Josh Kennedy’s eleven straight goals for the West Coast Eagles were the icing on the cake as they demolished a gallant Greater Western Sydney Giants at Patersons Stadium on Mother’s Day. Kennedy, along with eleven other goal kickers for the Eagles, kicked their second highest ever score in a one way contest to see them holding seventh position in the Top Eight. West Coast had been on a steady downward slide after their opening couple of games with one of the main reasons being their poor conversion of shots on goal. They ranked dead last out of all the teams in the competition before the Round 7 game and it has cost them premiership points. All that changed in this game with straight kicking and solid marking in the forward 50 meter zone.
GWS was always going to struggle after losing Nick Haynes with an ankle injury early in the game, forcing them to bring on their substitute Jed Lamb sooner than they would have wanted. Haynes was one of their few tall defenders and his loss cost them. To the Giants' credit, they fought hard and were competitive early with slick handball and an attacking style off half back. The Eagles were not quite in sync with each other in the forward line but still managed to score five first quarter goals. Kennedy had three of them but there was good support from Jack Darling in providing an alternative forward target.
It was a goal shootout for much of the match with both teams making the most of their opportunities. GWS had nine separate goal kickers, which showed their versatility in selecting avenues to get scores on the board. They were accurate and hard at the ball and although trailing by 33 points at half time, had some belief that they were not just coming to Perth to make up the numbers.
A ten goal third quarter put the game beyond doubt for the Eagles who were confident and looked for Kennedy at every opportunity. The Giants were not prepared to lay down and roll over and Will Hoskin-Elliott showed his talent with a booming 60 meter goal - his second goal for the game. However 21 goals and a 74 point lead had the win in the bag for the Eagles by three quarter time. It was all about getting Kennedy as many goals as possible as well as building their percentage. When Kennedy kicked his ninth goal he was mobbed by his teammates and the joy was palpable all over the ground. He went on to kick two more, a personal career high.
West Coast kicked nine goals in the final term to run away with a 111 point drubbing of the Giants. Their real test will come when they face teams in the Top Eight with Collingwood and Hawthorn coming up in the next few weeks. The Giants have some tough games too after their bye but will improve with some of their top players coming back off the injury list.
Scoreboard West Coast: 5.2 11.5 21.5 30.8 (188) GWS: 1.2 6.2 9.3 12.5 (77) Best Players West Coast: Kennedy, Priddus, LeCras, Cox, Hurn GWS: Green, Ward, Kelly, Hoskin-Elliott
Article last changed on Monday, May 12, 2014 - 9:47 AM EDT