Really disappointing result, I hope we fight back a bit in the last but i have no interest in watching it.
We can’t expect to win when we take half a game to wake up and play at all. Our midfield in particular just got completely owned in this game, and it was clear West Coast knew exactly how to cut through our defence.
Needed something special from our forwards in the first half and unfortunately it didn’t appear.
Absolute disaster. So many schoolboy errors in the first half...Marshall shinning that first set shot set the tone. Hartlett slipping over, Ladhams dropping marks, Dixon missing a handball with his fist, DBJ handballing directly to a pair of opponents, DBJ also for playing on when OOB, Burton missing his foot going for a 10 metre kick, multiple players losing their feet approaching a contest...it was just so obvious that the pressure was playing on their minds. The constant selfish handballing to players not expecting to receive, creating congestion and turning the ball over to a team who don't waste their chances, was so out of character recently. The Eagles were given a free pass to play exactly how they wanted, with short, precise passing cutting our lacklustre defence to shreds before quick movement to their deadly forward line.
The Eagles had some outrageous luck to get them going, but we were so passive. Defenders refused to play in front in marking contests, then allowed their opponents to get goalside way too easily. There were virtually zero intercepts, and few passages of rebounding play started from defence. Most defensive clearances were rushed hacks to an organised Eagles wall. Aliir was exposed as a poor one-on-one defender, and the half back line of Burton, Hartlett and DBJ had horrid nights. Clurey is still not big enough to play on the Kennedys of this league.
Our midfield let us down badly when it counted. Smashed in contests, they lost their structure and panicked when the ball fell in their laps. I don't excuse any of them here - Boak, Wines, Butters, Gray and Drew were all individually and collectively pathetic, especially in the first half. It is a common theme in our recent losses, and they don't have the nous to correct on the run. The ball movement was static and there were very few passages of decent, flowing play. The Eagles, in contrast, had players free and available out the back of every contest and at the base of their marking forwards, and knew where to go when they confronted trouble.
The 4 tall forwards didn't work. Georgiades at least looked dangerous, but it forced Dixon to roam upfield to keep separation, and this duplicated the role that Ladhams plays. Marshall was out of his depth and should make way. The small forwards didn't look dangerous at all, and completely failed to put any pressure on the switching ball. Fantasia was a non-factor and looked overawed, bad Motlop was back and Gray and Rozee did their best work in midfield.
I give pass marks to Houston, who continued his recent good form, Amon and Duursma, who kept running, and Lycett battled manfully against Naitanui. Rozee looked sharp first game back, and Georgiades gives his all every time I see him. Overall, though, too many players didn't bring the right attitude and were embarrassingly unprepared for the pressure that good teams bring.
Every team will have poor games during a long season, and plenty of teams will crash to the Eagles in Perth. I would hope that this was an off-night, but the issues of a underperforming midfield, lazy forward line and overwhelmed defence sap a lot of confidence going into a vital home game against the defending premiers who have their own issues. The coaches have a lot of work to do this week, the mark of a good team is how they rebound from a poor performance and Richmond should have similar doubts to us, except they have the pillars of 3 premierships to reinforce their belief
Kennedy is a freak. Eagles mids are ridiculously good. We are miles off sides like this. Time to stop drinking our bath water after beating up bottom 4 sides. If we are uncompetitive again at home on Friday forget it.