Up the Coasters West Coast Eagles - Best Ever Games (The Game)

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#13 - 2006 2nd Preliminary Final vs Adelaide New

jorel6669

John Worsfold Medallist
Jun 5, 2004
8,450
5,170
AFL Club
West Coast
THE 2006 SECOND PRELIMINARY FINAL


So the year was 2006. The year before, we’d lost a heartbreaking Grand Final, the closest result of the AFL era, to a fairytale team that was embraced by the entire remainder of the football community. This year was to be our redemption, but we stumbled against that very same team in the Qualifying Final, meaning no break this finals series and an away Preliminary Final to even make the Grand Final.

Back in the years of 05/06 there were three clubs who were thereabouts. Us, the Sydney Swans and the Adelaide Crows. The way it seemed to roll is we had Adelaide’s number, Sydney troubled us, and the Crows had a good record against the Swans. We’d even beaten the Crows a year ago in a home Prelim, and knocked them off in consecutive years in Adelaide (Football Park in those days, which wasn’t a happy hunting ground for us until this era). We’d even smashed the “Crowbots”, as they were known, during the season at Subiaco, announcing ourselves as the top dog on the comp.

But this was always going to be a tough assignment.

The hometown Adelaide crowd was at fever pitch to start the game and the Crows were on their game early, kicking with the breeze. The first 5 minutes or so were an arm wrestle, with both defences holding up their ends of the ground, until Nathan Bock got the opening goal for Adelaide. A chance to hit back saw Chad Fletcher pull his kick for a minor, opening the Eagles’ account. Soon after, Rowan Jones receive a free close to 50 out and failed to make the distance. Another attack saw Ashley Hansen have a snap at goal, only to hit the post. With just over 3 minutes left in the first, Scott Welsh snagged Adelaide’s second goal, and then they would get a centre clearance and a long kick to Brett Burton in the goalsquare and all of a sudden, our good work to hold the Crows up through handball possession was undone. We were down 20 to 2.

Quinten Lynch would mark at 50, soon after, but his long kick into the breeze was just offline for our third behind. Another rushed behind after a Mark Seaby kick saw us end the quarter goalless and down 21 to 4.

I recall at the time feeling a bit ill, being held goalless in a quarter of a final. Did not bode well, but if this side taught us anything, a 17 point deficit was nothing.

The second quarter saw Daniel Kerr grab our first goal a couple of minutes in. Embley bombed a massive behind a minute later and the Crows had a chance through Burton, but Adam Selwood would bump him for a behind. A disputed ball at halfback exemplified our midfield trio, as Ben Cousins tore it away, dished to Kerr who shrugged one tackle before handballing over his head to Chris Judd, who then decided the best way around someone was to do a lefthanded bounce and then burn them off.


The Crows would manage to get a goal against the breeze and the quarter time margin returned. Some pinpoint passes eventually ended with Adam Hunter up forward and was able to land our second major. Sam Butler had an open look soon after, but sprayed it wide. As the boys were using their run and handball game, the Crows would again kick an against the breeze goal, pulling the margin out to 16. A running shot by Jayme Graham went out on the full and some chances were going begging. Burton would manage to clutch a one hander and, all of a sudden, the Crows were 22 points up and really amping up for their first Grand Final since their back-to-back flags in the 90s. He had another shot soon after, and the game was now slipping away from us. Fortunately, his shot hit the post. Daniel Chick marked in the pocket but couldn’t navigate a goal and with the halftime siren sounding, it was Adelaide 41 to the Eagles 19, with Burton unlucky not to receive a late free and shot at goal. The scoreline and having a goalless quarter was eerily similar to the previous season’s Grand Final. We came back only to fall agonisingly short in that match. Was this to be a similar fate?

A few minutes into the second half, we’d land our third goal, again through a Hunter set shot. A period of repeat attacks would see Andrew Embley cleverly grubber one off the ground and cut the margin back to 9 points.


We were back in business. A minute later and Cousins snapped a beauty on the run and it’s only 3 points the margin.


