messagesonhold

Semi Final Preview: GWS v West Coast

WHERE: Spotless Stadium, Saturday, September 16, 5.25pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R22, 2017: GWS 12.9 (81) def West Coast 9.6 (60) at Spotless Stadium
R10, 2017: GWS 14.14 (98) def West Coast 14.6 (90) at Domain Stadium
R21, 2016: West Coast 14.13 (97) def GWS 14.12 (96) at Spotless Stadium
R5, 2015: West Coast 18.12 (120) def GWS 4.9 (33) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2014: West Coast 30.8 (188) def GWS 12.5 (77) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

2017 has been a season of fantastic games and close finishes, with none more enthralling than West Coast’s extra-time, after-the-siren victory over Port Adelaide on Saturday night. If the Eagles aim to keep their finals dream alive, they’ll need to recover well before another big interstate trip. Will those 10 extra minutes hurt the Eagles’ chances?

Season-ending injuries for Shane Mumford and Jeremy Cameron will force Leon Cameron’s hand at the selection table this week. Dawson Simpson is the obvious replacement for Mumford, but what will the Giants go for up forward? GWS were one-dimensional against the Crows, and if there’s one player who’s anything but one-dimensional, it’s Steve Johnson. Stevie J simply must play this week.

A straight-sets exit would be a disaster for GWS, but their premiership window isn’t closing anytime soon. For the Eagles, a premiership in 2017 would mean four-straight interstate wins on the trot, including their last two at their bogey ground, the MCG.

TALKING POINTS

1. The Eagles faded late against the Giants back in round 22, managing just 1.1 to the Giants’ 4.3 in the fourth quarter. If Saturday night was any indication, the Eagles may have solved their fade-out issues. Adam Simpson will be looking for another big effort down the stretch.

2. Eric Mackenzie’s fourth-quarter heroics against Port Adelaide reminded West Coast fans why he’s such a crucial cog in the Eagles’ machine. While Big Easy may have saved the day for West Coast, he can’t allow Jonathon Patton to get on top of him like Charlie Dixon did on Saturday night.

3. Josh Kelly tore the Eagles apart back in round 22. The star midfielder finished with 43 touches and goal in a best-on-ground performance. Will Adam Simpson give Mark Hutchings a run-with role on this time around?

4. In his last three games, Matt Priddis has averaged 28 touches, one goal and 8.3 tackles. A few more big performances like that and the Brownlow Medallist might just play himself out of retirement.

5. If Luke Shuey was underrated heading into last weekend, he certainly isn’t anymore. Following 32 touches, 11 tackles and two goals against Port, Shuey now sits at a career-best 15th in the Schick AFL Player Ratings.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Elliot Yeo.

Elliott Yeo and Toby Greene went head to head in round 22. Yeo was superb, finishing with 30 touches and eight marks; however, Greene managed to get of the leash to snag three crucial goals. If Yeo can keep Greene off the scoreboard, West Coast will win this one comfortably.

TIP: West Coast by 13.

SECOND TIP: Mark Hutchings keeps Josh Kelly to under 20 touches.

First Elimination Final Preview: Port Adelaide v West Coast

WHERE: Adelaide Oval, Saturday, September 9, 5.50pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R16, 2017: Port Adelaide 18.12 (120) def West Coast 13.10 (88) at Domain Stadium
R7, 2017: West Coast 15.7 (97) def Port Adelaide 12.15 (87) at Adelaide Oval
R9, 2016: West Coast 14.10 (94) def Port Adelaide 13.8 (86) at Adelaide Oval
R6, 2015: West Coast 11.12 (78) def Port Adelaide 10.6 (68) at Adelaide Oval
R5, 2014: Port Adelaide 10.10 (70) def West Coast 7.14 (56) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

It’s been two very different roads to September for Port Adelaide and West Coast. The Power finished the year strongly with three-straight wins to cement a home final in week one. On the other hand, West Coast narrowly edged out Melbourne to sneak into eight spot on percentage alone.

Port Adelaide hasn’t played finals football since 2014, so Ken Hinkley’s men will be eager to impress on the big stage. For West Coast, the memory of last year’s humiliating 47-point loss to the Western Bulldogs should be all the motivation they need.

