The Eagles will be out for revenge against the Dogs for last year’s elimination final upset…
The West Coast Eagles will come into this game on a high after a stunning 10-point win over Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval last week. Just a little reminder, I tipped West Coast to win by 10 points in last week’s preview… *pats self on back* Questions have been raised for a while now regarding the Eagle’s ability to perform on the road and the victory over Port should have knocked the critics down a peg or two.
Mark LeCras rose to the occasion for the Eagles, finishing with four goals and 17 disposals. Elliot Yeo and Luke Shuey were also impressive, Yeo finished on 27 disposals and a goal and Shuey managed 26 disposals. Josh Kennedy was a little inaccurate in front of goal, kicking two goals and three behinds, with Jack Darling and Josh Hill also finishing with two goals each.
The reigning Premiers Western Bulldogs will also be buzzing after round seven, defeating Richmond by five points in a thriller. The Tigers were leading the Dogs for most of the game, by as much as 32 points at one stage, yet the Dogs stuck it out and managed to run Richmond off their feet. Clay Smith was exciting for the Dogs with four goals, and Marcus ‘The Bont’ Bontempelli was inspiring as always, with 27 disposals and a goal.
This week the Eagles will be looking to come out firing from the get-go. The Bulldogs play fast footy, especially through the centre. West Coast have an impressive midfield however, if they are not careful, the Dogs could take them by surprise, like they did in last year’s elimination final, when the Dogs shattered West Coast by 47 points. As we saw last week, West Coast have plenty of depth in front of goal and I expect Kennedy to step it up a notch on his home turf.
Elliot Yeo has been in superb form this season and we may see a mouth-watering Yeo/Bontempelli match-up this week. The Dogs will be without Jake Stringer, after suffering a knee injury against the Tigers that will see him sidelined for a number of weeks. This will be the Eagles’ chance to get one back against last year’s champs, and I don’t think they will have any issues doing so.