Another final term fadeout saw the Eagles cough up a 24 point lead and quite possibly their finals hopes when they succumbed to Collingwood by eight points.
The Magpies booted the final five goals of the game to steamroll West Coast and deliver Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley a morale boosting win.
Collingwood were down two rotations through much of the second half after losing both Darcy Moore and Travis Varcoe to concussion, but still ran over the top of a fading Eagles outfit through the likes of Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar and Jack Crisp.
Jordan De Goey proved the matchwinner for the Magpies with his move into the forward line delivering four goals opposed to young Eagle defender Tom Cole. De Goey also set up the goal for Jamie Elliott which put the Magpies in front with only two minutes remaining after laying an important tackle in the middle of the ground.
The Eagles had led since the dying seconds of the opening quarter, but were unable to put away a relentless Collingwood side.
Lewis Jetta, Josh Kennedy and Elliot Yeo all had chances in the final term to secure the victory for West Coast, after Jack Darling opened the quarter with his second goal of the game to put West Coast four goals up.
Josh Kennedy was the Eagles best forward with six goals in his 200th AFL game with Cripps and Darling the only other multiple goal scorers for West Coast. At one point Kennedy had four consecutive Eagles goals either side of half-time, proving too strong for Tyson Goldsack and Jeremy Howe.
However, West Coast were relying on their efficiency as the Magpies took hold of most of the key indicators in the game. The Magpies had more contested and uncontested ball, 11 more inside-50s and even laid more tackles. Brodie Grundy was a dominant force in the ruck, finishing the day with 42 hit-outs with Collingwood claiming the clearances 37-29.
Importantly, the Magpies won the clearances 11-4 in the final term as the midfield group took control. Collingwood also had 38 contested possessions in the fourth term to the Eagles 16, as West Coast coach Adam Simpson lamented his side’s lack of intensity in the final stanza.
Earlier, the Eagles had looked like they would leave with the four premiership points in a game of scoring momentum. Collingwood had three of the first four goals to take an early lead before West Coast got the initiative late. Josh Kennedy booted his second of the term, and then Nathan Vardy and Jamie Cripps goaled in the final minute to give West Coast a quarter time lead.
The Eagles then made it four on the trot straight after the break as Jack Darling got onto the scoreboard. The Eagles had scored three goals in virtually two minutes of play to take a ten point lead. Jamie Elliott broke the run to bring the margin back within a goal, but the Eagles were more efficient going forward.
As has been the case for Collingwood for much of this season, the Magpies were wasteful going inside 50 and errant when they got into scoring positions. Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass simply picked off the Collingwood entries.
Josh Kennedy kicked another brace either side of a Sam Reid goal and the Eagles had a nine point lead at the main break.
West Coast were once again relying on their defence to start their scoring chains, with the Eagles able to slingshot down the ground to conjure up shots on goal. Along with McGovern and Barrass, Shannon Hurn picked up where he left off last week, picking up the Ross Glendinning medal and Will Schofield had the measure of Alex Fasolo.
Elliot Yeo and Dom Sheed were creating plenty through the midfield, although Andrew Gaff and Matthew Priddis were quiet. Gaff was shadowed by Levi Greenwood and managed just five disposals in the opening half, while Priddis had just six touches, although had laid 9 tackles – a third of the Eagles total.
After the main break, Kennedy registered his fifth and sixth goal, the latter coming from a strong contested one-on-one mark opposed to Goldsack. The Eagles had a game high lead of 21 points and the genuine matchwinner in the game.
However, the Magpies roared back into the contest as they locked the ball in the forward half. The Eagles were unable to rush through a loose ball on the goal line allowing Taylor Adams to toepoke home, before De Goey struck twice in quick time to have Collingwood back level.
Collingwood had completely reversed the momentum of the game as they dominated the inside 50’s with 10 consecutive entries. Against the run, Jamie Cripps snapped his second before Luke Shuey was the recipient of a Hurn pass after he marked a Collingwood defensive clearance.
A brilliant passage of play saw West Coast kick truly in the dying seconds of the quarter to restore their earlier three goal lead. Liam Duggan ran back to spoil a certain Magpie mark deep in their forward line, before bouncing up to feed the crumbs to Tom Cole. Cole evaded a couple to find fellow young defender Jackson Nelson whose rushed kick squeezed outside the defensive arc.
