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Five things we learned against the Power

Gary Stocks  September 10, 2017 10:00 AM

The last two minutes: Eagles v Power Relive the thrilling final moments between the Power and Eagles at Adelaide Oval
AFL 2017 First Elimination Final - Port Adelaide v West Coast

Matt Priddis amassed 33 disposals, 17 contested possessions, 10 tackles and a timely goal against the Power

1. This victory rates in the top five triumphs in West Coast Eagles history. Outside of the three premierships (1992, 1994 and 2006) it sits only behind the preliminary final victory against Adelaide in 2006 at Football Park. On that occasion the Eagles came from almost four goals down at half-time to claim a momentous victory and this was just short of it. The amazing win was the second time the club had been engaged in an extra-time final – the previous experience an elimination final against Collingwood in 2007 when the Pies dominated in extra time.

2. West Coast's three retiring veterans were outstanding. Brownlow medallists Matt Priddis (33 possessions) and Sam Mitchell (26) were tireless through the midfield, while Drew Petrie was exceptional in the ruck and up forward. Petrie combined with Nathan Vardy to dull the influence of Paddy Ryder, a man who dominated the clashes between the two teams earlier in the season.

3. The effort of Eric Mackenzie in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter to prevent a Port Adelaide score was pivotal in the triumph. Desperate to not let the Power edge ahead in that remarkable situation, he crashed into the behind post and shovelled the ball over the boundary line to ensure there was no score. The Eagles responded in the second period of overtime and the Mackenzie was rewarded for his unwavering commitment.

4. The Eagles' defence has been exceptional all year and again those in the back half performed a crucial role in the success, none more so than Jeremy McGovern, who marked everything that approached his flight zone. The amazing aerialist took 15 marks to again stamp himself as the best intercept marker in the game. In conjunction with skipper Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Mackenzie, Brad Sheppard, Liam Duggan and Elliot Yeo, they held the Power to just 10 goals for the night.

5. There was no sign of the drama that would unfold when Jamie Cripps converted a set shot about 10 minutes into the second quarter. When he nailed that opportunity from about 45 metres, the Eagles led by 31 points and looked in control. The Power were always going to respond and looked likely winners when they pushed out to a 10-point advantage in normal time. They then led by 13 points in extra time, but the brave Eagles found a way to will themselves back into the game.