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West Coast worry about Buddy, not stats

West Coast coach Adam Simpson knows his team face a tough ask curbing the influence of Lance Franklin in their AFL blockbuster at the SCG.

West Coast worry about Buddy, not stats

West Coast coach Adam Simpson knows his team face a tough ask curbing the influence of Lance Franklin in their AFL blockbuster at the SCG.

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 insists he isn't worried about the club's horror record at the SCG but you can bet Lance Franklin has been giving him nightmares of late.

The Eagles are the hottest team in the competition after winning 10 straight games.


Their only loss this season came in round one, when a Franklin-inspired Sydney beat West Coast by 29 points at Optus Stadium.

Franklin booted 8.1 from 21 disposals that day and looms as a key figure in Friday night's rematch at the SCG.

West Coast have lost their past seven matches at the SCG. Their last win there was in 1999.

But it hasn't exactly been a graveyard of late, with West Coast only playing twice at the SCG since 2005.

Simpson is hardly losing sleep about the stats.

"What do you do about that? Every time we play Sydney in Sydney it's a different side," Simpson said.

"I'm not too worried about that."

But he has his hands full thinking about Franklin.

Franklin was unstoppable in round one as Tom Barrass, Jeremy McGovern and Will Schofield failed to contain him.

Simpson needed little reminding about the round one performance.

"I'm hoping that heel is still lingering from round one," Simpson joked, in reference to the heel injury Franklin picked up from the hard Optus Stadium surface that day.

"He's an exceptional talent and we struggled to handle it. But we've got to deal with it.

"I'm sure some of our boys learnt some lessons that day. But part of it was he was just too good."

West Coast unveil their seventh debutant of the year on Friday night when 195cm forward Jarrod Brander replaces Jack Darling (ankle).

Sydney (9-3) have won five straight games to move into third spot.

West Coast (10-1) are one win further ahead and with a game in hand.

AAP


AAP




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