The Eagles have struggled to get supply to their potent forwards this year. Which team have they struggled against the most? Port Adelaide. While the teams may have split their two games so far this year, Port Adelaide has smashed West Coast 128 to 81 in inside-50s. The Eagles’ midfield will need to be working overtime to overcome Paddy Ryder’s influence around the contest.

TALKING POINTS

1. Is Luke Shuey the most underrated player in the AFL? The reigning John Worsfold Medallist currently sits 16th in the Schick AFL Player Ratings, just seven places behind Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray.

2. Paddy Ryder dominated West Coast back in round 16. The All-Australian ruckman finished with 17 touches, 39 hit-outs and two goals. Can Drew Petrie and Nathan Vardy make a contest this week?

3. West Coast has a fantastic record at Adelaide Oval, having won five of their six games at the venue. The Eagles were successful against Port in round seven at the venue, and they’ll need to be at their best in front of a hostile Adelaide Oval crowd to do it again.

4. While the Eagles may have an impressive record at Adelaide Oval, the city hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the big birds during finals time. West Coast has managed just one win from four finals in Adelaide, with their only victory a stunning come-from-behind win back in the 2006 Preliminary Final.

5. Jack Darling will play his 150th game in the blue and gold on Saturday night. While life membership is a fantastic achievement for the versatile forward, he’ll need to be at his dynamic best with Josh Kennedy destined to get some close attention from Port’s backline.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Brad Sheppard.

Brad Sheppard has flown under the radar once again for West Coast. For keen observers, however, the lively small defender has put together another fantastic year for West Coast. Sheppard was crucial in the Eagles’ victory back in round seven, holding Robbie Gray to just 15 touches and no goals. If Sheppard can stop Gray again, the Eagles might just steal this one.

TIP: West Coast by 8.

SECOND TIP: Jeremy McGovern takes 10 intercept marks.

Goodbye Subi Oval: Stories from Behind the Post By An MOH Hand Waver

This past Sunday, we had to wipe away a tear with our giant, yellow, foam hand as we bid au revoir to Subi Oval. For 25 years, West Coast Eagles’ spectators have slept soundly at night knowing that a) the Dockers have yet to win a premiership and b) the iconic Messages On Hold hand will be waving behind the goal posts every game.

Trevor Watson, a hand-waiver of MOH’s for 17 years, shares some behind the posts memories from his time at Subi.

Prime Positioning

Ever wondered how, no matter where the angle of the camera was pointed, or where the umpire stood, you could ALWAYS see the MOH hands? That’s because while the players were warming up, we’d spend ages checking how tall the goal umpires were, where they were standing, and where the cameras were placed in the stand. You’d be surprised what a big difference it made!

FYI: A big pet peeve of mine were the umpires who’d stand all over the place making me have to constantly shuffle trying to line up with the camera!

Sabotaging Security Guards

Every so often, a security guard (or even the spare-ball kids) would sit directly between the camera and me, and stand up every time a goal was scored! I was not happy with this arrangement! I asked, begged and pleaded, and sometimes even resorted to bribing them to move. This got—as you can imagine—mixed results.

Friend Goals Behind The Goals

While we weren’t always initially the best of friends with the rows behind us (something about a giant, yellow viewing obstacle may have contributed to that), soon we became fast friends. After some friendly chat and game analysis (somehow we all knew exactly what the Eagles were doing right/wrong), we became good friends. Maybe the spare ticket we once gave to their grandkid had something to do with it as well! Anyway, since then we’ve actually watched finals together at our house with some people from the row behind us!

The Great Flood

While some Eagles’ fans don’t love getting their wings a bit wet, nothing could ruffle my feathers. In 2003, the Eagles played North Melbourne and it rained so hard the goal umpire was ankle deep in water. It didn’t take too long before I found that I was the only person in the entirety of Block 116 that hadn’t run for cover! I sure hoped TV viewers could see the MOH hand through the downpour. The 20-minute walk back to the car was not fun that afternoon.

190 Games

I’ve enjoyed almost every game of the approximately 190 home games I’ve waved signs at. Even when I got sick, and spent the entire game with my head on the fence, I had my wife shout to me every time I needed to lift the sign. Luckily, I married an Eagles-nut like me!

