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West Coast Eagles

Grand Final: AFL Media player ratings

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 29: The West Coast Eagles celebrate winning the 2018 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
The West Coast Eagles celebrate their 2018 AFL Grand Final win

Tom Barrass – 9
West Coast's best player in the first half and a huge reason as to why his side stayed in the game as Collingwood dominated much of the first half. Mason Cox got into the game in the second half and looked threatening, but Barrass did a brilliant job of denying the tall American access to the ball and timed his spoils to perfection. Unlucky not to get a Norm Smith medal vote. 

Tom Cole – 4
Dropped a sitter running back with the flight to allow Jaidyn Stephenson to steam into the open goal in the first quarter, but the young Eagle settled soon after. Finished with 13 disposals and, although he had no spectacular moments, he did his job.

Jamie Cripps – 5
Had to compete against Jeremy Howe a couple of times in the air early in the game, which was not his go. Collected 16 disposals but apart from a goal, set up by Willie Rioli in the second term, Cripps did not have a huge impact on the game – certainly not as much as what he had in last week's preliminary final. 

Jack Darling – 8
Had just one disposal in the first half and the forward would have cast his mind back to his Grand Final nightmare he experienced in 2015. But rather than let that affect him, Darling came out breathing fire after half-time. Took six marks in 22 minutes in the third term, displaying his sticky mitts with a pluck in front of Crisp and nailing the goal to trim the margin to one straight kick. Dropped an absolute sitter in the goal square when he was in acres of space in the final term that would have sealed the game, but thankfully it mattered little as West Coast hung on to win. 


Jack Darling's third quarter was game changing

Liam Duggan – 6
Took a strong mark in front of Cox in the second quarter and constantly put his body in harm's way. The young Eagle used the ball well on his way to 16 disposals and was a key link between defence and attack.

Shannon Hurn – 6
The Eagles skipper had a couple of nervy moments early and missed a few targets by foot, which is unusual for him. But his role in defence became critical the longer the game went, delivering a couple of key spoils when the game was on the line. Had 21 touches and five inside 50s. 

Mark Hutchings – 7
Went to Sidebottom from the start of the game and didn't really allow the Magpies playmaker to have an influence on the contest. The tagger kicked a much needed goal for his team after he got out the back of congestion in the second term to keep the Eagles in touch. Very solid. 

SHUE-IN Mid wins the Norm Smith Medal

Lewis Jetta – 6
Redeemed himself for a poor performance in the 2014 Grand Final with a much better display in this year's decider. Only had 13 disposals, but what he did with them was always done in a constructive manner. His slick hands in traffic, particularly early in the game, were a highlight.

Josh Kennedy – 8
Missed his first set-shot of the day, but got on the board after marking strongly in front of Goldsack with less than a minute left in the first term. Kicked the opening goal of the third term and then got on the end of a beautifully directed kick by Liam Ryan and converted his snap around the corner to bring the Eagles back within five points. Was a constant aerial threat and finished with three majors. 


Josh Kennedy booted three big goals in the Grand Final

Mark LeCras – 5
The veteran forward had just 10 touches and no scoreboard impact, although it was the presence of West Coast's tall forwards that turned the game in the Eagles' favour. His key moment was a mark and handball over the top to Hutchings for a goal in the second term that kept West Coast in the game. 

Scott Lycett – 5
For the second straight week the Eagles big man nullified the influence of an All Australian ruckman, this time Collingwood's Brodie Grundy. Didn't do a heap and missed a gettable goal in the third term, but played his role by not allowing Grundy to dominate.

Chris Masten – 4
Should have attacked a disputed ball with more ferocity in the third term, but made up for it by winning a key ground ball not long after. Had the opportunity to kick a vital goal late in the fourth term when West Coast were pressing after outpointing Will Hoskin-Elliott, but missed to the left. Finished with 14 disposals but not much impact. 

