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Josh Kennedy kicks 11 as Eagles bury Giants

WEST COAST 5.2 11.5 21.5 30.8 (188) GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.2 6.2 9.3 12.5 (77)
GOALS: West Coast: J Kennedy 11 M LeCras 4 J Darling 3 D Cox 2 J Cripps 2 M Hutchings 2 A Gaff L Shuey M Priddis N Naitanui S Selwood S Wellingham. Greater Western Sydney: D Smith 2 W Hoskin-Elliott 2 A Phillips A Tomlinson J Giles J Hunt J Kelly J Lamb R Palmer T Greene.
BEST West Coast J Kennedy, S Hurn, M Priddis, S Selwood, M Rosa, D Cox. Greater Western Sydney: C Ward, T Greene, R Palmer, R Scully, A Tomlinson, H Shaw.
Umpires: Jacob Mollison, Dean Margetts, Robert O'Gorman.
Official Crowd: 29,391 at Patersons Stadium.

Josh Kennedy ended his and West Coast’s goalkicking woes in style on Sunday in the Eagles’ bullying 111-point win over Greater Western Sydney.

Kennedy booted 11 goals straight in the 30.8 (188) to 12.5 (77) victory at Patersons Stadium, a week after West Coast’s goalkicking ability was seriously questioned.

It is the first time the Eagles have kicked 30 goals in a game since joining the competition in 1987 and it is their highest score at Patersons Stadium.

Kennedy’s haul moved him from 17th in the race for the Coleman Medal to second, just one goal behind Port Adelaide’s Jay Schulz.

But the win could be tainted as forward Mark LeCras was reported for a high bump on Will Hoskin-Elliott in the first quarter.


LeCras joins the Western Bulldogs’ Liam Jones, Fremantle’s Paul Duffield and Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead who will have nervous waits before the match review panel releases its round eight findings.

West Coach coach Adam Simpson would have every right to be furious should LeCras be suspended, as Sunday was his return game after missing four games with a broken arm. He is crucial to West Coast’s chances against Collingwood and North Melbourne in its next two outings after the bye.

After the Jack Viney incident highlighted the bump rule for most of last week, there is unlikely to be any sympathy from the review panel for any player who is cited for a head-high bump now.

The Giants were outplayed by a West Coast side desperate to get its season back on track after four consecutive losses. They showed that without Jeremy Cameron, their forward line has little venom.

Cameron has kicked 18 goals this season, or nearly 20 per cent of the Giants score, but missed the clash because of his new artificial eardrum implant.

Jonathon Patton was blanketed by Eric Mackenzie, leaving the Giants with few marking options in attack. They took just seven marks inside 50 to the Eagles’ 21.

Adam Tomlinson was the only Giant to take a mark within goalkicking distance in the first half – and he did it twice.

But the issues for the Giants started long before the goal square.

Even if they had three in-form tall marking forwards, they would have struggled to kick a winning score, because most of the game was played in West Coast’s half of the ground.

Such was the dominance of the West Coast midfield that the Giants went inside 50 just 27 times (to West Coast’s 67), by far their worst effort for the season. The tone of the game was set in the first quarter when they managed just five entries to the Eagles’ 18.

The weight of possessions coming from Eagles Matt Priddis, Matt Rosa, Scott Selwood, Luke Shuey, Chris Masten and Elliott Yeo was too much for the Giants. Only captain Callan Ward, Toby Greene and Rhys Palmer managed more than 23 possessions.

It didn’t help that they lost defender Nick Haynes after just two minutes with an ankle injury.

It didn’t hurt the Eagles forwards, though.

West Coast’s goalkicking has been under scrutiny in the past three weeks with poor conversion potentially costing it three victories. Two quarters of returns of 1.8 hadn’t helped its cause. But Sunday’s 30.8 was outstanding, especially Kennedy, who had only kicked 10 goals once before in his previous 127 games – against the Western Bulldogs in round nine 2011 when he managed 10.3.

The Eagles kicked 10 goals straight in the third term to take the margin to 74 points – which already beat Greater Western Sydney’s previous biggest loss of this season.