Thanks Kym and Messages On Hold for the last 17 years at Subi. It’s been fun!

Trev

Trev’s last game at Subi Oval.

AFL Round 23 Preview: West Coast v Adelaide

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Sunday, August 27, 2.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R23, 2016: West Coast 14.16 (100) def Adelaide 10.11 (71) at Adelaide Oval
R12, 2016: Adelaide 15.15 (100) def West Coast 11.10 (76) at Domain Stadium
R22, 2015: Adelaide 19.12 (126) def West Coast 10.9 (69) at Adelaide Oval
R15, 2015: West Coast 22.15 (147) def Adelaide 14.7 (91) at Domain Stadium
R19, 2014: West Coast 20.16 (136) def Adelaide 16.9 (105) at Adelaide Oval

OVERVIEW

It has been a season of missed opportunities for West Coast. Coming into round 23, the last thing a team wants is to not be in control of your own destiny. However, that is the exact situation the Eagles find themselves in. The Eagles need one of two huge upsets to go their way — Collingwood to beat Melbourne or Fremantle to somehow beat Essendon. Even if the unlikely does happen, West Coast will still need a healthy percentage boost against Adelaide to sneak into the finals.

Sunday will be the final AFL game ever played at Domain Stadium, and the Eagles will be hoping to farewell the ground, Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell in style.

The Crows blew a major opportunity to seal top spot last week. Now, with GWS breathing down their neck, they don’t have the option to rest players for an extra week before the pre-finals bye.

TALKING POINTS

1. Sunday will be West Coast’s 326th game at Domain Stadium. It’s been an intimidating venue for rival clubs over the years, with the Eagles boasting an all-time record of 221 wins, 103 losses and one draw at the ground.

2. Since returning from injury, Josh Kennedy has kicked 26% of the Eagles’ goals. Josh Kennedy leads the Coleman race with 64 goals. Jack Darling is the Eagles’ next best with 38.

3. Tackling continues to be an issue for the Eagles. Matt Priddis (6), Luke Shuey (39), and Jack redden (44) are the only Eagles players in the league’s top 100 for average tackles. Jamie Cripps (150) is their next best averaging 3.9 per game.

4. Before the first bounce, Josh Kennedy will know how many — if any — goals he needs to kick to win his third-straight Coleman Medal. The big forward enters round 23 with a four-goal lead over Joe Daniher.

5. Despite being the Eagles’ best-on last week, Matt Priddis will play his final game in the blue and gold on Sunday. The Brownlow Medallist hangs up the boots after 238 AFL games.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell.

By the time Sunday’s game rolls around, the Eagles may very well be playing for nothing but pride. However, the retirements of Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell should add some fuel to the fire. It’s certainly shaping up to be an interesting off-season for Adam Simpson and the Eagles.

TIP: West Coast by 1.

SECOND TIP: No one actually misses the mess that is Domain Stadium.

 

AFL Round 22 Preview: GWS v West Coast

WHERE: Spotless Stadium, Saturday, August 19, 2.35pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R10, 2017: GWS 14.14 (98) def West Coast 14.6 (90) at Domain Stadium
R21, 2016: West Coast 14.13 (97) def GWS 14.12 (96) at Spotless Stadium
R5, 2015: West Coast 18.12 (120) def GWS 4.9 (33) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2014: West Coast 30.8 (188) def GWS 12.5 (77) at Domain Stadium
R9, 2013: West Coast 23.17 (155) def GWS 8.7 (55) at Spotless Stadium

OVERVIEW

Following an unconvincing win against the Blues last Saturday night, the Eagles find themselves back in the top 8. However, they’ll need to win at least one of their last two games to secure a finals birth. Unfortunately for Adam Simpson’s men, they’ll have to go through both GWS and Adelaide to do so.

The last time these two teams met at Spotless Stadium was one of the greatest finishes in football history, with Nic Naitanui stealing victory with the last kick of the game. The Eagles may need another miracle to get over the top of a hot GWS team away from home.

Toby Greene was dynamic against the Eagles in round 10. The fiery forward narrowly avoided suspension this week, and the Eagles look set to get under his skin on Saturday.

