The Courier-Mail

EAGLES ON POINT AFTER WAYWARD START

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- BRADEN QUARTERMAI­NE EAGLES

WEST Coast eventually triumphed over their greatest enemy – themself – at Subiaco last night as the Eagles overcame a goalkickin­g horror show to comprehens­ively defeat Geelong.

While Tom Hawkins, who finished with three goals, relished his match-up with Will Schofield and looked dangerous every time the ball came in his direction, an overwhelme­d Cats midfield simply couldn’t provide the big forward the supply he required.

The Cats emerged for the third term knowing they had already used up most of their nine lives, trailing by just nine points despite conceding a whopping 21 scoring shots to seven in the first half.

What Geelong didn’t need was adversity in the form of injury and it arrived as a double blow with the losses of ruck options Rhys Stanley and Mitch Clark.

With Nic Naitanui already looming large after a dominant first half, the Cats were forced to substitute Stanley out of the game with injury at half-time and then lost Clark (calf) early in the third term. Naitanui went on to cap his best game of the season with a towering mark of the year contender in the last quarter.

The last time these teams met was in Round 4 last year, when Geelong inflicted a humbling 75-point defeat.

West Coast will play North Melbourne in Hobart next week, while the Cats have a crucial Saturday night game against Essendon.

 ??  ?? ON FIRE: Nic Naitanui.
ON FIRE: Nic Naitanui.

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