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West Coast Eagles

Five things we learned against the Crows

Highlights: Eagles v Crows Check out all the best moments from our clash with the Crows!

1. The West Coast Eagles enjoyed a healthy inside 50 advantage, finishing ahead in that count 63-41, and much of that could be attributed to the work of the forward pressure of the Eagles. Two acts, in particular, spring to mind and both resulted in goals. Jack Petruccelle knocked down a handpass from Eddie Betts that ended with maximum results and Elliot Yeo produced a remarkable smother, when on the ground having laid a tackle, that was finished off by Liam Ryan. Both actions occurred in the first term and demonstrated the mindset of the team.

2. The class and football nous of Willie Rioli has quickly elevated him to one of the most popular Eagles. In the second term, as the Eagles transitioned from deep in defence, Rioli was identified as the outlet player and the little maestro made a dangerous kick perfect. He turned his body to shield the ball away from Adelaide’s Wayne Millera, hit the ground running and then passed with precision to Dom Sheed. He in turn found Jack Darling in space to complete a coast-to-coast goal that would not have happened without Rioli’s instinctive action at half-back.

3. Anyone who loves football, loves Eddie Betts. The Adelaide forward genius has been able to manufacture goals from very little throughout his career and the only time opposition fans do not enjoy his work, it is against their team. Fortunately, star defender Brad Sheppard kept Betts quiet for most of the day with another disciplined defensive display. Betts kicked only one goal, taking a clever mark in the last term, but Sheppard was not standing him at the time.

4. The development of the Eagles' young forwards must be pleasing the match committee. Over the last 18 months there has been great excitement around the emergence of Willie Rioli, Liam Ryan, Jack Petruccelle and Jarrod Cameron, but a couple of taller options are also making their presence felt. Oscar Allen has been a revelation as a back-up ruckman for Tom Hickey, but Jake Waterman, since his recent return to the team, has also had a strong influence, each of them kicking three goals against the Crows.

5. It’s getting to the time of the year when the “experts” start throwing around the names of players they believe should be in all-Australian contention. And West Coast midfielders Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo and Andrew Gaff deserve to be in the conversation. Gaff is a two-time all-Australian, Yeo earned the distinction in 2017, but so far that honour has evaded Shuey. Against the Crows 19 of his 29 possessions were contested, he was responsible for 10 clearances and was again a driving force in the victory.