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Dons' Daniher hard to stop in AFL: Simpson

West Coast will aim to make it four wins on the trot when they take on Essendon in their AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.

Dons' Daniher hard to stop in AFL: Simpson

West Coast will aim to make it four wins on the trot when they take on Essendon in their AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson says Joe Daniher has gone to the next level this season, and admits his team face a huge challenge to halt the Essendon forward in Sunday's AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.

Daniher was criticised widely three weeks ago when he booted a wayward 1.6 in a loss to Melbourne.


But the 23-year-old has also produced several match-winning displays this season, and has become somewhat of a barometer for Essendon's fortunes.

Daniher has kicked 21.18 across the first eight rounds, and Simpson says he has watched on keenly as rivals have struggled to stop the 200cm spearhead.

"He's probably gone next level with his performance," Simpson said on Friday.

"I'm sure teams have gone in every week with a plan, and he's managed to work his way through that.

"Taking away accuracy, he's having an All-Australian year.

"We've got some things in place (to curb his influence). But at the moment, I don't think he's been stopped too often.

"He's always had his five to eight shots at goal, and also the small forwards are coming into play as well."

Another player West Coast will have to keep close tabs on in star Bombers midfielder Zach Merrett.

Merrett is averaging 32 disposals a game this season, but Simpson is unsure whether he'll employ a tagger on the Bombers' ball magnet from the outset.

Simpson says some teams - including his - have been waiting to see who gets off the leash in games before deciding whether a tagger is needed.

If the Eagles decide to lock down Merrett, in-form defender Elliot Yeo could be given the job after performing admirably in the role several weeks ago against Fremantle's Nat Fyfe.

The Eagles have surged into the top four on the back of three-straight wins.

West Coast have the oldest list in the league, and they're embracing a Dad's Army philosophy when it comes to travel.

With players such as Josh Kennedy, Matt Priddis, Mark LeCras, Sam Mitchell and Drew Petrie now fathers, Simpson is allowing them to travel the day before a game, rather than two days out.

It has worked well in wins over North Melbourne (Etihad) and Port Adelaide (Adelaide Oval), but it hasn't been enough to smash the club's MCG hoodoo.

"They're all great dads, and a lot of their kids are quite young," Simpson said.

"So supporting their wives and families and having an extra day with them - hopefully, it pays you back at the back end of the year.

"We do it with our coaches as well. It's a three-day process (when we travel) so, if we can sneak a day in with our families, it's good for the club and players."

AAP


AAP



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