Eagles out to avenge midfield onslaught - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles out to avenge midfield onslaught

By Justin Chadwick 23/07/2010 03:52:01 PM Comments (0)

West Coast's on-ball division will be looking to settle an old score when they tackle AFL rivals Carlton at Subiaco Oval on Saturday night.

Blues midfielder Bryce Gibbs collected an astonishing 45 disposals when the teams last met in round 10, while Marc Murphy (36 possessions) and Chris Judd (25 possessions, two goals) also ran rampant in the 29-point win to Carlton.

West Coast's Chris Masten missed that match due to a knee injury but still felt the pain of defeat and is hungry to help his fellow midfielders atone for that effort this weekend.

"We actually got a little bit embarrassed the last time we played Carlton ... so we are really looking forward to this week ... and hopefully knock them off," Masten said.

"We really think we can win this game and we are going to battle as hard as we can."

Eagles midfielder Matt Priddis is also keen to snare a win over Carlton, who haven't lost to West Coast since luring Judd east at the end of 2007.

"I think their midfield is one of their real strengths; Judd, Gibbs, Murphy, those sort of guys," Priddis said.

"They've got some great speed, guys who can run and carry the footy.

"It's a great challenge for our young midfield and they got the better of us last time so it would be great to turn the tables this week."

Masten conceded the Eagles would be made to pay if they focused too much attention on stopping Judd.

"You've really got to worry about everyone in that midfield and just play good accountable footy, not just focus on one player," Masten said.

"Juddy the freak he is and all the supporting cast he has is really good.

"Our midfield has been playing great as well so hopefully we can nullify them as best we can and get the footy into our forward line quickly."

West Coast hope their ruck pairing of Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui will give them an edge in the crucial clearance battle.

"They've been great this year, given us first hands," Priddis said.

"Our clearances have been OK but we still aren't getting the clean clearances and scoring opportunities that we'd like so that's a focus for us going forward."

The struggling Blues, who have lost four of their past five matches and could slip out of the top eight if they lose, have made three changes.

Former Fremantle ruckman Robert Warnock has been recalled after a lengthy absence, with David Ellard and Chris Johnson joining him in the side at the expense of Kane Lucas (hamstring), Mitch Robinson and Sam Jacobs.

The Eagles stuck with the side that defeated Essendon by 32 points last week.

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