Dom Sheed got to the loose ball and beat off four opponents with his handpass releasing Drew Petrie behind the Collingwood press. Petrie went long to Cripps who handballed forward to Yeo strolling into an open goal.
The siren went on the restart to signal an 18 point advantage and when Jack Darling was the recipient of a 50 metre penalty, it seemed the Eagles had warned off the Collingwood challenge.
However West Coast couldn’t finish the contest and seized up as Collingwood got one final momentum swing. Despite finals not being on the radar, the Magpies showed more heart and the Eagles were left to rue another missed opportunity.
The loss is the Eagles’ fifth under two goals this season, with West Coast blowing final term leads against the Magpies, Demons and Suns, as well as capitulating against the Power when scores were level a fortnight ago.
A win would have had the Eagles a win and percentage behind third spot; instead West Coast are facing a September on the sidelines, with potentially four wins required from their final five games to make finals.
Match Details Sunday 23 July 2017
Collingwood 4.0 6.2 10.8 18.12 (120)
West Coast 4.4 7.7 10.8 13.10 (88)
Docklands Attendance: 22,907
Goals: COLL De Goey 4, Elliott 3, Reid 2, Fasolo, Greenwood, Hoskin-Elliot, Adams.
WCE Kennedy 6, Cripps, Darling 2, Yeo, Shuey, Vardy.
EAGLE EYE VOTES
Round 18 Season Total
5 Josh Kennedy 29 Luke Shuey
4 Shannon Hurn 27 Elliot Yeo
3 Dom Sheed 22 Andrew Gaff
2 Elliot Yeo 21 Sam Mitchell
1 Jeremy McGovern 20 Jeremy McGovern
ROUND 19 FORECAST
The Eagles return home to play the bottom of the ladder Lions, although the game won’t be a simple pushover. Brisbane recorded their fourth win of the season against Carlton and have shown improved form since the bye.
Adam Simpson has promised to continue injecting youth with Tom Cole, Jackson Nelson, Liam Duggan and Tom Barrass all playing against Collingwood. Luke Partington was once again one of the best players at East Perth collecting 29 disposals and kicking two goals in the Royals 30 point loss to South Fremantle. Kurt Mutimer had 21 touches and Tom Lamb had 15 and booted two goals continuing with his role through the midfield.
Two of West Coast’s senior players also had plenty of the ball with Chris Masten picking up 27 possessions and Sharrod Wellingham having 19 across half back. Josh Hill was less effective with only 13 touches and a goal, while Malcolm Karpany had just 9 touches in his return from a quad strain. Jonothan Giles had 39 hitouts to go with 12 disposals and a goal and looms as an interesting selection possibility with Nathan Vardy well beaten by Brodie Grundy.
The Eagles will monitor both Jack Darling and Jeremy McGovern who copped knocks in the Collingwood game, but they should both get up. Eric Mackenzie could be available from a hamstring injury, but whether he comes directly into the Eagles line up or is forced to work his way through the WAFL will be a debate.
At West Coast, there could be several nervous players. Tom Cole looked unassured in defence with a number of crucial errors. Mark Hutchings was well beaten by Steele Sidebottom in a run with role, while Mark LeCras lacked any impact on the game, particularly after half-time. LeCras finished goalless for the sixth time this season from 14 games.
Drew Petrie also failed to have any impact for a second consecutive game and with Fraser McInnes listed as an emergency, the Eagles may opt to go with the younger ruck-forward for the Lions clash and give the 34 year old a week off.
Sam Mitchell will come back into the line up, having acted as coach for Collingwood, but there could be some debate as to who he comes in for. Jack Redden was one of the better West Coast players, finishing with 24 disposals, 7 tackles and was the leading clearance winner with 6. Matt Priddis could be due for a rest with the Brownlow medallist having only 16 possessions. Priddis though did lay 12 tackles with his pressure on the Collingwood midfielders a highlight.
IN: Mitchell, Partington, McInnes
OUT: Cole, LeCras, Petrie