Eagles 'learn from AFL pre-season loss' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles 'learn from AFL pre-season loss'

By Justin Chadwick And Daniel Brettig 02/04/2010 04:48:02 PM Comments (0)

West Coast plan to use valuable lessons from their humiliating pre-season loss to Port Adelaide when they clash again in Saturday night's AFL match at Subiaco Oval.

The Power smashed West Coast by 78 points in February's NAB Cup quarter-final hit-out in Perth but Eagles coach John Worsfold said the Eagles had studied that loss and implemented strategies to deal with Port's speedy ball movement and dangerous forward line.

"There's a lot of things that are different but you can learn, you take out things, you look at what Port are doing and you watch them over the whole pre-season plus last week and draw conclusions," Worsfold said.

"So I think we'll be well prepared this week.

"We saw Port first hand in the NAB Cup, we know that they've got some really talented youngsters as well.

"It's going to be a good challenge to see some of our young players against theirs and we're pretty confident that our senior players are going to perform well and give us a real good shot at it."

Power coach Mark Williams said Dean Brogan's ruck battle with Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui would prove crucial in the outcome.

"I think the outcome of the ruck battle will really go a long way to deciding the game," Williams said before the team flew out of Adelaide on Friday.

"We're going to anticipate that Cox and Naitanui are going to win a lot of them.

"Last time (in pre-season) we got smashed in the rucks (41-10) and we won the clearances (41-27). So we'd hope to do something similar."

The Eagles were dealt a blow this week when sharpshooter Mark LeCras was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

And Quinten Lynch, who tallied 16 possessions and two goals in last week's 32-point loss to Brisbane, was a surprise axing, with defenders Matt Spangher and Scott Selwood called into the side.

Worsfold said hard nut Beau Waters, who impressed in the midfield and in defence against the Lions, was likely to be used as a small forward in place of LeCras.

"We played him a couple of games forward in the pre-season and Beau's good enough to be able to play well there," Worsfold said.

The Power made two unforced changes from the side that defeated North Melbourne by 14 points last week.

Troy Chaplin returns from suspension and Tom Logan earns a call-up after an impressive SANFL performance last week, with Andrew Moore and Scott Harding the two players to make way.

Eagles midfielder Chris Masten said West Coast's pre-season loss to Port Adelaide meant little given key ball-winners Daniel Kerr, Matt Priddis, Shannon Hurn and Andrew Embley didn't play.

"This game is totally different," Masten said.

"With a number of big guns who didn't play in the pre-season match available and with four points on the line, the intensity will be far greater."

The Power will be aiming to celebrate former skipper Warren Tredrea's 250th AFL game with a win.

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