WHERE: Domain Stadium, Sunday, July 30, 2.40pm AWST
THE LAST FIVE
R13, 2016: West Coast 20.11 (131) def Brisbane Lions 12.10 (82) at the Gabba
R1, 2016: West Coast 26.10 (166) def Brisbane Lions 15.12 (102) at Domain Stadium
R4, 2015: West Coast 17.16 (118) def Brisbane Lions 9.11 (65) at the Gabba
R17, 2014: West Coast 11.10 (76) def Brisbane Lions 9.10 (64) at the Gabba
R7, 2013: West Coast 17.6 (108) def Brisbane Lions 12.10 (82) at the Gabba
It has been one rough week for West Coast. With a 24-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles looked home and hosed last week against the Pies; however, Adam Simpson’s men stumbled at the last hurdle by conceding the last five goals.
Unfairly, Adam Simpson has copped the brunt of the backlash from Eagles fans this week. At the end of the day, however, there is not much Simpson can do during the last five minutes of a game—that responsibility falls solely on the players.
If last week’s game was a must-win, this week is a must-must-win game. For a team struggling for form, there could not be a better time for the Eagles to face the last-placed Lions, especially considering they will be without Dayne Zorko.
1. After failing to crack the ton in their last 11 games, could this be the week that the Eagles finally return to their high-scoring ways of old?
2. The Lions don’t have a great record at many venues around the country, and Domain Stadium is no exception. Brisbane has failed to leave Perth with any points in their last seven visits.
3. Shannon Hurn has led the Eagles’ possession count in their last two games. Normally, having your captain lead your possession count is a great sign; however, when that captain plays in defence, it is probably time to look closely at your midfield.
4. Much has been said about the Eagles’ fitness, following a spate of recent fourth-quarter fadeouts. West Coast has lost five of their last six final quarters by a combine 102 points.
5. Eagles fans have been crying out for an injection of youth, disregarding the fact Adam Simpson picked Tom Barrass, Tom Cole, Jackson Nelson, Liam Duggan and Dom Sheed last week. Following 29 touches and two goals in the WAFL, Luke Partington looks almost certain to make his senior debut this against the Lions.
MOST AT STAKE FOR… Adam Simpson.
Adam Simpson has a contract until the end of 2019. However, many hot-headed West Coast fans are already calling for the boot. How quickly people forget that Simpson is a coach who took a team that finished 13th in 2013 to a Grand Final appearance in just two years’ time. Sure, West Coast has some work to do, but Adam Simpson is the man to do it.
TIP: West Coast by 33.
SECOND TIP: Josh Kennedy kicks seven.