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2017 season review: Eric Mackenzie

Ben Roberts  October 12, 2017 3:00 PM

Mackenzie 2017 highlights The Eagles key defender was recalled to the senior line-up in the second half of season 2017
Eric Mackenzie blanketed some of the AFL's best forwards in 2017

Eric Mackenzie blanketed some of the AFL's best forwards in 2017

Eric Mackenzie is as resolute as they come in defence and after a tough 18-month period following a knee reconstruction, the 2014 John Worsfold medallist re-established himself as one of the key planks in West Coast’s defensive unit.

While stats don’t paint a picture of a backman’s year, Mackenzie at full strength is undoubtedly one of the competition’s best defensive assets.

2017 season highlights:

Disposals: 16 vs Melbourne – Round 14

Kicks: 10 vs Melbourne – Round 14

Marks: 8 vs Port Adelaide – Elimination Final

Tackles: 4 vs Greater Western Sydney – Round 22

Memorable matches:

Round 13 v Geelong

With the Cats so desperate for a goal-kicker in the absence of Tom Hawkins, Mackenzie lined up on Cats swingman Harry Taylor and kept him to two goals. His shut down job on the visitor’s big-man went a long way to helping the Eagles register an important Thursday-night.

Round 15 v Bulldogs

Mackenzie had now cemented his place in the Eagles’ defence and was playing with more confidence each week. Under the open roof at Etihad Stadium, he lined up on the Bulldogs’ resting ruckmen – usually Jordan Roughead – and kept them quiet all day. The 2014 John Worsfold medallist racked up his most John Worsfold Medal votes of the year for his performance against the reigning premiers.

Elimination final v Port Adelaide

While Luke Shuey will get most of the plaudits for his match-winning, post-siren goal, Eagles fans will never forget Mackenzie’s last-gasp heroics against the Power at the Adelaide Oval. With scores level and Port pressing, the big Ezy slammed into the behind post to rush a ball out of bounds and save a certain match-winning score for the Power.