Main content

West Coast Eagles

WAFL: Inaccurate Eagles bitten by Bulldogs

Luke Foley attempts a shot at goal on Saturday

West Coast’s WAFL team fell to sixth spot on the ladder following a 59-point loss to South Fremantle on Saturday.

It was a tough day for the Eagles, with the Bulldogs leading at every change to run out winners 20.11 (131) to 9.18 (72) at Fremantle Oval.

The result gives the Eagles a 2-3 record, with their percentage now sitting at 78.6 percent.

Brendon Ah Chee (32 disposals) toiled manfully for the Eagles, while captain Fraser McInnes was strong up forward and kicked two goals. Keegan Brooksby was also solid in the ruck with 37 hit-outs.

Jacob Dragovich led the Bulldogs with 28 disposals, while forward Mason Shaw put in another dominant performance kicking six goals.

Zachary Strom got the Bulldogs off the mark with the first goal of the game, before Mason Shaw kicked his first of the day to give the home side early momentum.

Matthew Allen got the Eagles on the board to bring the margin back to seven, before back-to-back goals by Brandon Donaldson and Mason Shaw gave the home side a 19-point lead at the first break.

Fraser McInnes kicked the first goal of the second term, cutting the margin back to 14 points, before the Bulldogs piled on four goals in 12 minutes to jump out to a 36-point lead late in the second term.

However, the Eagles finished the first half strong, kicking the last three goals of the quarter to trim the margin back to just 16-points at half-time. 

Jake Florenca worked his way through traffic to give the Bulldogs their first goal of the second half, before some clever crumbing by Shaun Bewick helped extend the home sides lead to 29-points.

When Mason Shaw kicked his fourth, the Bulldogs had once again rushed out to a commanding lead.

Bailey Williams’ second goal helped keep the Eagles in the contest, however the adulation was short lived as the Bulldogs kicked three of the next four goals to lead by 39-points at the final change.

The Eagles were outscored six goals to two in the final quarter, as the Bulldogs ran away with the contest to win by 59-points.

Although the scoreboard might not have shown it, the Eagles had their opportunities throughout the game, winning the inside-50 count 58-49, as well as winning the contested ball battle.

Efficiency and accuracy proved to be the key differences in the game.

The Eagles struggled to capitalise on their opportunities, turning just 47 per cent of their inside 50 chances into scores. On the other hand, the Bulldogs operated at 63 per cent efficiency.

Conversion was the other key factor, with the Eagles converting at 33 per cent for the game compared to the Bulldogs 65 percent.

Defender Brodie Riach said the Eagles would learn from the experience and come back a better side following next week’s state game bye.

“There’s a few positives as well as some learning curves,” Riach said.

“We’re a pretty young side, so we’ll go back to the drawing board and look at what we did good and what we need to work on.

“We’ll learn from is, we’ll fix a few things up and come back stronger.”

Riach remained confident in the side’s ability to turn things around as their focus now shifts to East Perth in round six.

“There’s a few key areas that we can fix up and it’s just about looking at vision and finding ways we can tweak it,” he said.

“We back our forwards in every week to convert on the scoreboard and today it just didn’t go their way.

“It’s easy to write us off right now, but there’s still a long way to go, so I back us in 100 per cent to get the job done and I’m sure we’ll find some good form when it matters.”