Eagles outsoar Magpies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles outsoar Magpies

By Roger Vaughan 17/05/2003 07:11:24 PM Comments (0)

An electrifying start and a brave finish gave West Coast the win over Collingwood in a cracking AFL match at Telstra Dome.

The Eagles first blew the game apart and then held their nerve to win by 16 points, 18.11 (119) to 15.13 (103).

After opening the match with the first six goals and leading by as much as 41 points in the first term, West Coast steadily lost the lead as Collingwood closed down the match.

A booming goal from outside 50m from Anthony Rocca gave the Magpies the lead for the first time in the match by two points at three-quarter time.

Then, Richard Cole kicked the first goal of the final term and the 'Pies extended the lead to 16 points as the pro-Collingwood crowd roared.

But a succession of missed shots from the home side kept the door slightly open for the Eagles, who then kicked five of the last six goals of the match.

"That win shows a lot of character from the players ... crowds probably don't get any more one-sided than that and as fired-up as that when a team's come from behind to get in front," said Eagles coach John Worsfold.

"Our players had to cope with all that and stay working hard, which they did."

Worsfold never felt his side would blow the game apart, even after kicking the first three goals of the match in the first three minutes and smashing Collingwood in the midfield.

It was West Coast's second win in Melbourne over the last three weeks and took it to a 6-2 record.

But Worsfold refused to bite when asked about respect from the rest of competition or how high his side could finish.

"We're bordering on that - for us to really earn that respect, we have to do it over a full season," he said.

"One or two wins away (from Perth), that's all they are, really."

While Worsfold did not want to rate his side, Magpies coach Mick Malthouse had no doubts.

"They are as real as anyone going around," he said.

Malthouse also had high praise for the Eagles midfield, comparing it favourably to those at Brisbane and Adelaide.

Today was Collingwood's second bad start in a row after last week's match against Adelaide, but this time the Magpies' recovery did not result in a win.

Malthouse also bemoaned his side's inaccuracy when kicking for goal throughout the match.

"The game, to me, it showed something about our fightback, but the reality of it is we were dreadful early and we finished off almost the way we started," he said.

Eagles ruckman Michael Gardiner was best afield, just shading Collingwood captain Nathan Buckley by winning some crucial centre-bounce taps in the last term to set up the West Coast comeback.

Andrew Embley also impressed for the Eagles with four goals.

West Coast lost Daniel Chick in the third term with a calf muscle injury, while Collingwood backman Simon Prestigiacomo was having tests after suffering a knock to his ribs.

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