Another Swans loss opens door for top- four con­tenders

Ea­gles just too good

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BRADEN QUAR­TER­MAINE

THE door to the top four re­mains ajar for Rich­mond and Western Bull­dogs af­ter stut­ter­ing Syd­ney slipped to another heavy de­feat against West Coast at Su­bi­aco Oval last night.

It was the sec­ond straight belt­ing from a flag con­tender for the Swans, but at least there were some mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances as they played with­out key po­si­tion trio Lance Franklin, Kurt Tip­pett and Ted Richards.

Franklin hurt his back at train­ing on Fri­day, leav­ing the Swans short on fire­power as they suf­fered their third loss in their past five games.

Syd­ney’s big­gest prob­lem was get­ting the ball for­ward how­ever, with the visi­tors re­stricted to a pal­try 35 in­side 50 en­tries af­ter cop­ping a 173- 128 ham­mer­ing in the con­tested ball count.

It was West Coast’s 12th win from the past 13 games, but the Ea­gles’ first vic­tory over their once titanic ri­vals since Ben Cousins made his ex­tra­or­di­nary come­back from drug re­hab in 2007.

Syd­ney had won the pre­vi­ous eight clashes be­tween the teams since West Coast tri­umphed when Cousins had 38 pos­ses­sions in his re­turn game in Round 16, 2007.

The Ea­gles had all but put the re­sult be­yond doubt by half- time, lead­ing by 41 points. Jack Dar­ling booted three first- half goals on the back of the pro­lific mid­field ef­forts of Matt Prid­dis, An­drew Gaff and Chris Mas­ten.

Adam Goodes kicked Syd­ney’s only goal in a mis­er­able first half, af­ter the Ea­gles had kicked the first seven goals of the game.

The West Coast crowd was widely praised for the re­spect shown a fort­night ear­lier when Ade­laide played for the first time since the death of coach Phil Walsh.

But they were in no mood for char­ity to­wards Goodes, who was cheered just once – when he fell over on the for­ward flank.

The treat­ment of Goodes an­gered close friend and fel­low in­dige­nous player Lewis Jetta, who re- en­acted Goodes’ in­fa­mous spear- throw­ing cel­e­bra­tion when he kicked a goal in the fi­nal term.

Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES

Josh Kennedy cel­e­brates a goal.

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