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Eagles address ball use and defence

Rhys Dickinson  July 14, 2017 11:00 AM

Shannon Hurn says the Eagles are ready to take on the Dockers

Shannon Hurn says the Eagles are ready to take on the Dockers

Shannon Hurn says the Eagles are ready to tackle Fremantle in the 46th Carlton Draught Derby following an extensive review of their Round 16 loss to Port Adelaide.

The Eagles captain said the squad trained hard and smart throughout the week to resolve several issues that led to the club’s 32-point defeat against the fourth-placed Power.

“We reviewed the Port Adelaide game and identified a couple of things we wanted to work on and then we carried that into training throughout the week,” he said.

“We just want to use the ball well and also defend better. That’s what footy is all about; working together and playing good team footy. If we can do those things well, they’ve always stood up and they always will stand up. They are our couple of little focus areas for this week’s game.”

The team also put some time aside to address its fourth quarter efforts.

West Coast has let a handful of games slip late in contests throughout the year, including bouts against Richmond, the Western Bulldogs, Greater Western Sydney, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide.

“We’re working towards a common goal and that’s always putting on pressure and trying to use the ball well,” Hurn said.

“That’s something we’re trying to do better in the last quarters. It hasn’t quite worked recently, but I don’t think it’s a fitness issue or anything like that. It is something we are aware of and we are working on.”

West Coast has to produce its best football to knock off Fremantle in the final Carlton Draught Derby at Subiaco Oval.

The Dockers will enter Sunday’s contest full of confidence after breaking their five-game losing streak with an inspired four-point win against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

Hurn said he had nothing but respect for the way Fremantle had gone about their football this year.

“They had two periods this season where they won three in a row and in the last couple of weeks they’ve had some young guys come in who are playing footy how it should be played,” Hurn said.

“They are getting in, having a go, putting pressure on and playing to win.

“They have got a couple of good talls who provide some options and then they’ve got some quality smalls. Michael Walters has been playing a bit of midfield, Hayden Ballantyne is hitting some form and a couple of their young guys, like Brady Grey, are working hard.

“We’ll have to make sure that we are aware of how they are trying to play while also playing to our strengths on Sunday.”