1. It was a difficult night with swirling wind across the course of the match, making it a game where inside 50 conversions were paramount. Getting the ball forward and locking it in the forward-line was vital, as well as using the footy efficiently when afforded time and space. In the fourth quarter, Fremantle proved better in this regard, slotting three goals to West Coast’s zero. In total, the Dockers’ efficiency inside 50 sat at 52% - with the Eagles’ at 22% - as the home team notched up 16 shots from 31 inside 50s to West Coast’s four from 18.
2. Across the midfield, winning the contest proved pivotal to a round one RAC Derby victory, and despite a spirited effort from captain Emma Swanson (23 disposals, six clearances, 10 contested possessions), it was the Dockers who showcased their attack on the ball, beating out the Eagles in contested possessions (99 to 87), tackles (79 to 59) and stoppage clearances (27 to 20).
3. There was no doubt the RAC Derby medal was in hot contention across the night, but at the end of the match the judges awarded Kiara Bowers (24 disposals, 14 tackles) her fourth medal, along with joint winner Ebony Antonio (three goals). Eagles skipper Emma Swanson was clearly the best Eagle on the night and placed third in medal voting.
4. While West Coast’s efforts unfortunately didn’t translate to four premiership points, it was seasoned stars in Swanson, Belinda Smith, Maddy Collier and Aisling McCarthy who showed their experience under pressure and set the benchmark for the team with their tireless attack on the contest across the night.
5. Despite the loss, the importance of blooding debutants in Charlie Thomas, Aimee Schmidt and Evie Gooch was the key takeaway from the match, with West Coast’s first draft pick Thomas playing her first match at the competition’s highest level. Schmidt looked right at home, scoring one of the Eagles’ two goals for the night, and Gooch put together a solid performance against her former side with 11 disposals, seven intercepts and six rebound 50s.