Halfway through the match between the West Coast Eagles and the North Melbourne Kangaroos I was beginning to wonder if this, like theSydney v Adelaide game, would be the one to bring the Eagles back down to earth.
The Kangaroos kept up with the Eagles for pretty much all of the first three quarters, even taking the lead a couple of times. It even got me thinking that maybe this was the game where the Eagles would pull their first lose of the season. Of course, me of little faith, the Eagles did what the Eagles do best, slowly but surely dragging that lead out until they were comfortable 25-point victors, despite their well publicised forward drought.
It was not all smooth sailing for the eagles though, losing Adam Selwood with a hand injury in the third quarter and Nic Naitanui a late withdrawal before the match started, but it proved that this team was definitely a finals contender despite a raft of injuries to top line players. The Eagles might have been able to shake that particular monkey off their back, but one that remains firmly locked on, whether right or wrong, is the commotion about the Eagles tactics in the tackle. I am not going to go into it again because everything I said previously I think still stands now, but I think its getting a little over the top.
I work in the media and even I can’t comprehend the sheer amount of stories on the tactics of the Eagles to draw head high contact. They have been running pretty much non-stop for the last few weeks and do not seem to have any extra arguments than the ones for the first week. It just seems that every game the Eagles play from now on where there is a lopsided free count is going to drag this discussion out again. I am highly doubtful that any moaning by other clubs is going to have an impact on how the umpires call an incorrect tackle.
Despite this, yet again everyone will be watching the Eagles this weekend when they take on Essendon.
What I Liked About the Game
Josh Hill: Has become the saviour of the Eagles since moving from the Western Bulldogs, resurrecting his career in the processes. There was talk all week about how the Eagles would survive losing another forward, but Hill stepped up and showed he was more than capable of filling the void, kicking four goals.
Scott Selwood: There aren’t many who would argue against Adam Selwood being the “more talented” Selwood brother in the Eagles team, but Scott gave his brother a run for his money, picking up 35 possessions and a goal in what was a best-on-ground performance. Showed up his brother big time and needs to do more of the same.