Qual­ity comes to fore in big game

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Drive Way -

with Josh Kennedy THE rea­son you play football is to be in­volved in the big games and it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence at Su­bi­aco Oval last Fri­day night against Hawthorn.

While the game is run by the AFL and there is equal op­por­tu­nity for mem­bers of both clubs to go to the game, there was a strong West Coast bias and the at­mos­phere was amaz­ing.

Purely on num­bers, there were prob­a­bly fewer Ea­gles fans than there are for reg­u­lar home games, but the noise level was amaz­ing. Maybe that was be­cause peo­ple found them­selves in dif­fer­ent seats, or they took their bar­rack­ing to new lev­els; it was just a ter­rific en­vi­ron­ment.

We love our sup­port­ers and while we might be a lit­tle bi­ased, the play­ers reckon we’ve got the best fan base in the coun­try.

Af­ter beat­ing Hawthorn last Fri­day night, we will get one more chance to play at home, in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal, and we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to that.

While the fans stepped up to the plate, as a play­ing group we knew we would have to take it to another level against Hawthorn. They have been the best team in the com­pe­ti­tion for the last five years and have won the last two pre­mier­ships.

We have enor­mous re­spect for them and what they have achieved and it is our dream to em­u­late what they have done. Ob­vi­ously we have a long way to go be­cause we have barely taken the first step to­wards that goal, but we would like to build to­wards a pe­riod of sus­tained suc­cess.

Last week we had about seven play­ers who were play­ing in their first fi­nal and they all played re­ally well. They will bank that ex­pe­ri­ence and I’m sure they will ben­e­fit from it.

A pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal will be a step up from last week, but we’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to it. THE West Coast Ea­gles set them­selves up for a home pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal with a re­sound­ing win over Hawthorn on Fri­day night at Su­bi­aco Oval.

Af­ter a slightly shaky start, for­ward Josh Hill kicked the open­ing goal of the game but it was the Hawks who led by a point at the first break.

The sec­ond quar­ter saw the Ea­gles storm ahead, kick­ing five goals and keep­ing the reign­ing pre­miers goal­less.

Hawthorn kicked the open­ing goal of the third, but West Coast kicked another five; pow­er­ing to a 50-point lead at three-quar­ter time. That lead ended up be­ing a bridge too far for the Hawks.

De­spite Hawthorn kick­ing five goals in the fi­nal quar­ter, the Ea­gles only needed to kick two to put it out of reach. Josh Kennedy and Hill both kicked three for the Ea­gles, while Hawthorn’s top scorer was Jar­ryd Roug­head with two. The fi­nal score was 14.12 (96) to 9.10 (64). The Ea­gles will now have a week’s rest be­fore fac­ing the win­ner of this week­end’s semi-fi­nal be­tween the Syd­ney Swans and North Mel­bourne.

Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group is an af­fil­i­ated part­ner of the West Coast Ea­gles.

Pic­tures: Jon Hew­son and An­drew Ritchie

The West Coast Ea­gles beat Hawthorn by 32 points at Su­bi­aco Oval on Fri­day.

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