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West Coast Eagles

WAFL: Eagles beaten by desperate Demons

Jake Waterman was a shining light with five goals at Mineral Resources Park

West Coast forward Jake Waterman has stuck his hand up for a recall after bagging five goals as the WAFL Eagles' entry into the state league competition started with a 46-point loss to Perth on Saturday.

A big crowd of approximately 3800 witnessed an entertaining battle between the future Mineral Resources Park co-tenants, before the Demons ran away with the contest and claimed bragging rights 16.13 (109) to 9.9 (63).

The Eagles fielded 19 AFL-listed players but couldn't match Perth's desperation, with the defeat easing fears they might take the competition by storm in 2019.

On a day when a youthful line-up struggled for contributors, Waterman was the standout, making the most of limited opportunities to finish with 5.1 from 11 disposals.

The 20-year-old was dropped from the AFL side alongside Jarrod Brander after the round one loss to Brisbane when spearhead Josh Kennedy returned from injury.

Oscar Allen's emergence as the third prong to twin towers Kennedy and Jack Darling has forced Waterman out after 16 appearances in his debut season.

But the hard-working tall has kept the pressure on and was on the board with the opening goal on Saturday after running onto Jarrod Cameron's clever kick inside 50 and shrugging a tackle.

He drilled two other long-range goals from close to the boundary and put the icing on his individual performance with his fifth from a set shot nearing time-on in the final quarter.

Waterman was the only multiple goalkicker for West Coast, which lacked any other major threats despite some glimpses from livewire small Cameron (eight disposals, two behinds).

Skipper Fraser McInnes tried hard from centre half-forward to be among his team's best with 20 disposals, seven marks and one major.

At the other end, premiership-winning veteran Will Schofield held up his end of the bargain in an under-pressure backline after missing out on a call-up for Saturday night's Grand Final rematch against Collingwood.

Twelve of West Coast's side had AFL experience, totaling 378 games, with Schofield's 176 appearances accounting for almost half of those.

Dropped from the win over Greater Western Sydney, Daniel Venables (11 disposals) helped lift the Eagles back to within five points at half-time but faded after the major break.

Category B rookie Brodie Riach (13 possessions) was the pick of the youngsters, producing a competitive effort across half-back.

Francis Watson had his hands full on Perth star Michael Bennell, who slotted four goals, while ex-AFL players Clint Jones (29 disposals) and Brant Colledge (25) were strong contributors for the Demons.

West Coast youngster Brayden Ainsworth (24 possessions), Brendon Ah Chee (22) and Josh Smith (20) found plenty of the ball but the Eagles' midfield was beaten.

The Demons won the inside 50 count 47-38 and laid 26 more tackles (72-46), despite dominating possession (328-287).

Number one ruckman Keegan Brooksby didn't have a disposal to half-time, after booting five goals, winning 15 clearances and picking up 29 touches in a practice game against East Fremantle seven days ago.

The former Sun finished with 47 hit-outs and nine disposals in his first game in the west.