone, with Mitch Honeychurch, Bailey Williams and veteran Will Minson added to the squad from last week.

Injuries and Suspensions

The Eagles injury list has added youngster Jackson Nelso with an injured elbow, but is otherwise in pretty good shape, with Mitch Brown returned to WAFL duties. Dom Sheed however is still an indefinite out.

The Bulldogs have a few more injuries. Veteran Robert Murphy will miss the rest of 2016, while they're also missing ex-Eagle Koby Stevens, Jason Johannisen and a few fringe players.
Player Injury Weeks
Gaff Concussion test
Yeo Quad 1-1
Brown Finger 2-3
Sheed Pectoral 2-3
Waterman Glandular Fever indef
Cavka Foot/Retired seas


Lead up

The Eagles got the away monkey off the back a fortnight back against Port in Adelaide, but that's been the only road victory of 2016; at home the Eagles have won by an average of 67 points, with the only win by less than 10 goals over co-tenants Fremantle. This game though is not at home, and the average margin away has been a less flattering 30 point deficit. Still, the road losses have been against some of the top teams.

The Bulldogs have an identical 7-3 record, and a very similar percentage in the 130s, holding a position one behind the Eagles on a small percentage deficit. In a similar vein, the Bulldogs have beaten a bunch of weaker opponents (plus Adelaide at home), with losses when facing stronger teams such as the Hawks, GWS and North Melbourne.

Matchups

The Bulldogs aren't a team of big name players - particularly with Bob Murphy out for the season, but they're proving to be a pretty reasonable team again in 2016. Marcus Bontempelli is a rising star in their midfield, Tom Liberatore is a quality player, and Jack Macrae is another looking good for the future. Generally though they're a team, rather than a team of champions.

The Eagles certainly have more names. Nic Naitanui is a step ahead of Jordan Roughhead in the ruck, and the likes of Matt Priddis, Andrew Gaff and Luke Shuey are perhaps better known than their Doggies counterparts, but this should be a good battle in the midfield.

Up forward, Josh Kennedy has had a resurgence in recent weeks, with 17 goals in the last three weeks. He'll be key to winning this game, though goals from Jack Darling and cohort will also be welcome. Mark LeCras however would like a return to form on the road at the venue where he holds the single game goalkicking record with 12.

Recent Meetings

The Eagles and Bulldogs have split games in recent years.
2015, Round 21 Subiaco Oval
West Coast 5.5 11.9 16.10 25.12 (162)
Western Bulldogs 3.2 9.5 12.6 13.7 (85)
Sun 23rd Aug 2015 West Coast by 77

2015, Round 1 Docklands
Western Bulldogs 4.0 7.5 11.6 14.13 (97)
West Coast 3.1 7.1 12.2 14.3 (87)
Sat 4th Apr 2015 Western Bulldogs by 10

2014, Round 1 Subiaco Oval
West Coast 4.2 9.4 13.6 21.8 (134)
Western Bulldogs 2.1 3.1 5.3 11.3 (69)
Sun 23rd Mar 2014 West Coast by 65


Head to Head


Overall: West Coast 31 Western Bulldogs 16 Draws 1
At Docklands West Coast 5 Western Bulldogs 3 Draws 0

West Coast biggest win: 123 points; West Coast 26.19 (175) d Western Bulldogs 8.4 (52) at Subiaco Oval, 2011, Round 9
Western Bulldogs biggest win: 70 points; Western Bulldogs 18.13 (121) d West Coast 7.9 (51) at MCG, 1998, Qualifying Final


Other Matches


Summary

This is a big game, but the Eagles should be able to approach this a little more sanely than recent road trips. Docklands is a venue where West Coast have done OK in the last season and a half, with two wins out of three - though the loss was to the Bulldogs in round 1 last year.

The Eagles probably need to win this, and if the same endeavour as the Port game appears, it should be more than possible

Prediction: West Coast by 10 points.



 
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