West Coast Eagles in top two after win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West Coast Eagles in top two after win

By Tim Clarke 12/08/2006 07:11:30 PM Comments (0)

West Coast has again found it hard going when hot AFL favourites, eventually beating the Kangaroos 14.23 (107) to 12.9 (81) to maintain a stranglehold on a top two finish.

After the Eagles kicked the first three goals, the 'Roos battled back in a sometimes brutal contest to trail by a point at halftime, with several Eagles nursing troubling injuries.

But despite the efforts of Corey Jones and Jess Sinclair, John Worsfold's blue chip midfield - led by Daniel Kerr's first half and Ben Cousins' final quarter - were eventually too hot to handle.

Despite struggling earlier in the year against lowly Carlton and Essendon, the bookies again gave skinny odds on a West Coast win against unfancied opposition, disregarding the visitors' recent respectable form.

As scripted, the Kangaroos got off to the worst possible start, conceding three early goals, the third a 70m Quinten Lynch bomb which drew gasps of admiration.

However, the king of distance Saverio Rocca was not to be outdone, launching two massive majors of his own into the blustery wind to kick-start the visitors.

Lynch's third, 42 seconds into the second term, looked likely to precipitate a blow out - until an increase in ferocity by the Kangaroos ignited a real contest.

First, Lynch was left needing treatment after an accidental head clash with Andrew Swallow, and then Sinclair exited with blood streaming from a head wound after a massive collision with Daniel Chick.

With Ash Hansen already off with a calf strain, West Coast's forward options looked severely depleted - and the Roos capitalised.

Four majors from Nathan Thompson, Jones and Leigh Harding brought Dean Laidley's battlers level, until Adam Selwood's point after the siren gave the home side the slimmest halftime advantage.

The Kangaroos captured the lead when Brent Harvey was allowed to run and run before goaling, and with the Eagles goalless for almost 40 minutes an upset was brewing.

But Andrew Embley broke the drought, and two more from Lynch and Brent Staker opened a handy buffer - despite Thompson goaling after Chick continued his impression of a one-man wrecking machine.

With 13 points the three quarter time margin, and the game in the balance, the Eagles, as so often, finished the fitter, depriving the Roos of any ball.

Despite some wasteful finishing, Cousins run onto Stenglein's tap and Mark Seaby's masterful left foot snap opened up the biggest lead of the day and finally ended the Kangaroos' resistance.

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