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West Coast Eagles

Simpson: Hungry Power outhunted us

Simpson post-match v Power Adam Simpson's press conference following his side's 42-point home loss to Port Adelaide

Adam Simpson has questioned West Coast's hunger against Port Adelaide after watching his side be "outhunted" and cop a shock 42-point belting on Friday night.

The Eagles were raging favourites to improve their Optus Stadium record to 14-3 but were ambushed by the Power, whose strong-bodied midfielders took the contest by the scruff of the neck.

Port raced to a 16-point lead at quarter-time and put the foot down in the wet after the first break, surging to an insurmountable 49-point advantage by half-time.  

The Power looked to be playing dry-weather football while West Coast slogged and struggled to connect in slippery conditions for a second week in a row, and the visitors dominated contested ball (+22) in a rousing upset.

"It was pretty clear that we were facing a very hungry side who outhunted us from the very beginning really," Simpson said post-match.

"The start, the first five minutes, I think we all saw the intent and we couldn't match it.

"Where do I start really in terms of what we need to work on? But a lot of credit to Port Adelaide and the way they went about it."

The Eagles were restricted to just 53 points by Port after only notching 69 in a grinding win over Fremantle, and tall trio Josh Kennedy (one goal), Jack Darling (no score) and Oscar Allen (no score) were ineffective from a lack of supply inside 50 (69-38).

"The inside 50s are a pretty big issue obviously, so we need to work on that," Simpson said.

"We can't lock it in our front half at the moment, because we're not getting enough supply.

"We've just come off winning three-in-a-row, we're 3-2, so we're not in dire straits, but we've got some work to do, obviously."

Without speedy youngster Jack Petruccelle lighting up the forward line with a career-best five majors, the Eagles would have been impotent.

"There was a shining light tonight and it was ‘Petch’. That was our only avenue, really, to goal," Simpson said.

"If we didn't get it into Petch's hands we didn't score.

"Fantastic for him. I'm sure he's really proud, but I think he'd take an average game and a win over that."

Simpson refused to blame slippery conditions for the reigning premiers' average form in recent weeks, and in round one at Brisbane, when they have struggled to get their uncontested mark brand going.

"We'll look at it. We've got 15 or 16 night games this year, so if we can't play in slippery weather we're going to be in strife, so I hope it's a bit deeper than that," he said.

"We've had a fantastic ride but this year is a new year and we need to understand, all of us, that we haven't stamped our authority on this season."