Eagles fly back to their best in derby
WEST Coast forward Josh Kennedy booted six goals as the Eagles rebounded from a week of scathing criticism to post a 41-point thumping of Fremantle in last night’s western derby at Domain Stadium.
The Eagles were labelled mummy’s boys who lacked a ruthless edge in the wake of last week’s 51-point AFL loss to Hawthorn at the MCG.
But West Coast regained their mojo against the Dockers, with Kennedy awarded the Ross Glendinning medal in the 16.7 (103) to 9.8 (62) win in front of 40,836 fans.
West Coast had the game virtually sewn up by half-time after racing to a 45-point lead.
Fremantle had scored only three goals up until that point — all to Cameron McCarthy.
Dockers veteran Aaron Sandilands was dominating the ruck taps, but it wasn’t equating to a win in the clearance battle as West Coast’s midfield took control. Jeremy McGovern was almost impassable in the opening half, with the Eagles defender taking nine marks — seven of them intercepts — to foil Fremantle’s forward thrusts time and again.
Elliot Yeo (32 disposals, 14 marks) was also crucial in defence throughout the match, while Matt Priddis, Luke Shuey, Sam Mitchell and Andrew Gaff racked up big numbers in the midfield.
And up forward, Kennedy ruled the roost, with good support from Jack Darling, Mark LeCras and Josh Hill.
Dockers tagger Connor Blakely racked up 30 disposals and kept Shuey quiet in the first half, but Fremantle had too many passengers when the game was on the line early.
West Coast’s fourth successive derby win helps entrench them in the league’s top eight with a 4-2 record, while Fremantle are 3-3.
A mini scuffle broke out after Eagles youngster Liam Duggan booted the second goal of the match, but that was about as much fight as Fremantle showed in the opening half.