West Coast Eagles

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.

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 Stifle Sinking Swans
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

In a tight and closely fought struggle, reminiscent of the great battles between these two clubs a decade ago, West Coast held on to smother a desperate Sydney attempt to post their first win of the year. The Swans, who were the favorites to win last year’s Grand Final, will now have to perform an astonishing revival to make the finals, let alone the Grand Final.

West Coast Overwhelm Wayward Saints
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St Kilda, desperate to atone for their loss to the Melbourne Demons the previous week, led the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium until time-on in the final quarter, but it was not enough. On a warm and still Perth night, the Saints’ hard running players ran themselves into the ground on the vast expanses of the Eagles’ home turf. In the final stanza, with both teams nearing exhaustion, it was the class and superior finishing of the Eagles that punished the Saints.

Jobe Watson Loses 2012 Brownlow Medal
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

 The AFL Commission was scheduled to meet on November 15 to discuss, among other things, whether or not to strip Jobe Watson of his 2012 Brownlow Medal. However, about a week before the meeting Watson decided to return the medal himself. He said he had "mixed emotions" regarding his decision. Now the Commission will decide whether or not to award the medal retrospectively to the two runners-up in Sam Mitchell and Dustin Martin. 

Expansion Teams: Finals Success and Failure
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Up until 1986, there were only 12 teams in the then VFL (the name changed in 1990), comprising the original teams from 1896 as well as Hawthorn, Richmond, Footscray (now Western Bulldogs) and North Melbourne being admitted later (see our Footy FAQ for more history). West Coast v Sydney, Grand Final 2005, photo copyright AFANA.All these teams were based in Victoria, seven in Melbourne and the Cats in Geelong (just an hour's drive west of Melbourne). In 1987, the league decided to expand their horizons in an effort to spread the game.

Eagles Savaged by Bulldog Packs
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Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium Perth, Australia.

In a Thursday night (Perth time) elimination final, the Western Bulldogs defied history and the betting markets by shredding the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium.  Bulldogs players celebrate as the Eagles players realise the season is over. AFL post season match in Perth. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.Eleven days earlier the Bulldogs had been humiliated at the same venue by losing to the struggling Fremantle Dockers. Experienced tipsters gave the Bulldogs no chance of defeating the Eagles who had lost only one home game this season.

No More Grand Final Replays
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

In the 120 years of Australian Rules Football, there have been only three tied Grand Finals and five tied Finals matches. In most cases, there was always a replay. Up until the introduction of interstate teams, a replay the following week was not an issue with all the teams based in the state of Victoria, Geelong is about a one hour drive to and from Melbourne. However, in 1990 when a Qualifying Final between Collingwood and West Coast ended with scores level, it meant the Eagles would have to return to Perth after the game and then travel back Melbourne the following week for the replay. Needless to say, Collingwood won the replay.

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