Eagles' AFL final toughest of year: Embley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles' AFL final toughest of year: Embley

Sam Lienert 18/09/2011 06:40:05 PM Comments (0)

West Coast veteran Andrew Embley says the Eagles will be coming off their toughest game of the AFL season when they take on a refreshed Geelong in Saturday's preliminary final.

While the Cats - who were put through a vigorous training session on Friday - enjoyed the weekend off, Embley said Saturday night's three-point semi-final win over Carlton was as bruising as they come.

"It was probably the most intense game of footy that we've played this year," Embley told the Nine Network's Sunday Footy Show.

"I guess you expect that in finals, it was just a wonderful contest all round, both sides just absolutely having a crack.

"I thought Carlton obviously jumped us pretty early, but to our credit I thought we fought back pretty well and in the end we had a good win and we've given ourselves a chance to play in a preliminary final."

Geelong forward Mathew Stokes said the Cats relished watching the Eagles and Blues thrash it out for the right to meet them.

"It was great to sit back and watch them go at each other and half kill each other," Stokes said.

But Embley said the beauty of the current Eagles outfit, whose only loss in their past nine games was their narrow qualifying final defeat to Collingwood, was that they could be relied on to maintain a high standard.

"We're just playing consistent football week in, week out, we know what we're going to bring," Embley said.

"It's just the contribution that we're getting from 22 players week in, week out and that's the reason why I think we've had such a consistent year."

Embley lavished praise on 19-year-old first-year marking forward Jack Darling, who kicked three goals against the Blues, including two of West Coast's four majors in the high-pressure final term.

"He works extremely hard, his defensive pressure is fantastic, he's a great tackler, but he's also a very good mark," Embley said of the player the Eagles snaffled at pick 26 in last November's national draft.

"He took some really good pack marks yesterday, the kid's got a really good future."

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