Jeremy McGovern – 8
Came into the Grand Final in serious doubt after copping a corkie to his hip pointer in last week's preliminary final against Melbourne. Brody Mihocek had the defensive forward role on him early and had to stand up against a barrage of early inside 50s. Laid a great chase-down tackle on Josh Thomas in the third term, but his Grand Final will be remembered for a flying mark over the top in the fourth term and a brilliant kick to Nathan Vardy to deny the Magpies a late go-ahead goal. 


Not only did Jeremy McGovern play but he was one of the Eagle's best

Jack Redden – 7
Worked into the game in his typical non-fuss style to finish with 21 disposals (11 contested). The midfielder had a couple of clean takeaways from stoppages late in the game and got the ball moving his side's way. The much improved onballer was one of West Coast's most solid players across the finals series. 

Willie Rioli – 6
Cousin Cyril said in an interview pre-game that the youngster was nervous before the game, but Rioli settled that anxiety with a strong performance on the big stage. Kicked the Eagles' first goal of the game from the goal line when everything seemed to be going against West Coast, and performed a clever spin and dish to set up a Jamie Cripps goal. Put pressure on the opposition and looked dangerous at ground level. 

Liam Ryan – 6
Came off the ground in the first term after rolling his ankle, but returned to lay a brutal, but fair, hit on Brayden Maynard in the middle of the ground in the second term. Had a moment to forget when he pulled out of a marking contest in the third term, but overall his good work stacked up higher than his bad. Set up three goals, including the Sheed matchwinner with a towering mark over the pack and quick play on. 


The Grand Final was a mixed bag for Liam Ryan but it all ended well

Will Schofield – 8
Had the task of shadowing De Goey early in the game and held up his end of the bargain with a mighty defensive performance. Won a couple of crucial one-on-one contests, while his ability to nudge Brody Mihocek off the line of the ball in the third term was critical. Swung onto Sidebottom late in the game and halved the contest with a crucial spoil when he was on an island in the third quarter. 

Dom Sheed – 9
Huge. Led all players on the ground with 20 touches at half-time and finished with 32 touches (15 contested) with his work rate and clearance ability (eight) standing out. Delivered the game's greatest highlight and maybe one of the all-time great Grand Final moments with one of the most clutch set-shot goals ever to put the Eagles in front with just minutes remaining.

Luke Shuey – 9
A deserved Norm Smith medallist and a key factor in getting West Coast back into the game. Finished with a game-high 34 disposals, eight clearances, eight inside 50s and a crucial goal in the third term to cut the margin to just 12 points before half-time. Won the crucial first clearance that led to Kennedy's goal at the start of the third term to make sure West Coast was in the contest. Enormous game. 

Nathan Vardy – 7
Spent large portions of the game on the bench in the first half but after the coaching staff realised his height could really stretch Collingwood's defence Vardy's role became important. Kicked a significant set-shot goal after a strong mark to cut the margin to just six points at the start of the fourth term and then hauled in a key mark in front of Grundy. The former Cat was excellent. 

Daniel Venables – 3
Cut in front of Kennedy and dropped a certain mark in the first term as the Eagles players got in each other's way. The youngster had a very minimal impact on the game, finishing with just three disposals. Will learn a lot from the experience, given it was only his 15th AFL game. 

Elliot Yeo – 5
Levi Greenwood did a fantastic job on Yeo in the first half and the Eagles playmaker struggled to get into the game with just 11 touches. But seized his moment by intercepting an errant Taylor Adams kick and delivered from outside 50 in the third quarter to get his teammates fired up. Had 19 disposals (15 contested) but not a great deal of influence. 

Coach: Adam Simpson – 8
Would have been shellshocked after watching his side give up five goals to two in the first quarter, especially after the Eagles crumbled on Grand Final day back in 2015. But made a key tactical move by stationing either of Vardy or Lycett deep forward to support Kennedy and Darling in attack, and stretch Collingwood's defence.