TALKING POINTS

1. At 61%, West Coast is ranked second for time in front this season, only Adelaide at 63% has held the lead for longer. It may be a painful statistic for West Coast fans, but the silver lining is that the Eagles are clearly not too far off from getting things right.

2. Luke Shuey was incredible in the Eagles’ last win over GWS, amassing 38 touches, 13 clearances, six tackles, six inside-50s and two crucial goals. They’ll need another huge performance from the reigning John Worsfold Medallist.

3. Back in round 10, GWS managed their first ever win over West Coast. It was an ugly day for the Eagles, losing Josh Kennedy to a calf injury and getting smashed 54-31 in the clearances.

4. While there’s much speculation surrounding Josh Kelly’s future, his form is undeniable. The talented midfielder had a day out against the Eagles in round 10, collecting 29 touches, six tackles, seven clearances and a goal. Will Mark Hutchings go to Josh Kelly?

5. The Giants are ranked number one in the AFL for clearances, with an average of 24.9 per game. On the other hand, the Eagles average just 36.4 in that area. The return of Shane Mumford should only hurt the Eagles cause.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Nathan Vardy.

Shane Mumford is one of the AFL’s most feared big men. Adam Simpson will be looking for a strong contest from Nathan Vardy in the ruck. Vardy can’t compete with Mumford in the strength department, but he can make him accountable by running him around the ground all day.

TIP: West Coast by 1.

SECOND TIP: The Eagles win with the last kick of the day.

AFL Round 21 Preview: West Coast v Carlton

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Saturday, August 12, 5.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R17, 2016: West Coast 12.10 (82) def Carlton 11.9 (75) at the MCG
R2, 2015: West Coast 20.11 (131) def Carlton 9.8 (62) at Domain Stadium
R6, 2014: Carlton 14.8 (92) def West Coast 12.17 (89) at Etihad Stadium
R4, 2013: Carlton 12.17 (89) def West Coast 7.23 (65) at Domain Stadium
R12, 2012: West Coast 10.19 (79) def Carlton 10.9 (69) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

It has been a rough week for West Coast following yet another fourth-quarter fade-out. While last week’s score line may have been somewhat flattering for West Coast, the stats were a completely different story. From contested possessions to tackles and clearances, all the crucial numbers from last Sunday suggest a serious lack of hunger from the Eagles’ midfield.

There is no denying that the lack of a full-time ruckman has hurt West Coast this year, and the job does not get any easier on Saturday night against Matthew Kreuzer. Recent images of Nic Naitanui on the training track may have Eagles fans filled with hope of a late-season return, but there is no point in a return if there is nothing to play for.

While Carlton may be in the race for the spoon, some of their performances this year suggest they are making progress as a playing group. They have pushed Melbourne, Essendon and the Dogs in recent weeks, but simply pushing teams will not cut it for much longer.

TALKING POINTS

1. 2017 has been a year of missed opportunities for the Eagles, losing five games less than 10 points. Throw an 11-point loss to Richmond into the mix and the Eagles have lost six games by a combined 42 points.

2. The Eagles’ midfielders lowered their colours last week losing the clearances 42-30, the contested possessions 162-128, and the tackle count 83-51. Matt Priddis’ return should help their case in tight around the contest.

3. While most visiting teams struggle at Domain Stadium, Carlton has won 38% of their games played at the venue. Silver linings, right?

4. Another week, another bag for Josh Kennedy. The two-time reigning Coleman Medallist is averaging five goals a game since his return from a calf injury, and now only two goals, Joe Daniher and his filthy moustache stand between the big forward and his third Coleman.

5. When you are fighting for a finals spot, the last thing you need is to finish off the season against quality teams. For the Eagles, however, that is exactly the position they find themselves in. Saturday night is a must-win, with GWS and Adelaide to finish off the home-and-away season.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Josh Kennedy.

Team success is all well and good. However, it is not often that someone wins three Coleman Medals in a row, especially after missing five games through injury. With GWS and Adelaide to come, Kennedy should be looking to cash in against the struggling Blues.

TIP: West Coast by 38.

SECOND TIP: Josh Kennedy kicks 10.

