West Coast coach Adam Simpson praised his experienced players for lifting late in a game that felt "a little bit different to normal" against Gold Coast, with the tackle count a lowly 39-33 as both teams tried to control possession.   

Dom Sheed (34 possessions and nine clearances) was a standout in the midfield, while young forward Oscar Allen booted a career-high four goals.

"I think the players just went to another level, our guys," Simpson said.

"They've probably been around a bit longer than some of the Gold Coast boys and they elevated in the contest and got some good field position … we won the important contests."

05:26 Mins
Published on

Simpson post-match v Suns

Watch West Coast's press conference after round one's match against Gold Coast

Published on

Simpson was happy with his midfield's ability to hold their own without star pair Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo and said the two-pronged ruck structure would likely stay in place.

"It’s really difficult to not do that for us," the coach said after Gold Coast won the hit-outs 31-23 and squared clearances 30-30. 

"The lower the rotations and the longer the game time, power athletes are going to get exposed.

"Resting forward doesn’t work for everyone, so we need to find a way to get Nic (Naitanui) involved in the game, and at the moment it means an extra ruck."