Hunter almost threaded a goal, Sheed style, from the boundary but hit the post. A long shot on the run by Cousins and not even halfway through the quarter it is now 1 point the difference. The Crows would repel an aggressive attack to score a Tyson Edwards steadier but the Eagles would hit back soon after with Hunter leading, marking and goaling for his third. Andrew McLeod would pull the Crows 9 points clear with a few minutes remaining in the third, but had Adelaide wasted their turn with the breeze? We’d certainly made up for doing the same ourselves in the second quarter. Another poster to Hunter and three quarter time saw the scores as Adelaide 56 leading the Eagles 48.

One quarter to go for one of these sides to meet Sydney in the 2006 Grand Final. The crowd were doing their part to lift their hometown heroes and they attacked early. A Daniel Kerr run down the wing saw the ball delivered into fifty but Hunter spilled a sitter. Hansen missed badly soon after, and some early chances were going begging. But Embley drove long to the goalsquare, allowing Hunter to mark and run straight in for his fourth.


Back to 1 point. Lynch marked strongly and steered through his first, putting the Eagles in front for the first time in the game.


Another long kick into the goalsquare saw Embley mark at the back of the pack and put the Eagles two goals up with just over half a quarter to go.


Another poster, this time from Lynch, and we were all over the Crows. We would pepper the goals, threatening to really put the game away as Adelaide could do seemingly little to stop our attacks. Somehow, a long kick into a pack in the Crows forward line ended in the hands of Matthew Clarke, who goaled and pulled them back to 10 points. Several Crows attacks were repelled until a Sam Butler snap brought it back out to 16 points with just over 7 minutes to go.


You just wanted this time to run down as quickly as possible. We were so close to shutting the game. With Channel 10’s 5 Minute Warning hitting, Nathan Bock had a shot but failed to score. The Eagles began sharing it around in their back half before some Chris Judd magic found Rowan Jones just outside the goalsquare. But RoJo is gonna RoJo and he would miss the sealer!


A goal down the other end to Bock and all of a sudden, the Crows had a sniff. The Crows repelled an Eagle attack to get it forward but Goodwin would miss. A repeat entry saw Bock mark in the pocket and he threaded a Dom Sheeder to get Adelaide within 4 points. They couldn't possibly pinch this game from us? It all came down to the last centre bounce. The bounce went straight up, the Crows tapped it back to Goodwin, and he had a chance to gather and drive it foward. But the whistle went! Tyson Stenglein got the free, found Fletcher who then speared it to Hansen in the forward 50. The siren would sound to seal a second straight Grand Final berth. He would goal to stretch the margin to 10 points but the story was that of the entire season. Dig Deep. Then Dig Even Deeper. Never did this side feel they were out of any contest. And the following week, they would claim the ultimate.




 
Last edited:

BigVic

Club Legend
Sep 7, 2009
2,905
1,689
Bull Creek WA
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Chelsea, Barca, Houston Rockets
THE 2006 SECOND PRELIMINARY FINAL


So the year was 2006. The year before, we’d lost a heartbreaking Grand Final, the closest result of the AFL era, to a fairytale team that was embraced by the entire remainder of the football community. This year was to be our redemption, but we stumbled against that very same team in the Qualifying Final, meaning no break this finals series and an away Preliminary Final to even make the Grand Final.

Back in the years of 05/06 there were three clubs who were thereabouts. Us, the Sydney Swans and the Adelaide Crows. The way it seemed to roll is we had Adelaide’s number, Sydney troubled us, and the Crows had a good record against the Swans. We’d even beaten the Crows a year ago in a home Prelim, and knocked them off in consecutive years in Adelaide (Football Park in those days, which wasn’t a happy hunting ground for us until this era). We’d even smashed the “Crowbots”, as they were known, during the season at Subiaco, announcing ourselves as the top dog on the comp.

But this was always going to be a tough assignment.

The hometown Adelaide crowd was at fever pitch to start the game and the Crows were on their game early, kicking with the breeze. The first 5 minutes or so were an arm wrestle, with both defences holding up their ends of the ground, until Nathan Bock got the opening goal for Adelaide. A chance to hit back saw Chad Fletcher pull his kick for a minor, opening the Eagles’ account. Soon after, Rowan Jones receive a free close to 50 out and failed to make the distance. Another attack saw Ashley Hansen have a snap at goal, only to hit the post. With just over 3 minutes left in the first, Scott Welsh snagged Adelaide’s second goal, and then they would get a centre clearance and a long kick to Brett Burton in the goalsquare and all of a sudden, our good work to hold the Crows up through handball possession was undone. We were down 20 to 2.