AFL Round 20 Preview: St Kilda v West Coast

WHERE: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, August 6, 11.20am AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R2, 2017: West Coast Eagles 18.8 (116) def St Kilda 13.19 (97) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2016: West Coast Eagles 20.12 (132) def St Kilda 3.11 (29) at Domain Stadium
R23, 2015: West Coast Eagles 18.17 (125) def St Kilda 4.6 (30) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2015: West Coast Eagles 20.11 (131) def St Kilda 12.6 (78) at Etihad Stadium
R14, 2014: West Coast Eagles 15.13 (103) def St Kilda 10.10 (70) at Etihad Stadium

OVERVIEW

West Coast and St Kilda find themselves in quite similar positions coming into Sunday’s crucial clash. At 10-8 and 9-9, respectively, the Eagles and Saints have both managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in recent weeks. West Coast coughed up a 24-point lead to Collingwood, and St Kilda somehow managed to lose to Port Adelaide last week.

As we near the end of yet another AFL season, we are beginning to see more and more players hang up the boots. The Eagles will be without the on-field services of Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell next season, while the Saints are set to lose favourite son Nick Reiwoldt.

Whilst neither side has done anything to suggest they are serious contenders this season, we all know what happened last year when the Dogs hit form towards September. With a crucial four points up for grabs, there is no reason for both teams to not fire up this week.

TALKING POINTS

1. Accuracy cost St Kilda a rare win in Perth back in round 2, kicking rotten 13.19 in front of the big sticks. Five goals to one in the fourth saw the Eagles storm home for a rather unconvincing win in front of a nervous Domain Stadium crowd.

2. Before Sunday’s game Nick Reiwoldt, Sam Mitchell and Matt Priddis have combined to a total of 891 AFL games. With Reiwoldt set to miss again, he has almost certainly played his last game against the Eagles.

3. For Eagles fans, Luke Partington’s inclusion in the West Coast side last week was a welcome injection of youth. 16 touches and a goal on debut should be enough for the promising South Australian to hold his spot for at least one more week.

4. Against the Lions last week, West Coast cracked 100 points for just the third time this season. On the flip side, St Kilda is struggling to hit the scoreboard, averaging just 59 points per game in their last three outings.

5. Since his return from a calf injury, two-time Coleman Medalist Josh Kennedy has kicked 15 goals in just three games. Remarkably, following five weeks on the sidelines, Kennedy sits just four majors behind Joe Daniher. Even if Kennedy fails to reclaim his crown, there is no doubt who is the best spearhead in the competition.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Sam Mitchell.

Saying goodbye is never fun. For Sam Mitchell, Sunday’s clash may very well be his final game in Melbourne, unless West Coast sneak into the eight and are forced to travel interstate. Mitchell will swap his boots for dress shoes next year as he moves into the Eagles’ coaching box. Expect a big game from the 323-game veteran, who will surely be lacing them up in front of a large collection of friends and family.

TIP: West Coast by 3.

SECOND TIP: If the game is close in the fourth, Liam Duggan will think twice before playing on.

Choosing the Right Voice for Your Brand

We’re told from a young age that “first impressions are everything”; they’re the ever-lasting picture a new person paints of you from the moment you meet. While we tend to take this with a pinch of salt when socialising with others, the idiom rings all the more true when there are physical barriers in place, such as communicating over the phone.

When it comes to the first impression of your business, the stakes are much higher, as this often determines whether or not a new customer will jump on board with you and what you have to offer. While meeting customers in real life gives you ample opportunity to charm with your smile and warm personality, interacting over the phone is an entirely different story, and it’s the initial aural handshake that truly counts.

This is why choosing the right voice talent for your audio production is so important to your branding and customer reach. If a new customer is calling your company for the first time, it’s imperative they’re greeted with a warm and welcoming audio greeting that perfectly reflects your brand.

If your business is in a delicate industry, such as respite care or a funeral home, your voice talent ought to be soothing, comforting, and informative, rather than energetic and bubbly. On the other side of the coin, a younger voice with bright tones and a vivacious energy will be better suited to a childcare centre or café.

