West Coast coach Adam Simpson saw some pleasing aspects, including the return of co-captain Oscar Allen for his first game since round one, despite the final margin becoming 30 points against Essendon on Sunday.

Developing its forward structure, now with three key forward targets in Allen, Jake Waterman, and Jack Darling available, will be the next step for West Coast.

"It's something we're going to have to look at to see if it's going to work for us and whether we continue to do it or not, we'll keep working through that," Simpson said.

"But it's good to see 'Ozzie' back."


Young midfielder Reuben Ginbey was also tasked with a role on Essendon captain Zach Merrett, specifically with the aim of limiting the star's metres gained.

While Merrett finished the game with 29 disposals, 486m gained and a goal, Ginbey's impact was evident in patches throughout the game.

"Reuben has done a job for us before, and just to nullify (Merrett's) metres gained and the impact he can have on the game in that space. I think he's always going to get the ball … so it was a pretty obvious one for us to do," Simpson said.

"He was probably still one of their better players, but I thought Reuben did a pretty consistent job."

One area in which the Eagles did struggle, however, was containing the impact of Jake Stringer, who kicked five goals in a commanding performance.

"His damage was done when he takes the centre and spits forward," Simpson said, admitting that some defensive handovers didn't quite work.

"It's the old 'Dusty' role, I suppose, where they impact around the source and get forward."

The Eagles now look toward a clash at home against an in-form Hawthorn outfit, but look forward to the return of young star Harley Reid from suspension.

"He's pretty keen," Simpson laughed.

"I don't know how well he's handled it … match sim on Thursday and he's in the other team and, you know, he's got to pay his dues while he's not playing. Looking forward to getting him back and I think he is too."