1. Winning is clearly the ambition and that comes with a collective team evolution, but as coach Daniel Pratt suggested, this West Coast outfit is building. They are playing the brand that Pratt has instilled to them in training and gradually producing longer periods of sustained football. At three-quarter time against the Giants there was just a goal in it and at that time, with the game on the line, the Giants produced the game defining moments.
2. While the Eagles could not go with the Giants went they turned up the heat, it should be remembered that in the corresponding game in their debut season the Eagles did not score until the final term. And certainly there is some potency when they venture inside the attacking arc. Three goals in the first quarter was a fine start and one of the goals, from Ashlee Atkins, was particularly memorable. A toe poke to advantage, a slick one-handed gather and a snap around the body from 40 metres will be on every highlight reel this year.
3. The club is just four games into its second campaign and clearly Pratt and his match committee are exploring every option. Already this season the club has seen 12 newcomers make their debut – some have come with experience from other clubs, while others are just embarking on their AFLW journey careers and could be career players at the Eagles. The pick of the young crop is Bella Lewis and she certainly lived up to the billing as the best talent in the WA draft pool of 2020. She has stepped up to the next level with aplomb and looms as a star on the rise.
4. While Lewis is the most eye-catching of the newcomers, there is also cause for excitement around the form of Tayla Bresland who was recruited from Fremantle, while South Australian recruit Amber Ward has also settled well in defence. Bresland was a star at centre half-back against the Giants while Ward, also playing in the back half, has shown encouraging signs.
5. Football fans have always enjoyed players taking the game on and Belinda Smith falls into that category. The small Eagles defender was prepared to take a number of running bounces out of the back half as she looked to transition the ball forward. She leads the competition in running bounces and generally uses the ball to good effect.