1. So often in the modern game it starts in the midfield. If you control the stoppages/clearances it will go a long towards success. Richmond enjoyed early dominance in that respect and rattled on four goals – and it might have been more if not for a couple of missed opportunities. Thereafter, though, the Eagles owned that area of the game. Elliot Yeo, Tim Kelly, Harley Reid and Reuben Ginbey reversed the trend and that created opportunities which saw a great finish to the first quarter morph into an eight-goal second term.

2. Supporting what the naked eye was telling us, The Eagles won the critical markers decisively. They led the contested possession count 144-106, had a decisive advantage in clearances 48-25 and the scores from stoppage saw West Coast rattle on 10.6 to Richmond’s 4.2. Kelly, Yeo and Reid were particularly influential in those numbers with Kelly accumulating 29 possessions, eight clearances, gaining 553 metres through his possessions and sending the ball inside forward 50 nine times. Yeo and Reid both had 27 touches and were instrumental in the drive coming out of the middle.                


3. Supply levels have been up in recent weeks and for the third match in succession the Eagles achieved more than 50 inside 50 entries. Against the Tigers it was a 61-40 differential and with that number of opportunities it is likely to yield a winning score. The contribution of Jake Waterman was obviously pivotal as he produced one of the best performances of his career, with 13 marks, eight of them inside the 50-metre arc, and a match breaking contribution of 6.2. Four of those goals came in the first half when the game was certainly up for grabs.

4. It has been said in this column previously, especially in the last couple of years, but the support of the club’s members and fans is unmatched. It was so satisfying to see Eagles members and fans with smiles on their faces. Around 48,000 at the ground at a difficult Sunday timeslot, especially for those in the country, there is no doubt the players relish their support. The energy from the stands definitely carried onto the oval and helped lift the team into the game after a slow start.


5. The Bailey-Jack Williams combination continues to grow. In the absence of Matt Flynn, who was recruited to lead the ruck, the Williams pair have served the club well. Bailey is doing the bulk of the ruck work – as he did last year – with Jack giving him a chop out and playing mainly forward. Bailey again took a couple of strong contested marks around the ground and competed well against Toby Nankervis while Jack also took a strong contested grab inside 50 and kicked an important second quarter goal.