Eagles still haunted by Geelong defeats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles still haunted by Geelong defeats

By Justin Chadwick 05/06/2009 03:25:58 PM Comments (0)

Revenge will be a key theme when West Coast tackle AFL powerhouse Geelong at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

In round 13 last year, Geelong romped to a 135-point win over West Coast in Perth before following that up with a 99-point trouncing nine weeks later in Melbourne.

West Coast's pride, confidence and self-belief were hammered by those two defeats and Eagles assistant coach Peter Sumich hopes that pain will serve as motivation this weekend.

"I think it is in the memory banks of a few players and coaches that were there ... I remember it," Sumich said on Friday.

"I think it was an average of over 100 points, so we want to make sure we bring that right back."

The Eagles will enter the match without suspended star onballer Daniel Kerr, leaving the Eagles' inexperienced midfield vulnerable to Geelong's classy and match-hardened on-ball division.

While Geelong will boast the likes of Gary Ablett, Jimmy Bartel, Joel Selwood and Cameron Ling, the Eagles will be forced to rely on youngsters Chris Masten, Tom Swift, Matt Rosa and Brad Ebert to do much of the dirty work.

"We have got to move forward when you do have a young midfield that is going to learn," Sumich said.

"And four or five years ago you could have said that about Geelong, who were very young, with Bartel, Ablett, (James) Kelly.

"They would have learned their lessons a few times by getting the odd belting, but we have got to make sure our kids can stand up and at least put in a good effort."

Geelong will be without key defenders Harry Taylor (ankle) and Tom Harley (hamstring) but Ablett is expected to play despite rolling his ankle in last week's 64-point win over the Bombers.

Sumich revealed West Coast had tapped heavily this week into the knowledge of assistant coach Scott Burns, who was part of the Collingwood outfit last year that dismantled Geelong by 86 points.

"Scott's given us a bit of information on that and hopefully we can take bits and pieces out of that," Sumich said.

"I don't think we're a side that Collingwood were last year in the physical department, they were a very mature side, but there's a starting point for us.

"Some of these young blokes have got to stand up, with our tackling especially.

"It's been down marginally."

Sumich said Geelong remained the benchmark of the competition despite St Kilda's equally impressive start to the season.

The Cats have won their opening 10 games of the season and are raging $1.10 favourites by TAB Sportsbet to topple the Eagles ($6.25).

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