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Simpson says Eagles "haven't achieved anything yet"

Travis King, AFL.com.au  April 14, 2018 10:30 PM

Simpson post-match v Suns Watch Adam Simpson discuss West Coast's 80-point win over Gold Coast

West Coast might have won three on the trot, but coach Adam Simpson admits he doesn't know where the Eagles sit in the AFL's pecking order.

Simpson's outfit demolished a lacklustre Gold Coast line-up on Saturday night, storming to an 80-point win at Optus Stadium.

It built on a thumping road victory over a previously rudderless Bulldogs side, and rousing comeback over an injury-hit Geelong last round.

With struggling Carlton to come at the MCG the Eagles might not find out exactly where they fit in the finals race next round either, but Simpson is pleased with the early signs from his revitalised side.

"I'm not sure where we are at in terms of where we sit in the pecking order, we haven't achieved anything yet," he said.

"There's yet to be a stabilising period of the season where you know the good teams from the poorer teams.

"They're events at the moment and we've had a couple of good events.

"We're still establishing our own brand and what we stand for.

"But if we play with spirit – and the boys are as tight as I've ever seen them – we make it an enjoyable place to be at and we give it our all, the wins will come."

The Eagles welcomed back dual Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy from knee and ankle issues against the Suns and, despite looking rusty, the 30-year-old bagged five goals to move one shy of Peter Sumich's club goalkicking record.

With Kennedy replacing exciting small forward Liam Ryan (ankle), the Eagles are bucking the trend of smaller forward lines but it worked against the Suns, with their attack booting 139 points.

"We were pretty tall tonight, so does that stand up in the long term?" Simpson asked.

"We're probably a bit different to most sides with the taller forward line but they've all got pretty good tanks and they all put pressure on.

"I thought our talls played well, back, forward and in the mid."

Simpson was pleased to see intercept star Jeremy McGovern (five contested marks) back to his best and hard-working goalsneak Jamie Cripps rewarded with four majors.
Chris Masten also continued his strong start to 2018, racking up 30 disposals and booting two goals.

"When we brought him in it was for a reason, and he's delivered that, and that's just workrate," Simpson said.

"Sometimes he's the whipping boy and that's a little bit unfair.

"If you want to see what he does off the ball, come and have a look because he works his backside off."

Simpson wasn't sure about the severity of Daniel Venables' ankle injury, but the youngster needed to be carried from the field in the second half.

"You can't rule out anything until you get the scans. He couldn't come back on, so we'll have to wait and see," he said.

Jack Redden was sore after copping a knock to his shin, while defender Brad Sheppard will be assessed this week after suffering a corked quad again.

Simpson wouldn't "go anywhere near" commenting on 200-gamer Mark LeCras' bump on Ben Ainsworth, which left the young Sun concussed.

However, he admitted he would have a chat with Willie Rioli this week after the third-gamer burnt LeCras running into an open goal as he rolled through his first career major from outside 50m.

"He did kick the goal. I think it's a really good one to review with Willie. It was great you kick your first goal, but he won't do that again," Simpson said.