West Coast overcome plucky Power - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West Coast overcome plucky Power

Justin Chadwick 19/06/2011 09:21:51 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold has challenged his fledgling group to beat a high-profile AFL rival, saying the next step for the Eagles is to defeat a team above them on the ladder.

The Eagles (8-4) moved into fifth spot on the table and within striking distance of the top-four with a 22-point victory over a plucky Port Adelaide at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.

Although West Coast have been impressive this year, their win over Fremantle in round eight remains their only victory against a side that currently occupies a place in the top-eight.

Worsfold refrained from talking up West Coast's top-four chances, but the 2006 premiership coach said it was crucial for his team to prove themselves in upcoming games against third-placed Carlton and ladder-leading Geelong.

"That (a win over either Carlton or Geelong) will mean we're really improving. We've got those challenges coming up in the next few weeks," Worsfold said.

"(But) we're not really thinking about ... ladder positions (and) finishes. It's all been about working really hard to become a better team.

"We've still got a long way to go to improve and play the type of football that we need to play to become one of the premiership challenging sides."

Carlton, with nine wins and a draw from 12 games, will enter Sunday's clash with West Coast at Etihad Stadium as hot favourites on their home turf.

"I think they've progressed just how they would have been planning," Worsfold said of the Blues.

"They've been in the finals for a few years in a row now and they're ready to show that they're better than just making the finals, and they're really proving that."

Eagles defender Shannon Hurn was best afield against the Power, tallying 25 possessions, seven inside 50s and three crucial goals to help West Coast see off a number of challenges from Port Adelaide.

The Power were 33 points in arrears at halftime, but closed to within 14 points early in the third quarter and trailed by just 17 points early in the final term, before the Eagles settled to post the 15.20 (110) to 13.10 (88) victory.

Mark LeCras (four goals) and Josh Kennedy (three goals) were prominent up forward, while Matt Priddis and Daniel Kerr were prolific through the midfield.

Port Adelaide coach Matthew Primus said he was pleased with the return of Power skipper Domenic Cassisi, who gathered 24 possessions and made 11 tackles in his first game since injuring his leg in round two.

"He's our captain, a senior player and we have a few young mids going through there but it does give them a bit of a lift in there and we've certainly missed his presence in the last 10 weeks," Primus said.

The Port coach said he would consider handing Power midfielder David Rodan a recall for Sunday's clash with North Melbourne after he booted six goals for Norwood in the SANFL.

"Look, he is a very good player so we'd expect him to dominate at that level ... it was a good response by him," Primus said.

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