Each of our voice talents offers varying degrees of tone, warmth and personality types, to mirror your company’s image. There’s Candice, whose glowing, cheerful smile can actually be heard down the phone line; Magnus offers a host of character voices; Grayton has an authoritative, deep tone that commands attention; and Annie’s mature voice connects with callers while being helpful and comforting.

The right voice talent for your audio production shouldn’t be so out of line with your brand that it distracts the callers: what your callers should be focusing on is the content of the messages, rather than the voice. If you currently have a welcome message recorded in-house by your nervous receptionist or ambivalent IT guy, then the impression you’re offering isn’t all that strong or professional.

Take a listen below and see what you think. Here’s an average run of the mill in-house welcome example:

 

And here’s something we rustled up with one of our professional voice artists, Adrian:

 

So what do you think? How are you greeting each and every customer and prospect over the phone?

The right voice talent for your brand will not only receive every customer with professionalism, they’ll also get your customers excited about your promotions, keep them informed with vital information, or even calm them down if they’re stressed out.

Think about your company and brand as a person. What are their values? What do they talk about? What do they sound like? Now head over to our massive voice talent library and find the right voice to bring your messages and business to life!

– Cassie

AFL Round 19 Preview: West Coast v Brisbane

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

OVERVIEW

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.

TALKING POINTS

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.

AFL Round 18 Preview: Collingwood v West Coast

WHERE: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, July 23, 1.20pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R19, 2016: Collingwood 13.13 (91) def West Coast 11.6 (72) at the MCG
R6, 2016: West Coast 18.16 (124) def Collingwood 9.8 (62) at Domain Stadium
R16, 2015: West Coast 11.21 (87) def Collingwood 7.14 (56) at Etihad Stadium
R20, 2014: West Coast 19.12 (126) def Collingwood 10.6 (66) at Domain Stadium
R10, 2014: Collingwood 17.7 (109) def West Coast 15.11 (101) at the MCG

OVERVIEW

The Eagles are clinging to a top-eight spot, following a less-than-convincing win over Fremantle last week. However, their case for being a genuine contender looks shaky to say the least. To put it simply: this is a must-win game for an Eagles side struggling to get any real momentum going this season.

Last week’s Western Derby was not particularly pretty viewing, but Eagles fans should be encouraged by the more attacking style Adam Simpson was trying to play (at least in the first half). The Eagles looked into the corridor at every opportunity against the Dockers, something that could pay dividends on a fast Etihad deck.

No Scott Pendlebury could be the difference this week. If it is not, 200 games for Josh Kennedy and 150 for Luke Shuey should give the Eagles all the motivation they need to get the job done. West coast is yet to really put a team to bed this season, and Sunday might just be the day they get going.

TALKING POINTS

1. If there was ever a time for Josh Kennedy to kick a bag, Sunday is the day. The two-time reigning Coleman medalist finds himself just 10 goals off the pace following five games on the sidelines. A big bag would be the perfect way for the spearhead to celebrate his 200th AFL game.

2. Averaging 56.6 inside-50s per game, Collingwood is forth in the competition in that area, 6.3 per game more than the Eagles.

3. It appears that the days of big scores and big wins for West Coast are over. The Eagles have been an offensive powerhouse in recent years; however, in 2017, they’ve only managed over 100 points on three occasions — twice against Freo and once against the Kangaroos.

4. West Coast has been dubbed a poor travelling side, but their recent form at the Adelaide Oval and Etihad Stadium suggests otherwise. The Eagles have won four from their last six at Etihad, while Collingwood has managed just one win from their last seven at the venue.

5. Clearances continue to be a struggle for the Eagles, losing the count 40-28 against the Dockers last week. No Scott Pendlebury for the Pies, however, should help West Coast’s cause around the contest.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Liam Duggan.

Coming off the best game of his short AFL career, Liam Duggan will be looking to cement his place in the Eagles’ best 22. Duggan looked at home at half-back in last week’s Western Derby, racking up a career-best 31 disposals. Duggan’s silky ball use combined with a hard edge around the contest is exactly what the Eagles have been lacking in 2017. Can Perth’s most eligible bachelor continue his hot form against the Pies?

TIP: West Coast by 29.

SECOND TIP: Eddie McGuire is unbearable yet again.