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Elimination Final Subiaco Oval
Thu, 08 Sep 2016 • 18:10 WST
West Coast Western Bulldogs
7.10 (52) 14.15 (99)
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Round 1 Docklands
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 • 11:10 WST
West Coast v North Melbourne
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Injury List

Player Injury Weeks
Rioli Hamstring 6
Waterman Foot 8-10
Lycett Shoulder 12-15
Tunbridge ACL 12-16
Naitanui ACL 15-20
Allen Hamstring indef


AFL Ladder

Team P % Pts
1. West Coast -- 0
2. Sydney -- 0
3. Geelong -- 0
4. Hawthorn -- 0
5. GWS Giants -- 0
6. Adelaide -- 0
7. W. Bulldogs -- 0
8. North Melb. -- 0
9. St Kilda -- 0
10. Port Adel. -- 0
11. Melbourne -- 0
12. Coll'wood -- 0
13. Richmond -- 0
14. Carlton -- 0
15. Gold Coast -- 0
16. Fremantle -- 0
17. Brisbane -- 0
18. Essenscum -- 0


by Matt Quinn
9th July 2016
The AFL comes out of the interminable bye period this week with a full slate of fixtures, and the Eagles get two home games in a row with North Melbourne coming over to face the Eagles at hallowed Subiaco.

This is a game between two teams with questions hanging above them. North have gone from 9-0 to 10-4 with their draw suddenly including teams that could actually play footy, and an inevitable slide. The Eagles sit with a 9-5 record for the season, but have really only beaten up lowly teams - though usually by enough to ensure that West Coast have the second highest percentage in the competition.

It's a bit of an unpredictable game this one. A bit like the weather will be.


Squads

West Coast Ruck B Sam Butler (26)
Will Schofield (31)
Tom Barrass (37)
North Melbourne Ruck
Scott Lycett (29)  F Lindsay Thomas (12)
Drew Petrie (20)
Mason Wood (32)
Todd Goldstein (22)
Mark Hutchings (34)  HB Brad Sheppard (5)
Jeremy McGovern (20)
Shannon Hurn (25)
Ben Cunnington (10)
Luke Shuey (13)  HF Jack Ziebell (7)
Ben Brown (50)
Brent Harvey (29)
Trent Dumont (14)
  C Elliot Yeo (6)
Matthew Priddis (11)
Andrew Gaff (3)
  C Sam Gibson (43)
Andrew Swallow (9)
Jamie Macmillan (34)
  HF Chris Masten (7)
Jack Darling (27)
Jamie Cripps (15)
  HB Shaun Atley (18)
Robbie Tarrant (25)
Nick Dal Santo (15)
  F Josh Hill (33)
Josh Kennedy (17)
Mark LeCras (2)
  B Scott Thompson (16)
Michael Firrito (11)
Brad McKenzie (2)
West Coast Interchange Patrick McGinnity (35), Lewis Jetta (23), Sharrod Wellingham (12), Mitchell Brown (1),  
Corey Wegner (41), Jed Anderson (3), Aaron Mullett (41), Farren Ray (44), North Melbourne Interchange


Weather

A few showers
Maximum Temperature:16

Changes

The Eagles have made one change, with Jackson Nelson the unlucky player to go out of the team to make way for the returning Josh Hill despite a creditable job as a stopper last week.

Over at the Roos, they've omitted Robin Nahas in favour of ex-Hawk Jed Anderson.

Injuries and Suspensions

The Eagles have lost a few players in recent weeks, though not so much from the nominal top 22. Fringe players Xavier Ellis and Fraser McInnes both suffered hamstring injuries, while perennial emergency Kane Lucas did a knee which sees him out for an indefinite period of time. Either way, only Nic Naitanui remains out, with his achilles seeing him on the sidelines for much of the rest of the home and away season.

North have a couple of high profile absences, with Jarrad Waite (hip) and Daniel Wells (calf) near returning while Shaun Higgins, Luke McDonald and Aaron Black remain out for longer periods
Player Injury Weeks
Ellis Hamstring 1-2
Naitanui Achilles 4-6
McInnes Hamstring 4-6
Lucas* Knee indef
Waterman Glandular Fever indef
Cavka Foot/Retired seas


Lead up

The Eagles have muddled through the bye period, winning both games easily, but over the cellar dwelling Bombers and Lions, and without absolutely dominating the game as you'd expect over opposition who are at best crap. This week really is a season defining match - win, and the Eagles are back in the hunt, lose, and it's likely a first week away elminination final at best - and that would be about all that's deserved.

The Kangaroos were flying in round nine, having won every week to be the last team standing without a loss, clear on top of the ladder. Then they crashed, losing four of the next five games, with the reality of a marshmallowy soft draw early and a crushingly hard one after that. They've tumbled down the ladder to seventh, and wouldn't want to slip further by losing this game.

Matchups

There's one matchup that will determine this game - the ruck. The Eagles sorely need the talents of Nic Naitanui this week, but he's out injured, and that leaves the inexperienced Scott Lycett to challenge North's AA ruckman in Todd Goldstein. If Lycett can minimise Goldstein's influence, then that's a big win for the Eagles, who'll also have to be at their best around any stoppage to break even on clearances. This game could be won or lost there.

The Eagles forwards have looked good at home all year, the defence has looked a little shaky at times (Brad Sheppard excepted), but this will be a midfield challenge for West Coast. The Eagles midfielders have the talent to counter North and get the ball forward, but any errors will be costly in this game

Recent Meetings

The Eagles won the Prelim final on the same ground last year, but this is quite a different season
2015, Preliminary Final Subiaco Oval
West Coast 0.2 3.8 8.14 10.20 (80)
North Melbourne 3.4 4.7 5.11 7.13 (55)
Sat 26th Sep 2015 West Coast by 25

2015, Round 10 Bellerive
North Melbourne 4.4 5.4 9.6 13.7 (85)
West Coast 1.4 5.11 7.12 10.15 (75)
Sun 7th Jun 2015 North Melbourne by 10

2014, Round 11 Subiaco Oval
North Melbourne 4.0 6.6 10.9 12.10 (82)
West Coast 3.3 3.4 4.6 6.8 (44)
Sun 1st Jun 2014 North Melbourne by 38


Head to Head


Overall: West Coast 25 North Melbourne 21 Draws 0
At Subiaco Oval West Coast 13 North Melbourne 5 Draws 0

West Coast biggest win: 96 points; West Coast 24.18 (162) d North Melbourne 9.12 (66) at Subiaco Oval, 2012, Elimination Final
North Melbourne biggest win: 62 points; North Melbourne 15.16 (106) d West Coast 7.2 (44) at Princes Park, 1995, Round 18


Other Matches


Summary

North aren't exactly the form team of the competition, so I'm confident that the Eagles can counter their likely ruck dominance (and we've had a couple of weeks of trying that, with the Lions and Bombers winning the ruck in the last couple of matches). If the Eagles can break even at stoppages, or even just keep them from being blown away, the talent is there to win the game elsewhere.

Prediction: West Coast by 10 points.



 
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