LeCras injured as Eagles beat Roos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

LeCras injured as Eagles beat Roos

Justin Chadwick 28/03/2011 12:45:55 AM Comments (0)

West Coast sharpshooter Mark LeCras suffered what appeared to be a serious groin injury but the Eagles fought on bravely to post a four-point AFL victory over North Melbourne at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.

LeCras grabbed at his groin and fell to the turf in pain after booting his second goal early in the third quarter.

The 24-year-old, who booted 63 goals last season to earn his maiden All-Australian honours, was despondent and clearly worried about the injury as he was stretchered off the ground, silencing the 35,878 spectators.

It left the Eagles with just two fit men on the bench in hot conditions after Chris Masten (knee) was subbed off for debutant Andrew Gaff early in the second quarter.

North Melbourne trailed by 13 points at the time of LeCras' injury but looked like they would run away with the match after making the most of their fresh legs to go to the final change with a two-point lead.

But the Eagles dug deep to secure the 13.14 (92) to 13.10 (88) win, with Luke Shuey's 55m bomb late in the match proving the difference.

Goalsneak Lindsay Thomas booted four goals and Aaron Edwards finished with three, while Daniel Wells, celebrating his 150th match, Andrew Swallow and Brady Rawlings were also important for the visitors.

West Coast ruckman Dean Cox (29 possessions, 29 hit-outs, two goals) starred for the Eagles, making the most of the late withdrawal of North Melbourne big man Todd Goldstein.

The Eagles also suffered a late blow when Nic Naitanui (shoulder) failed to take his place in the line-up.

Goldstein's absence thrust 193cm forward Cameron Pedersen into the No.1 ruck role for North Melbourne.

And although Cox was the dominant big man on the ground, Pedersen (20 possessions, 14 hit-outs) can hold his head up high after a promising AFL debut.

However, there was confusion at times when Pedersen was off for a rest, with 174cm midfielder Cruize Garlett twice forced to go up against the 203cm Cox.

Kangaroos skipper Brent Harvey (11 touches) was blanketed by Adam Selwood in an unusually subdued performance.

North Melbourne made a bright start with the opening three goals but errors soon crept into their game, allowing West Coast to close the gap to two points at quarter time.

The second quarter was another tight affair as the Eagles briefly threatened to surge away before North Melbourne reeled them back.

LeCras's injury opened the door for North Melbourne to run West Coast off their feet, but the Eagles refused to give up, with star performances from Shuey, Andrew Embley, Cox, Darren Glass, Matt Priddis and Adam Selwood getting them over the line.

West Coast coach John Worsfold said scans would determine the severity of LeCras's injury.

"Normally they (the medical staff) have a bit stronger opinion on it but it's an interesting one with Lecca," Worsfold said.

"He's walking around OK at the moment so we'll wait and see what it actually is.

"It's just disappointing if he does miss a few games because he's one of the good players to watch playing footy.

"Hopefully it won't be too many.

"We are lucky because we've got Daniel Kerr and Koby Stevens who both played really strong games in the WAFL (and) Sam Butler pushing up.

"So we've got a few guys there who are desperate to get a game."

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott praised West Coast's fighting abilities.

"Full credit to West Coast, I thought they were terrific tonight," Scott said.

"They had a couple of what looked to be serious injuries.

"So to be two down and run the game down I felt was full credit to them.

"From where we sat, I thought it was a brave effort. It's never easy coming to Perth round one.

"When your only ruckman gets sick the night before the game it makes it tough."

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