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West Coast Eagles

Graham: Eagles finding right balance up forward

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Jaymie Graham of West Coast Eagles talks with his forward group during the 2019 AFL round 21 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Adelaide Crows at Optus Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)
Jaymie Graham says West Coast's forwards are striking a good balance between attack and defence

Jaymie Graham reckons West Coast have found the right mix up forward ahead of another do-or-die final.

Speaking to Sportsday SA’s radio team, the club’s forwards coach felt the team’s emerging goal sneaks were striking the balance between attack and defence in the 50 metre arc.

“We lost Mark LeCras the year before and he was really good for us from a leadership point of view with those young guys,

“It was always a bit of an unknown when you lose that experience, but they’ve stood up and we like to have multiple threats.”

West Coast ranked fourth for points scored in the home-and-away season, with six players kicking 20-plus goals for the season.

Jack Darling led the way with 54 goals, Josh Kennedy booted 44 and Jamie Cripps slotted 26 goals in the qualifying rounds.

Young forwards Liam Ryan (29 goals), Oscar Allen (20), Jack Petruccelle (20), Willie Rioli (18) Jake Waterman (15) and Jarrod Cameron (11) have all played major roles this season.

Graham said the team’s budding forwards had been crucial in providing multiple targets inside 50.

“We like the fact that we have multiple threats now,” he said.

“We no longer need Kennedy or Darling to kick six or seven, so those are the types of things that we look at and train.

“We have got … six multiple threats in our forward line, which is the aim.”

Graham said West Coast was not buying into the criticism directed at Geelong on the Eastern seaboard, maintaining the minor premiers were as dangerous as ever despite their qualifying final loss to Collingwood.

“We prepare for every opposition at their best,” Graham said.

“We were a bit ordinary the week before against Hawthorn, not taking any credit away from them, but we identified some stuff that we wanted to do better and trained it and I’m sure they’ve done the same thing.

“They don’t finish on top of the ladder for no reason, they’ve been pretty consistent throughout the year.

“Their strength is around their clearance numbers and contested possession.

“They’ve got some talent in all areas but their midfield is a really strong talent for them and they’ve managed to get the job done all year.”