Kerr hits top form for West Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kerr hits top form for West Coast

Greg Buckle 08/05/2011 06:33:23 PM Comments (0)

Daniel Kerr has starred in a premiership side, finished runner-up in the Brownlow and West Coast's club award, and won an All-Australian jumper.

The courageous rover has just about done it all.

But not lately - not in the past three years of injury-interrupted AFL seasons.

The champion rover seems to be finally getting back on track, gathering 28 possessions in a losing side against Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Kerr, 27, burrowed into packs for a stunning haul of 14 possessions in the first quarter, as the Eagles jumped to a 15-point advantage.

But a strong tagging role from Heath Hocking helped curtail Kerr's influence, and Essendon dominated the third quarter to eventually win 16.10 (106) to West Coast's 12.18 (90).

Eagles coach John Worsfold was thrilled with Kerr's progress this season.

"We want (Kerr) just to keep getting through games of footy at the moment and get used to what he can do again," Worsfold said.

"We've seen some really good signs that it's not far away, probably another few weeks away, before he's getting back to his match-hardened stuff.

"He's up for the challenge which is good."

Essendon coach James Hird said Kerr's performance was exceptional.

"But I think 'Buddha' (Hocking) probably slowed him down a little bit which was good, and that was one of the reasons why we were able to get back into the game in terms of clearances and stoppages," Hird said.

West Coast's first-quarter dominance came partly through Kerr's combination with ruckman 21-year-old Nic Naitanui, who had a tough build-up to the game following the assault on his friend Luke Adams.

Adams, a 19-year-old ruckman for WAFL club Swan Districts, is on life support in Royal Perth Hospital after a one-punch assault in the city's entertainment precinct.

Naitanui had 24 possessions, seven clearances and 27 hit-outs to be one of West Coast's better players on Sunday.

"Nic has spent a bit of time at the hospital supporting Luke's family," Worsfold said.

"He was here to play footy and he got himself ready to go, and I'm sure he'll continue to offer support to the family.

"He's a good young man like that. He knows where the balance lies in sport and life, and he showed a lot of good signs tonight."

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