West Coast thrashes Dogs 113-39 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West Coast thrashes Dogs 113-39

By Sam Lienert 16/09/2006 10:17:59 PM Comments (0)

West Coast defender Adam Hunter has again proved his versatility with a telling four-goal haul as the Eagles ended any Victorian involvement in the AFL finals with a 16.17 (113) to 5.9 (39) victory over the Western Bulldogs at Subiaco.

The Eagles will now meet Adelaide in a preliminary final at AAMI Stadium next Saturday, the second year running they have met the Crows at that stage having defeated them at Subiaco to qualify for last year's grand final.

The comprehensive victory capped a grand weekend for Western Australia after Fremantle's win over Melbourne on Friday, keeping alive the chance of an all-WA grand final while a rematch of last year's Eagles-Sydney decider also a possibility.

It also signalled the end of Bulldogs veteran Rohan Smith's career, on the 300-game mark, after he and evergreen midfielder Scott West both notched that milestone.

Smith was in tears as he was chaired off the field by teammates.

The one major down note for West Coast was a hamstring injury to defender David Wirrpanda, who left the ground in the first term.

The Eagles always looked the better side against a Bulldogs outfit that seemed tired and well below its best, many of the Dogs' running players putting in poor performances.

West Coast dominated the midfield, stars Chris Judd, Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr all putting in stellar displays.

They had plenty of support, with Sam Butler and Andrew Embley also making major contributions.

Kerr and Embley both returned from injury for the game and boosted their team significantly, as did centre half-forward Ashley Hansen, whose hard-working leading and marking was vital.

Giant forward Quinten Lynch, who was left out for the preliminary and grand finals last season after playing every previous game, ensured he will be there this time, kicking six goals and proving a nightmare for the undersized Bulldog defence.

Four of them came in the first half, when the game was still a contest, with his two goals in two minutes close to halftime breaking the game open after the Bulldogs had battled to stay in touch.

Hunter, who played the first half in defence, was sensational, running off Bulldogs veteran Chris Grant twice in the half to score goals.

Shifted forward in the third quarter, he kicked the only goal of a scrappy term 27 seconds before the three-quarter-time siren, after taking a strong pack mark, to put the Eagles up by 33 points and seal the game.

The Eagles had kicked five behinds earlier in the quarter, with a series of narrow misses, to leave the Bulldogs with a glimmer of hope, although the they never threatened to make a comeback.

Hunter added his fourth from a goalsquare mark late in the final term, with the Eagles outscoring the Bulldogs 7.5 to 1.0 for the quarter.

Many of the Bulldogs' running players who excelled in last weekend's win over Collingwood struggled to have an impact - Adam Cooney, Daniel Giansiracusa, Jordan McMahon and Ryan Griffen having down nights.

West was the Bulldogs' best, largely fighting a lone hand in the midfield.

Brad Johnson was dangerous up forward in the first half, with three goals, but was then kept quiet by Adam Selwood, who was moved onto him in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs' elimination means no Victorian team will play in next weekend's preliminary finals, the first time that has occurred.

West Coast will go to Adelaide with confidence, having beaten the Crows twice this season, as well as in last year's preliminary final.

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