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Eagles back in finals race with big win over Magpies

WEST COAST 6.5 9.7 15.10 19.12 (126) COLLINGWOOD 2.1 7.2 8.4 10.6 (66)
Goals: West Coast: J Darling 4, S Lycett 4, J Kennedy 3, N Naitanui 2, D Cox, J Cripps, J Hill, L Shuey, M Brown, M Priddis. Collingwood: B Kennedy 2, B Reid, D Beams, J Elliott, J White, S Dwyer, S Sidebottom, T Broomhead, T Cloke.
Best: West Coast: M Priddis, L Shuey, S Lycett, E Mackenzie, A Gaff, S Butler. Collingwood: S Pendlebury, D Beams, S Sidebottom, J Elliott, B Kennedy, T Armstrong.
Injuries: West Coast: M Brown (corked leg) X Ellis (shoulder) M LeCras (calf) replaced in selected side by D Sheed. Collingwood: S Dwyer (leg).
Umpires: Justin Schmitt, Sam Hay, Luke Farmer.
Official Crowd: 36,458 at Patersons Stadium.

West Coast has rejoined the tight race for a spot in the top eight in amazing fashion.

The Eagles’ impressive 60-point win over Collingwood at Patersons Stadium on Sunday leaves them just four premiership points behind Adelaide, Essendon, Collingwood and the Gold Coast – who hold spots seven to 10 on the ladder.

The loss was the Pies’ sixth in eight weeks and coach Nathan Buckley and his men are sure to face some serious questions as to where they are at this week.

Collingwood is now in ninth spot on the ladder after being fourth with an 8-3 win-loss record after round 12.

It may have the draw in its favour though as it plays Brisbane in Melbourne next round and then GWS in round 22 before finishing with a tough ask against Hawthorn.


While the Eagles’ home crowd showed up to see one of champion ruckman Dean Cox’s last couple of outings, it was his apprentice Scott Lycett who thrilled them.

He kicked the first goal in each of the first three quarters and finished with four. However, Lycett is yet to re-sign with the Eagles and the South Australian is sure to have gained admirers from opposition clubs with his performance.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson has been labouring with the handling of his talls this season, but having them all in the side worked on Sunday.

Josh Kennedy also booted three goals, Nic Naitanui two and Jack Darling four.

And when Cox snapped truly with his left foot late in the third term to take the margin to 54 points, Patersons Stadium erupted.

Simpson may be tempted to stick with his tall line-up for what is now a massive game against the Bombers at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

On the flip side, the dangerous key players in Collingwood’s forward line were seldom seen.

Eric Mackenzie blanketed Travis Cloke and while Ben Reid and Jesse White each kicked a goal, their opportunities were limited.

The Eagles had lost 10 of their past 11 games against Collingwood, but they started strongly and led by 28 points at quarter-time.

They simply had more of the footy than the Pies. West Coast had 15 more contested possessions, 11 more clearances and seven more inside 50 entries. It was a disappointing offering from a team looking  to sure up a top-eight spot. .

The Pies’ challenge in the second term came from regular faces – Scott Pendlebury, Dayne Beams and Steele Sidebottom. The trio had 35 touches between them for the quarter.

Collingwood got the margin back to 17 points at half-time and seemed to have the run of the game.

The Eagles limped from the ground at the main break.

Mark LeCras pulled out of the side pre-game with a calf injury, although he is expected to fine to meet Essendon next week.

Xavier Ellis was subbed out at quarter-time after he landed solidly from a marking contest and appeared to injure a shoulder.

Mitch Brown was helped from the ground midway through the second term with leg concerns and as the players walked from the ground at the main break, Lycett was depositing his lunch on the Patersons Stadium turf and Jamie Cripps was limping.

But it was the Eagles who dominated the third term, booting 6.3 to the Pies’ 1.2 – and the game was over.

Jamie Elliott started the final term in terrific style, with goal just 35 seconds after the siren – in a piece of play in which he had the ball three times.

But their next goal came 20 minutes later – as Cloke ran into an open goal when he finally found some space inside 50m.

In between those highlights, Darling booted three goals in 12 minutes and Matt Priddis hit the scoreboard to cap off a dominant performance.

The only person in black and white to run untouched from end to end in the final term was the member of the crowd who dodged four security guards.