Eagles wary of Lucas the tormentor - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles wary of Lucas the tormentor

By Justin Chadwick 01/08/2009 09:37:20 AM Comments (0)

Scott Lucas has hardly set the AFL world on fire this season but West Coast are treating the Essendon spearhead as the dangerman ahead of Sunday's clash between the two sides at Subiaco Oval.

West Coast skipper Darren Glass admitted the Eagles still had nightmares about Lucas' heroic performance when the two teams met in Perth in the final round of 2007.

The Eagles headed into the final change of that match with a seemingly untouchable 44-point lead, only for Lucas to unleash a seven-goal last-quarter barrage to bring Essendon within a whisker of snatching victory.

The 31-year-old 269-game veteran has struggled since then, booting just 40 goals in 22 matches.

But with full-forward Matthew Lloyd ruled out of Sunday's match, Lucas will again play a key role as Essendon attempt to keep their finals ambitions on track.

And Glass needed little reminding about Lucas' devastating ability to rip games wide open.

"We've already spoken about his last-quarter heroics from two years ago ... we are fully aware of what he can do," Glass said.

"That's what he's capable of doing.

"He's a classy player and can kick goals from 60m out.

"He's a dangerous player.

"He's still kicking goals, he's still a huge target for Essendon when they go forward so he's still an important player to their structure."

Essendon's bid to post there first win over West Coast in Perth since 2001 was dealt a severe blow when Lloyd (heel), Mark McVeigh (cork), Jason Winderlich (back) and Alwyn Davey (knee) were all ruled out through injury.

But Glass scoffed at suggestions Essendon's injury woes left them ripe for the picking.

"We supposedly got Collingwood at a pretty good time (in round nine) and they beat us pretty convincingly over here," he said.

The Bombers, smarting from last week's narrow loss to lowly Richmond, must beat the Eagles in order to stay in the top eight, with Port Adelaide and Hawthorn sitting just percentage behind.

Glass said he expected Essendon to treat the game as a mini final.

"I hope there's a lift in intensity, we want to take sides on at their best, we want to test ourselves against the best," he said.

"So we hope Essendon come over and play their best footy. we want to know where we're at."

Essendon are renowned for their pace and Glass said the Bombers could prove to be a handful at the long and narrow Subiaco Oval.

"They move the ball very well, they move the ball through the centre of the ground so there's no doubt our defensive pressure is going to be important," he said.

West Coast axed premiership pair Ashley Hansen and Mark Seaby in favour of upgraded rookie Callum Wilson and Ben McKinley, while Heath Hocking, Hayden Skipworth, Sam Lonergan and Jay Neagle return for the Bombers.

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