West Coast has crushed a hapless Richmond outfit by 68-points as the two teams opened up AFL Round Four in Perth on Friday night.
The Eagles (3-1) lead for the majority of the match and were never really threatened by the out of sorts Tigers (1-3) on their way to an 18.17 (125) to 9.3 (57) victory in front of 38,860 at Domain Stadium.
Following a poor outing against Hawthorn and a hard fought win over cross-town rivals Fremantle the Eagles showed why many consider them as the premiership favourites with a brilliant performance against the Tigers.
The home side had all but sown up the four-points in the first half as they slammed on 10 goals to three and should have won by more than their 11-goal winning margin had they kicked more accurately.
Midfielders Luke Shuey (22 possessions; eight clearences) as well as Elliot Yeo (25 disposals; eight inside 50’s) were terrific for the home side as was key forward Jack Darling who finished with a team high four goals.
The Eagles frenetic pressure caused the Tigers defenders problems all night and senior coach Adam Simpson was pleased that his side were able to maintain the ball in their forward half for the majority of the opening half.
“We wanted to bring a lot of pressure to the game,” Simpson said at his post-match media conference as his side had more disposals (342-340); contested possessions (130-107); tackles (59-57); clearences (37-33) and Inside 50’s (60-27).
“We know teams that travel here really want to start well. That was a really important part of the game for us, to bring that pressure. We backed up with some contested ball. We got some good supply.”
Key forward Jack Riewoldt (four goals) and key defender Alex Rance, who kept reigning Coleman Medallist Josh Kennedy to just two goals were solid for the Victorian outfit whose senior coach Damien Hardwick was disappointed with his side’s performance.
“It all came down to contested ball,” Hardwick told reporters afterwards as the veteran coach will come under more scrutiny this week following his side’s poor start to the season.
“We were well beaten around the contest and we know how important clearance is against West Coast, especially early doors.”
“We just battled in that area and then we couldn’t get the ball out of defensive 50.”
“They were just too good in all facets of the game.”
Following Richmond kicking the opening goal of the game, the Eagles who were celebrating 30-years of being in the competition then kicked six out of the next seven to take a 32-point lead into the first change.
The second quarter belonged to the home side as they piled on four goals to one to take a 54-point advantage into the main break.
Both teams managed three goals in a well contested third quarter as the Eagles continued to grow their lead to 55-points and they finished the game off in style with a five goal to three final term.
West Coast: 6.8 10.13 13.16 18.17 (125)
Richmond: 2.0 3.1 6.3 9.3 (57)
(Photo Source: Zimbio)