Mark LeCras

Eagles Dispatch Dockers Early In Western Derby
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

The West Coast Eagles entered the 45th Western Derby  with a clear intent to wipe away all memories of their previous round’s meek capitulation to Hawthorn at the MCG. Back in their home territory, the Eagles were in no mood to offer their cross town rivals the opportunity of an upset win.

Eagles Prey on Magpies
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia.

The long trip west is not one most Victorian teams look forward to, particularly after a six-day break. More often than not, the visiting teams return home looking more like road kill than prime meat. This week it was the Collingwood Magpies' turn to be hit by the hometown juggernaut, West Coast.Collingwoods American recruit Mason Cox gets a handball away during the first quarter of the match against West Coast in Perth. David Woodley for AFANA.

Eagles Tune Up For Finals
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

American Jason Holmes battles with Nic Naitanui of the Eagles during a Round 21, 2015 matchup. Photo by Dave Woodley for AFANA. The West Coast Eagles secured second position on the Premiership Ladder (AFL standings) with a double chance and home Finals after an old-fashioned belting of St Kilda at Domain Stadium in Round 23, the final round of the regular season. The Saints looked set to recover after absorbing a couple of opening round barrages with West Coast scoring four goals before the Saints had even heard the last echoes of the opening siren. The Saints' players put plenty of pressure on the Eagles’ ball carriers and pegged back a couple of goals to make a reasonable fist of the first quarter. In fact, St Kilda had plenty of the ball but couldn’t find a way to put more scoreboard pressure on the Eagles.

Eagles Upset Dockers In Derby 42
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

For the first time in history the Western Derby was played with the two Western Australian teams in first and second positions on the Ladder. Chris Masten and Nick Suban have a major disagreement during the Fremantle vs West Coast game. Suban has alleged he was bitten by Masten. Photo by David Woodley/AFANA.Fremantle sits on top with the West Coast Eagles just behind. Businesses across the entire state were adorned with the club colors of one side or the other, sometimes both. When the dust settled, the Eagles had won the honors thanks to a fast start out of the blocks kicking the first six goals in a row. The Dockers found themselves on the ropes and the only thing they could do was come out swinging.

Unfortunately for their fans, who packed Domain Stadium at their home game, they couldn’t land any telling blows and struggled to get scores on the board all the way through the first half of the game. In fact only David Mundy and Michael Walters scored goals early in what was a poor performance from the top team. In contrast the Eagles had eight separate goal kickers at the same point,

Eagles Finally Beat Swans
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Eagles Confirm Finals Credentials With Win Over Collingwood
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth

Even if you remember these events from 2003 - the space shuttle Columbia disintegrating on its return to Earth, Andre Agassi winning the Australian Open in tennis and Netscape being taken down for Mozilla - you will be forgiven if you don’t remember that 2003 was the last time that the West Coast Eagles defeated the Collingwood Magpies in Melbourne. Andrew Gaff of the West Coast Eagles dives for the ball in a game earlier in season 20152003 was a very long time ago in football terms and the Magpies may have expected the trend to continue as second placed Eagles traveled to Etihad Stadium in Round 16. All things must pass and so it was with the hoodoo when - despite horrific shooting on goals - the Eagles ran over top of the cooling Pies.

Kennedy Kicks Ten To Sink Carlton
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

A ten goal haul to West Coast Eagle forward Josh Kennedy was the difference in what became a one-sided game against the Carlton Blues at Domain Stadium in the opening match of Round 2. Kennedy was unstoppable and deadly accurate as he single-handedly tore the Blues apart. His tally of ten goals 1 point at the end of the game was only one point less than Carlton’s entire score.

Richmond Tougher In Wet
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Patersons Stadium, Perth

Richmond continued to show some late season form in the second half of Round 18, winning their fourth consecutive game in a tough encounter on the road against the West Coast Eagles. The match was reduced to a scrum at times with rain falling in torrential bursts, but the Tigers were better in the awful conditions and made the most of their opportunities in a game that was never really in doubt after Richmond got away to a solid start.

West Coast Form Ominous
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Janet Linn reporting for AFANA from Western Australia

A blisteringly hot Perth day did not keep over 36,000 die hard West Coast Eagles fans away from Patersons Stadium for their clash against the Western Bulldogs. Round One had already produced some unexpected results, the biggest being the upset defeat of the Sydney Swans by fledgling hometown rivals, the GWS Giants. Wins by Fremantle, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, Geelong and Essendon point to a tightly contested season while Hawthorn’s easy defeat of the Brisbane Lions signals they are again the team to beat. None of these outcomes affected West Coast fan’s enthusiasm at having their “boys” back on the park after a 2013 season which went horribly wrong. Injuries to high profile players, underwhelming performances in home fixtures and a jaded game plan sent the Eagles from a widely-predicted Top Four finish to a lowly 13th on the Ladder.

Tigers Earn Stripes
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Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Taking a leaf right out of the NFL playbook, the AFL decided to run its own version of Monday Night Football in Western Australia for the Round 10 clash between the West Coast Eagles and Richmond. While Hank Williams Jr. was nowhere to be seen, plenty of spectators had taken up the offer of footy on a public holiday as Patersons Stadium was packed to the rafters for this all-important clash. The Eagles' season had been gaining momentum after four wins on the trot coinciding with the return of excitement machine Nic Naitanui, while Richmond headed west looking for credibility after being trounced by a rampaging Essendon in Round 9.

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