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West Coast Eagles

Last time we met the Crows

Last time we met the Crows West Coast looked to be home until the Crows came to life and booted six goals in the final term to record a 10-point win at Adelaide Oval

For the first 90-odd minutes of this contest, things appeared to be going well with the West Coast Eagles on track for a momentous victory on the road.

Without key position players Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Tom Barrass – as well as sharp-shooter Mark LeCras – the Eagles’ coaching staff shuffled the deck and appeared to come up with a winning hand.

Jeremy McGovern went forward to provide a marking target inside the attacking 50, Elliot Yeo went back and spent time on some of Adelaide’s tall forwards. The rest was about digging in, having a crack and they did that.

Their ferocity around the contest was exceptional as they brought a level of intensity the equal of anything they had produced at any point of the season. And the reward, deep into the third quarter, was a lead of 27 points.

Unfortunately, they gave up a late goal in the third stanza, but still turned into the final term with a 20-point cushion.

Alas, Adelaide, with their season virtually on the line, were energised after the break and kicked an early goal. With Taylor Walker imposing his will on the game, the Crows charged ahead and rattled on six goals for the term – as many as they had managed in the first three quarters.

McGovern was switched back to his defensive role and Yeo was pushed into the midfield as the Eagles tried to manufacture a way to win four precious premiership points to snap what would become a three-game losing run. But it wasn’t to be.

Despite the brilliant defensive contributions of Brad Sheppard and Shannon Hurn, who turned the clock back to 2015 when the team’s backmen had to adapt and play above their height because of injuries to key defenders, they could not sandbag the wave of opportunities the Crows created at the start of the last term.

In addition to their efforts, Andrew Gaff was exceptional through the midfield, with 37 possessions, and strong support came from Luke Shuey, Jack Redden and Mark Hutchings, who was particularly ubiquitous early. Hutchings had 12 possessions and four tackles in the first term as he made an early statement about the team’s intensity.

Ruckmen Scott Lycett and Nic Naitanui also worked hard, the former kicking two important goals, and doing his utmost to impact the game.

Unfortunately, in the last term, the Crows dominated stoppages and the contested ball count, creating relentless pressure on the Eagles’ defence. They rode the wave, kicked a couple of brilliant goals from tight angles and momentum swung dramatically and irreversibly.

Round 15 v Adelaide
Saturday, June 30

Adelaide                          1.3          3.8          6.10       12.16      88
West Coast Eagles            2.4          5.5          10.6        12.6       78
Goals – Adelaide: Walker 3; Jenkins 2; Hampton, Fogarty, Greenwood, Poholke, Seedsman, Jacobs, Doedee.
West Coast Eagles: Cripps, McGovern, Lycett 2; Gaff, Ah Chee, Yeo, McInnes, Ryan, Shuey. At Adelaide Oval