Eagles destroy Kangaroos in elimination final
West Coast smashes North Melbourne by 96 points in Perth to set up a tantalising semi-final against Collingwood next Saturday.PT1M41S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-25m7n 620 349 September 9, 2012
West Coast unleashed a first-half onslaught to power to a 96-point triumph over North Melbourne in yesterday's elimination final at a hot Patersons Stadium.
The Kangaroos were blown off the park in the opening quarter-and-a-half, with the Eagles booting the first nine goals to open up a 60-5 lead before cruising to victory in front of 41,790 fans.
The triumph booked West Coast a date with Collingwood in Saturday night's semi-final at the MCG. The winner will progress to a preliminary final against the Swans in Sydney the following Friday night.
Outmuscled … West Coast powerhouse Nic Naitanui swats away Kangaroos veteran Drew Petrie at Patersons Stadium. Photo: Getty Images
Eagles defender Beau Waters is unlikely to feature again this year after injuring his foot. Waters, named in this year's preliminary All-Australian squad, pulled up lame despite not contacting an opponent while contesting a bouncing ball in the second quarter.
Eagles forward Quinten Lynch could also miss the clash with Collingwood after kneeing Scott McMahon in the back in a late and clumsy spoiling attempt.
Kangaroos veteran Brent Harvey faces the longest suspension after giving West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr a whack to the face in an off-the-ball incident as the pair were running through the middle of the ground.
The winning margin was West Coast's biggest in a final, bettering their 80-point thrashing of Geelong in the 1994 grand final.
Jack Darling, Andrew Embley and Josh Kennedy kicked four goals apiece for the Eagles, while Scott Selwood, Darren Glass, Nic Naitanui and Kerr were also crucial in the win.
North skipper Andrew Swallow and Jack Ziebell tried their hearts out, but the Kangaroos were simply overwhelmed by a side that seemed hungrier to win the contested ball.
Darling had three goals by quarter-time, but it was ruckman Naitanui who set the tone early, with the dreadlocked Fijian setting up numerous goals as West Coast put the Kangaroos to the sword.
North Melbourne just couldn't take a trick in the first half, with the visitors registering three posters among their six behinds before finally kicking truly at the 19-minute mark of the second term when Matt Campbell waltzed into an open goal.
There was no coming back for the side who had won 10 of their previous 12 games to surge into their first finals series since 2008.