Usually when a team sitting unbeaten on top of the ladder only has a ten point victory against a team floundering on the bottom with one win from four games, it means the top team had a very, very off day.
This was not the case yesterday when West Coast only just managed to scrape across the line againstRichmondafter a last minute goal by Jack Darling. Yesterdays game was physical, ferocious, and highly skilled, a credit to the Tigers who almost managed to run away with the points after matching it with West Coast’s intensity for the entire match. The Eagles did not play badly, despite a couple of injuries early but were simply headed by a braveRichmondteam who again fell just short of pulling off an upset win.
This was definitely a better game than I gave it credit for. It was one of the games that I had notched up as an easy win for the Eagles, not thinking the Tigers could pull off much of an upset to challenge the league leaders. But like many others, I was very wrong. The Eagles, as usual, came out strongly, kicking away for an early lead before a dogged and determined Tigers outfit clawed back the total, looking to pull off an unlikely victory until the final minute, where the Eagles eventually won 107-97.
As much as I enjoy it when a WA team wins, regardless of who they are, a part of me was kind of hoping the Tigers would win, if purely for the reason that the Eagles needed a bit of a shake up to keep their minds focused and not get ahead of themselves, but maybe the second narrow win in two weeks has done this for them. Maybe next week, when they come up against North Melbourne atPatersons, they will not have a goalless first half or allow their opposition back in the game after half time.
What I loved the most about the game though, it’s that it proved to me, despite the end result, that no team is infallible, because to be honest, where would be the fun in that? It’s great to have these exciting, nail biting finishes in the game, regardless of whoever comes away with the points. Thrashings, like the kind handed out by the Eagles in the first three rounds, are not fun for anybody, let alone the supporters. Sometimes a good, close finish is more satisfying then a thumping.
What I Liked About the Game
Daniel Kerr: Has had a difficult few seasons after a few injuries, but finally looks like he is back to his normal self. Collected 28 possessions, with a handful of them in the dying stages of the game that undoubtedly gave his team a win. He showed everybody that his Brownlow winning form is not in the past, and he can still play with the best of them.
Andrew Gaff: From the senior player to one of the most junior players in the team, Gaff stamped his mark on the game with 30 classy touches that proved he would be a future star of the game. Taggers cant attach themselves to all the players, and while Matt Priddis and Daniel Kerr, and to a lesser extent Scott Selwood, shared the Tigers man-on-man pressure, Gaff stepped it up a notch to help his team-mates out.