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AFL Eagles tick off on hot pre-season form

West Coast have enjoyed a strong pre-season campaign but still have a few injury concerns leading into round one.

AFL Eagles tick off on hot pre-season form

West Coast have enjoyed a strong pre-season campaign but still have a few injury concerns leading into round one.

ADAM SIMPSON, Senior Coach of the Eagles chats to Mark LeCras of the Eagles during the 2017 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the West Coast Eagles at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
ADAM SIMPSON, Senior Coach of the Eagles chats to Mark LeCras of the Eagles during the 2017 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the West Coast Eagles at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Adam Trafford/Getty Images

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has given their strong pre-season a big tick of approval but isn't getting carried away just yet.

The Eagles followed up their 34-point win over Geelong with a 51-point thumping of Fremantle on Sunday.


Midfield dominance was the highlight of their victory, with a whopping 55-27 advantage in the clearance battle.

The centre clearances were even more lopsided, with West Coast winning that vital stat 18-5.

A strong pre-season campaign has left them well placed to defend last year's flag but Simpson knows all too well it doesn't always translate.

At this time last year, the Eagles copped a 62-point thrashing at the hands of Fremantle.

It convinced AFL legend Robert Walls to tip West Coast for the wooden spoon.

The Eagles then won 10 of their first 11 games of the season on the way to the flag.

"This time last year we got beaten by 10 goals," Simpson said.

"So I don't think it means anything drastic for the season at hand but we're in a good space in terms of our effort."

West Coast still have several injury concerns leading into their round-one clash with Brisbane.

Forward Josh Kennedy (foot) and goalsneak Jamie Cripps (toe) face a race against time, while defender Brad Sheppard will be monitored after corking his knee against Fremantle.

If Kennedy is ruled out, Oscar Allen appears the frontrunner to replace him ahead of Jake Waterman.

Jeremy McGovern (ribs), Elliot Yeo (toe) and Luke Shuey (soreness) looked rusty at times in the two pre-season games but the fact they made it through unscathed was pleasing to Simpson.

Shuey looked sharp against the Dockers before being rested later in the game.

"They're getting their minutes up," Simpson said. "Their form is probably not at the optimum at the moment but they're professionals.

"Luke's in pretty good touch. We pulled him up at three-quarter time.

"Gov's played OK. He's looked a little bit rusty but I think he's working his way into it and Yeo is getting his minutes up as well."

AAP


AAP




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