Eagles soar to new AFL heights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles soar to new AFL heights

By Sam Lienert 26/06/2011 09:15:47 PM Comments (0)

West Coast have upgraded from the AFL's big improvers to genuine top four contenders with a breakthrough 15.13 (103) to 10.7 (67) win over Carlton at Etihad Stadium.

Eagles' coach John Worsfold entered the season under huge pressure to justify his position, burdened by the wooden spoon after just four wins last year.

But West Coast are now fifth on the ladder, with a 9-4 record, just two points behind the fourth-placed Blues.

Significantly, Sunday's emphatic win was the Eagles' first this season over a top-four side and their first in Melbourne.

Veteran midfielder Andrew Embley said it will do wonders for their belief.

"As much as you can say, we're good enough to beat the top-four teams, until you actually do it, that belief is not quite there," Embley told AAP.

"So to beat Carlton in Melbourne is a wonderful effort and the guys will really grow from that."

There was plenty to admire about the win.

They shaded the vaunted Blues' midfield, tackled better, won more of the contested ball and had a far more potent attack.

Josh Kennedy, Quinten Lynch and Mark LeCras were all constant dangers, with 7.6 between them, while Nic Naitanui took a towering mark which is probably the season's best so far.

Geelong maintained their unbeaten status at the top of the ladder, with a crushing 19.11 (125) to 10.13 (73) win over 14th-placed Adelaide at Skilled Stadium on Sunday, despite missing a host of first-choice players, including Brad Ottens, Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel and James Kelly.

North Melbourne climbed to ninth with their fourth straight win, a 21.10 (136) to 14.7 (91) victory over 16th-placed Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, leaving the 'Roos just two points behind eighth-placed Melbourne.

Essendon tumbled to 10th, after their fifth straight defeat, an uncompetitive 65-point loss to Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday night.

Despite a string of injuries, the Hawks have climbed to third, ahead of next Sunday's clash with second-placed Collingwood, but have added Cyril Rioli (hamstring) and Brad Sewell (knee) to the long list of unavailable players.

The Magpies held on for a six-point win over a fast-finishing Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night, which kept the sixth-placed Swans two wins adrift of the top four.

Melbourne moved into the eight with their 27-point victory over Richmond (11th) on Saturday at the MCG.

The Western Bulldogs climbed to 12th when they downed Gold Coast by 22 points at Metricon Stadium on Saturday, and have the chance to move within two points of the eighth-placed Demons, when they play them on Friday night in a crunch clash.

Fremantle, seventh, beat Brisbane by 23 points in Perth on Saturday night, but face a huge battle to hold their top-eight berth, after losing Aaron Sandilands to a recurrence of a toe injury for at least a month.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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