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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
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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
7th September 2016
The Eagles came steaming into finals with wins over three of the top five teams - and two on the road. Alas though that wasn't quite enough to garner the magic top four finish (and the guaranteed home final in either weeks two or three). So this week the sixth placed Eagles host the seventh place Bulldogs in a cutthroat elimination final.

It's actually a bit harsh - finishing winning nine of the last ten matched to go 16-6 for the season normally would result in a position a couple higher up the ladder than sixth (the only other season the Eagles were 16-6 at the end of the regular season was 1994 - for top place). No team has finished outside the four before with this outcome, and this year two teams did (the Eagles and Crows, and the Dogs would have had they knocked off Freo in the last round).

Apologies for the missing previews for the Hawks and Crows games - Mr and Mrs Q have been settling Baby Q in, and it wasn't possible to find the time


Squads

West Coast Ruck B Brad Sheppard (5)
Will Schofield (31)
Tom Barrass (37)
Western Bulldogs Ruck
Scott Lycett (29)  F Tory Dickson (29)
Tom Boyd (17)
Caleb Daniel (35)
Jordan Roughead (23)
Andrew Gaff (3)  HB Shannon Hurn (25)
Jeremy McGovern (20)
Sharrod Wellingham (12)
Luke Dahlhaus (6)
Luke Shuey (13)  HF Lin Jong (46)
Zaine Cordy (12)
Jack Stringer (9)
Josh Dunkley (20)
  C Elliot Yeo (6)
Matthew Priddis (11)
Jamie Cripps (15)
  C Lachie Hunter (7)
Marcus Bontempelli (4)
Liam Picken (42)
  HF Mark LeCras (2)
Jack Darling (27)
Chris Masten (7)
  HB Jason Johannisen (39)
Dale Morris (38)
Easton Wood (10)
  F Jonathan Giles (22)
Josh Kennedy (17)
Josh Hill (33)
  B Shane Biggs (24)
Joel Hamling (30)
Matthew Boyd (5)
West Coast Interchange Mark Hutchings (34), Sam Butler (26), Dominic Sheed (4), Mitchell Brown (1),  
Tom Liberatore (21), Clay Smith (14), Jack Macrae (11), Matt Suckling (1), Western Bulldogs Interchange


Weather

Mostly Fine
Overnight Minimum:7

Changes

The Eagles have made only one change to the team that dispatched the Crows a fortnight back, with Mitch Brown recalled for an injured Lewis Jetta. It's a bit of an odd change as it's really not a like for like swap. It will be interesting to see who lines up tomorrow night.

The Bulldogs have slashed and burned the team that lost at Subiaco to the lowly Dockers in the last match of the regular season. They have however recalled a fair amount of talent, with Jordan Roughead, Tom Liberatore, Jack Stringer, Easton Wood and Jack Macrae recalled for Koby Stevens, Fletcher Roberts, Bailey Williams, Nathan Hrovat and veteran Will Minson who's time must surely now be up.

Injuries and Suspensions

The Eagles have added Lewis Jetta to the injury list with an off-field calf injury, alongside depth players Paddy McGinnity and Fraser McInnes, while Simon Tunbridge remains unavailable on suspension.

The Bulldogs have recalled a pile of players, some of who might be still carrying injuries, but still have veteran Robert Murphy (knee) alongside Jack Redpath (knee) and Mitch Wallis (leg) who they'd like in their 22 this week.
Player Injury Weeks
Lycett PCL test
McGinnity Hamstring 2
Tunbridge Suspension 2
Waterman Glandular Fever indef
Lucas* Knee seas
Cavka Foot/Retired seas
Ellis Calf/Retired seas
McInnes Hamstring seas
Naitanui ACL seas


Lead up

The Eagles have looked done for most of the season, and with three rounds to go the questions were whether another win was even possible. Three big scalps later, and the Eagles go into the finals as one of the form teams of the competition, and looking to go deep in September. Still, it will require a massive effort to match 2015 from here, but if the boys can keep going, who knows what's possible.

The Bulldogs on the other hand have limped into the finals, with less than stellar form culminating in somewhat embarrassing loss to Freo last up - though to be fair, the result of that game had no impact on anything by the time the opening siren had sounded.

Matchups

The big one this week is again the ruck duel. Last up, journeyman ruckman Jonathan Giles played the game of his career to handily outplay Crows star Sam Jacobs, and he'd want to back that up in his first career final. With Scott Lycett (also first final) under an injury cloud, Giles is critical to the Eagles chances this week. Who'd have thought that when he was brought in as insurance pre-season?

The Eagles midfield though has been in outstanding form in recent weeks. Andrew Gaff is back to the form that got him AA in 2015, Matt Priddis is his normal ball extraction machine, while Luke Shuey has been playing some of the best footy of his career. All three will need to fire at that level this week to win the game.

Defensively, the form of Tom Barrass and Jeremy McGovern are keeping a former AA in Eric Mackenzie out of the team, and that's good for the Eagles. The Dogs have been awful disposing the ball into attack this year, and that plays right into the hands of the two Eagles defensive talls who were again outstanding against the Crows (Barrass even earning himself a Rising Star nomination).

Finally of course, the Eagles have a good weapon up forward in dual Coleman Medallist Josh Kennedy heading one of the league's most formidable forward lines. If the Eagles win enough of the ball, that talent is enough to rack up a big score.

Recent Meetings

The Dogs prevailed at Docklands in the Eagles only visit to the indoor venue for 2016 by eight points, though they tended to dominate the game until the Eagles put on a late charge to fall just short.
2016, Round 11 Docklands
Western Bulldogs 4.1 6.6 10.7 12.11 (83)
West Coast 4.4 5.4 8.6 11.9 (75)
Sun 5th Jun 2016 Western Bulldogs by 8

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 17 Draws 1
At Subiaco Oval West Coast 14 Western Bulldogs 4 Draws 1

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

At home, and in red hot form, it's hard to go past the Eagles as the team heading to the MCG next week for the semi-final. The Bulldogs however have been a never-say-die side in 2016, and will put up a stern challenge, and with definitely a better team than the one from a fortnight back, they'll fight this one out as long as they can. If it's long enough, there's always a chance.

Still, it's at Subiaco, the Eagles are in form, and the Dogs aren't running on all cylinders. It should be an Eagles win

Prediction: West Coast by 29 points.



 
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