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Last time we met the Hawks

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Last time we met the Tigers

May 17, 2018 10:30 AM

Last time we met the Tigers West Coast fell just short against Richmond at the MCG back in 2017
Andrew Gaff amassed a team-high 33 disposals against the eventual premiers

Andrew Gaff amassed a team-high 33 disposals against the eventual premiers

Maximising opportunities and hitting the scoreboard during a period of domination is imperative at the highest level.

Almost without exception games ebb and flow, with most teams having opportunities at some point during games to rattle up a score.

In the opening two rounds, both North Melbourne and St Kilda failed to reflect their control in general play, with significant results on the scoreboard. West Coast rode out the storm, assumed control and then waltzed away with the points.

On this day at the MCG, the Eagles discovered the empty feeling of missed opportunities when a solid first half failed to reap the rewards on the only measure that really counts for anything – the scoreboard.

West Coast had been on top in most of the key measures in the first half, but all they had to show for an advantage from seven more scoring shots than the Tigers was just seven points. It should have been significantly more.

The Eagles failed to make hay when the sun shone and when the Melbourne weather did what it is infamous for doing, turning from autumn to winter during the time it took to re-set for the second half, they were in strife.

Richmond thrived in the prevailing conditions of the second half, adjusted far better to the slippery ball and the need to alter their game plan. The conditions were so different it was difficult to fathom it was the same day.

And perhaps some of the Eagles failed to process the data as they tried to execute their skills according to lovely autumnal conditions where the mantra should have been to get the ball moving forward at any cost.

The result was that the Eagles missed an important opportunity to win a game away from home, at the MCG and remain undefeated after three rounds. Instead, the Tigers marched to a 3-0 record.

With the Eagles failing to link up their footy, the Tigers surged and made their opponents look slow. The contrast in the aesthetics and game styles were as stark as the change in the conditions themselves.

The Eagles still had some players who racked up decent numbers, with Luke Shuey, Sam Mitchell, Andrew Gaff, Matt Priddis and Chris Masten getting their share of the football, but there were too many who did not do enough to get their team over the line.

Up forward, Mark LeCras continued his good start to the season by kicking three goals and Josh Kennedy kicked a couple, while Sharrod Wellingham and Elliot Yeo were standouts in defence.

Round 3 v Richmond at MCG
Richmond                      2.2          5.6           9.8        11.10        76
West Coast Eagles          2.6          5.13        7.14        8.17         65
Goals – Richmond: Butler, Martin, Rioli 2; Houli, Castagna, J Riewoldt, Lambert, Grigg.
West Coast Eagles: LeCras 3; Kennedy 2; Cripps, Darling, Hutchings.