Adam Simpson says West Coast will embrace the competition's "biggest test" facing Richmond at the MCG, after Sunday's tense 10-point win over Adelaide kept the Eagles' top-two fate in their control.
Simpson breathed a sigh of relief having seen the Crows close a 27-point third-quarter margin to within two kicks three times in the final term at Optus Stadium.
West Coast did just enough from a landslide of 63 inside 50s – its most since the Grand Final - to edge the visitors and is now gearing up for a battle of the past two premiers next Sunday.
"It felt like a final today, it really did," a relieved Simpson said post-match.
"I thought what Adelaide brought, we weren't surprised at all. A lot on the line. They strategise well, they're coached well. Didn't get the chocolates but they'll take a lot out of that.
"We think next week is going to be, it's an exciting round, I can't wait. Everyone involved in AFL can't wait for next week.
"Probably the biggest test in AFL, Richmond at the MCG. Seven days to get that right.
"We hit the ground running. We take them on."
The Eagles' midfield was able to get on top during the third term after Crows star Rory Sloane (eye) went down at the opening bounce.
Simpson was frustrated the Eagles couldn't capitalise on a sheer weight of supply to their forward line but saw plenty of positives from individuals in attack.
Young talls Oscar Allen and Jake Waterman both drilled three majors, as did Jack Darling, while Willie Rioli picked up a career-high 21 touches and kicked a goal.
"We want a good spread. We've got a young forward line. Take out (Josh) Kennedy, and the rest of the boys are pretty young," Simpson said.
"So we're finding a way to get a good avenue to all of our players.
"I don't think in my time we've had that much supply and some of the numbers we showed our players were really good and not get reward for it (was frustrating).
"I think it's credit to Adelaide's defence and the way they set up, but we got it done in the end.
"If we get those type of numbers every week, we’ll take it, because we don't get them very often and when we do get it we win."
The Eagles dropped to third after round 21 following Brisbane's shellacking of Gold Coast but with the Lions hosting ladder leaders Geelong next weekend they can earn a home qualifying final with two more wins.
"I think we're still fighting for top four. That's up to us as well," Simpson said.
"Across the board, it's going to be really good. Whether it's top four, top two, top eight, the season is alive.
"So really good for footy this week."