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West Coast Eagles

WAFL: Eagles soar into top five

Jake Waterman booted six goals against West Perth on Sunday

West Coast’s WAFL side soared to fifth place on the ladder following a convincing 69-point win over West Perth at Mineral Resources Park on Sunday.

The WAFL Eagles shot out of the gates, kicked seven of the first nine goals and never looked back en route to recording a 20.14 (134) to 10.5 (65) victory over the Falcons.

Jake Waterman led the Eagles with six goals, 25 disposals and 15 marks in a best-on-ground performance.

Jack Petruccelle also shone brightly in his first game back from injury by kicking five goals and collecting 12 disposals, while Josh Smith continued his impressive form by collecting a team-high 28 disposals.

Aidan Lynch booted the first goal of the game before Matthew Allen got one back for the home side with a snap around the body 20 metres out.

Inaccuracy in front of goal proved costly for the Eagles, as West Perth capitalised on the back of Brayden Antonio to jump out to an early 12-11 lead.

Jarrod Brander steadied the ship for the Eagles, before Jake Waterman slotted his first of the afternoon to give the home side an 11-point lead at the first break.

Fraser McInnes and Jack Petruccelle combined for six goals in the second term as West Coast raced out to a 63-32 lead at half-time.

West Perth booted four of the first five goals of the third quarter to cut the margin back to just 11 points as an unlikely comeback seemed to be on the cards.

However, back-to-back goals from Petruccelle and Waterman helped give the Eagles some breathing space as the home side took a 24-point lead into the final change.

Michael Lourey gave the Falcons hope early in the fourth, converting from the left boundary to cut the margin to 19-points.

Petruccelle stepped up for the Eagle,s slotting his fifth goal for the day, before winning the centre clearance to set up Waterman in the goal square to give the Eagles an insurmountable 33-point lead.

From there, the Eagles went on to boot six goals in the last 10 minutes of the game to run out 69-points winners.

The win gives the Eagles a much-needed percentage boost; they now sit at 100.4 per cent, which gives them four per cent breathing space over West Perth, who dropped to sixth position.

Defender Francis Watson reckoned the team was peaking at the right time of the season.

“I think everyone’s found their feet and now we’re playing together as a team, so we’ll continue to knuckle down and hopefully our form continues for the rest of the year,” Watson said.

With finals now shaping as a real possibility, Watson said the team was taking a week-by-week approach and will not be getting ahead of themselves.

“It is definitely something that’s in the back of our minds, but we’ll continue to just take it week by week and stay focused on trying to maintain the streak we’ve got going at the moment,” he said.