West Coast Eagles

Another Raft of Retirements
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

At the conclusion of Round 23, four more players announced that 2017 would be their last season: veteran Cat defenders Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan, Kangaroo Lachie Hansen and Kangaroo veteran turned West Coast rookie Drew Petrie. The Cats and Eagles still have a finals campaign to navigate in September.A few days later, Saint stalwart Leigh Montagna also announced his retirement.

Eagles Defeat Crows To Vanquish Demons
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

One of the most remarkable home-and-away seasons concluded with ninth placed West Coast Eagles defeating the league leaders, the Adelaide Crows, by a large enough margin to slip into the top eight of the competition, at the expense of the Melbourne Demons. To add drama to the last AFL game played at Domain Stadium, the Eagles achieved the task within the last four minutes of the last game of the regular season. The Demons, who would have been watching the game live on TV in Melbourne, would have been cursing themselves for their slow start against the Collingwood Magpies two nights earlier; which left the gate open for the Eagles and cost the Demons their first finals appearance in ten years.

Eagles Beat the Blues
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

The West Coast Eagles overcame indifferent form to make use of the wind and fly past the Carlton Blues in the last quarter. In doing so, the Eagles kept their finals hopes alive for one more week. The Blues were brave and dashing in their play. Their players matched the Eagles as the home team pressed players towards the contest; and when the ball came loose, Carlton used pace to expose the Eagles with leg speed. If not for the heroics of Eagles forward Josh Kennedy, who kicked six goals, the Eagles’ season would have ended at the hands of a team some considered a candidate for the wooden spoon.

Three More To Bow Out
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Predatory Eagles Slay Young Lions
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

The West Coast Eagles climbed back into the top eight by sweeping aside the Brisbane Lions in a one-sided game. The Lions had several of their best young players home in Queensland as the visitors put in a brave performance, but were overrun by the more polished and more experienced home team.

The Lions began brightly with several forward-half intercepts and pushes into the attacking arc.

Eagles Beat Off-line Dockers
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Demons Defeat Wayward Eagles
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

The Melbourne Demons overcame a fifteen-year hoodoo to beat the West Coast Eagles in Perth and post one of their most important victories of the season. The win places Melbourne in a good position to contest the finals, while West Coast will be thrown back with a pack of teams fighting to make the top eight.

Aggressive Eagles Cramp Cats’ Style
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

The West Coast Eagles survived a second-half fight back by the Geelong Cats, to pull themselves back into finals contention. The Eagles, coming off three consecutive defeats, had been criticized for not laying tackles and not winning their share of contested balls. They responded with a determination to compete and to not let Geelong’s rampant midfield have a free run into attack.

Giants Leap as Eagles Landed
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

Eagles Stave Off Depleted Bulldogs
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

On a perfect cool night for football, the West Coast Eagles and the Western Bulldogs showed how a dour and intense game can thrill a crowd. Numbers around the ball, slick hand passing and high pressure tackling was the order of the night. Despite the Bulldogs missing nine of their best players, they matched or bettered the Eagles in all aspects of the game with the exception of marks (catches) within the attacking fifty meter arc and crucially, on the scoreboard.

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