1. The West Coast Eagles have plenty to improve on after a difficult loss to North Melbourne, winning just one match for the year and claiming the wooden spoon. But, after kicking two goals in the first quarter against the 2022 finalists and holding an early lead, the Eagles have shown their best football is good enough to compete against any team, they must just learn to play this brand of football consistently across four quarters.
2. Winning the centre clearances and entering 50 seamlessly has been a focus for the season and it was again a difficult day for the forwards, with West Coast losing the inside 50 count 47 to 14. Scoreboard pressure is vital for any competitive team and it becomes far more difficult to obtain when the ball isn’t entering the forward line. Despite narrowly losing the centre clearance count (-1), West Coast seemed unable to penetrate their offensive arc and finished the match with one mark inside 50 to the Kangaroos’ 19.
3. There’s plenty to like from a youthful West Coast side, with the Eagles managing to win the fourth quarter and hold North Melbourne scoreless in the process. 2021 Club Champion and Best First Year Player Bella Lewis booted her first goal in the blue and gold, while West Coast’s defensive unit held firm and kept the Kangaroos forwards at bay.
4. The Eagles also got their first opportunity of the season to play all five players from their 2021 draft pool, with first draft pick Charlie Thomas gaining invaluable match experience after playing in all 10 games across the year. Beth Schilling stood out in her second match as an Eagle with eight disposals and seven intercepts, while Courtney Rowley, Emily Bennett and Sarah Lakay all showed some good signs.
5. Senior coach Michael Prior said West Coast have the talent to succeed in future seasons, and the pieces are already in place, with 2021 recruits Aimee Schmidt and Evie Gooch slotting in seamlessly in the Eagles’ best 21. Despite only managing a minor score against the Kangaroos in the fourth quarter, Schmidt booted the most goals of any Eagle this season with seven, while Evie Gooch had a career-best season in the competition and finished the clash against North Melbourne with seven disposals and four tackles.