Another Swans loss opens door for top- four contenders
Eagles just too good
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.
Josh Kennedy celebrates a goal.