Despite some atrocious kicking on goal, the West Coast Eagles overran a determined Geelong Cats in Round 9. It was a close game until the fourth quarter when West Coast players finally found their kicking radar and took the Cats apart. The game was evenly matched for much of the first half with Geelong getting out to an early lead with a couple of quick goals. One was a gift when the West Coast runner ran too close to Tom Hawkins giving away a 50 meter penalty right in front of goals. Steve Johnson slotted a clever goal from the left pocket and Jordan Murdoch was lively in Geelong’s forward line kicking two of his own. The Eagles' Josh Kennedy kicked two in the first quarter to keep the game even.
West Coast were woeful in front of goals throughout most of the first half. They butchered easy opportunities and their hard efforts in the middle of the ground were wasted when players continually missed gettable goals. To compound matters, every time the Cats got the ball into their forward 50 they would score a goal. Their accuracy was keeping them in the game when by rights they should have been blown away. Hawkins did his part in keeping the Cats close with very accurate kicking from every chance that came his way. As the game progressed however the Eagles started to kick more accurately and Geelong fell further and further off the pace. It was only a matter of time before the Eagles started to put the ball between the big sticks as they were having so many opportunities to score with the ball in their forward attacking zone for the most part. They were dominating the clearances from stoppages and moving it forward to devastating effect.
Kennedy was unstoppable once he had tuned into where the goals were and he finished with six, cementing his already stellar season. At the end it became party time and there was no better trick that Nic Naitanui’s huge leap over a pack to take what will be in the mix for Mark of the Year and the hot topic on social media. He finished the mark off with a goal and from there it became a training drill as the Eagles put the Cats out of their misery. With 40 scoring shots to 14 the Eagles' way, it became a lopsided contest. West Coast wasted early chances to bury the Cats but defeated them by a whopping 56 points. Geelong players now find themselves in unfamiliar territory in 12th place on the League ladder after a decade of being near the top. The Eagles are in a similar position in reverse, sitting in second spot with six wins in a row.
Scoreboard West Coast: 2.6 4.17 9.21 16.24 (120) Geelong: 3.1 5.2 9.3 10.4 (64) Best Players West Coast: Shuey, Naitanui, Kennedy, McGovern, Priddis, Gaff Geelong: Guthrie, Caddy, Enright, Motlop, Hawkins
Article last changed on Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - 11:09 AM EDT