Franklin looms large for high-flying Eagles
AFL: West Coast coach Adam Simpson insists he isn’t worried about his club’s horror record at the SCG, but you can bet Lance Franklin has been giving him nightmares of late.
The Eagles are the hottest team in the competition, having won 10 straight games.
Their only loss this season came in round one, when a Franklin-inspired Sydney beat West Coast by 29 points at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
Having booted 8.1 from 21 disposals that day, Franklin looms as a key figure in tonight’s rematch at the SCG.
West Coast has lost its past seven matches at the SCG, last winning there in 1999, but has played at the venue only twice since 2005.
Simpson is hardly losing sleep about those statistics.
“What do you do about that? Every time we play Sydney in Sydney it’s a different side,” he said. “I’m not too worried about that.”
But Franklin is on his mind. “I’m hoping that heel is still lingering from round one,” Simpson joked, in reference to the heel injury Franklin picked up from the hard Optus Stadium surface that day.
“He’s an exceptional talent and we struggled to handle it. But we’ve got to deal with it.
“I’m sure some of our boys learnt some lessons that day. But part of it was he was just too good.”
Sydney (9-3) has won five straight to move into third spot. West Coast is a win ahead with a game in hand.