Quinten Lynch would mark at 50, soon after, but his long kick into the breeze was just offline for our third behind. Another rushed behind after a Mark Seaby kick saw us end the quarter goalless and down 21 to 4.

I recall at the time feeling a bit ill, being held goalless in a quarter of a final. Did not bode well, but if this side taught us anything, a 17 point deficit was nothing.

The second quarter saw Daniel Kerr grab our first goal a couple of minutes in. Embley bombed a massive behind a minute later and the Crows had a chance through Burton, but Adam Selwood would bump him for a behind. A disputed ball at halfback exemplified our midfield trio, as Ben Cousins tore it away, dished to Kerr who shrugged one tackle before handballing over his head to Chris Judd, who then decided the best way around someone was to do a lefthanded bounce and then burn them off.


The Crows would manage to get a goal against the breeze and the quarter time margin returned. Some pinpoint passes eventually ended with Adam Hunter up forward and was able to land our second major. Sam Butler had an open look soon after, but sprayed it wide. As the boys were using their run and handball game, the Crows would again kick an against the breeze goal, pulling the margin out to 16. A running shot by Jayme Graham went out on the full and some chances were going begging. Burton would manage to clutch a one hander and, all of a sudden, the Crows were 22 points up and really amping up for their first Grand Final since their back-to-back flags in the 90s. He had another shot soon after, and the game was now slipping away from us. Fortunately, his shot hit the post. Daniel Chick marked in the pocket but couldn’t navigate a goal and with the halftime siren sounding, it was Adelaide 41 to the Eagles 19, with Burton unlucky not to receive a late free and shot at goal. The scoreline and having a goalless quarter was eerily similar to the previous season’s Grand Final. We came back only to fall agonisingly short in that match. Was this to be a similar fate?

A few minutes into the second half, we’d land our third goal, again through a Hunter set shot. A period of repeat attacks would see Andrew Embley cleverly grubber one off the ground and cut the margin back to 9 points.


We were back in business. A minute later and Cousins snapped a beauty on the run and it’s only 3 points the margin.


Hunter almost threaded a goal, Sheed style, from the boundary but hit the post. A long shot on the run by Cousins and not even halfway through the quarter it is now 1 point the difference. The Crows would repel an aggressive attack to score a Tyson Edwards steadier but the Eagles would hit back soon after with Hunter leading, marking and goaling for his third. Andrew McLeod would pull the Crows 9 points clear with a few minutes remaining in the third, but had Adelaide wasted their turn with the breeze? We’d certainly made up for doing the same ourselves in the second quarter. Another poster to Hunter and three quarter time saw the scores as Adelaide 56 leading the Eagles 48.

One quarter to go for one of these sides to meet Sydney in the 2006 Grand Final. The crowd were doing their part to lift their hometown heroes and they attacked early. A Daniel Kerr run down the wing saw the ball delivered into fifty but Hunter spilled a sitter. Hansen missed badly soon after, and some early chances were going begging. But Embley drove long to the goalsquare, allowing Hunter to mark and run straight in for his fourth.


Back to 1 point. Lynch marked strongly and steered through his first, putting the Eagles in front for the first time in the game.


Another long kick into the goalsquare saw Embley mark at the back of the pack and put the Eagles two goals up with just over half a quarter to go.


Another poster, this time from Lynch, and we were all over the Crows. We would pepper the goals, threatening to really put the game away as Adelaide could do seemingly little to stop our attacks. Somehow, a long kick into a pack in the Crows forward line ended in the hands of Matthew Clarke, who goaled and pulled them back to 10 points. Several Crows attacks were repelled until a Sam Butler snap brought it back out to 16 points with just over 7 minutes to go.


You just wanted this time to run down as quickly as possible. We were so close to shutting the game. With Channel 10’s 5 Minute Warning hitting, Nathan Bock had a shot but failed to score. The Eagles began sharing it around in their back half before some Chris Judd magic found Rowan Jones just outside the goalsquare. But RoJo is gonna RoJo and he would miss the sealer!


A goal down the other end to Bock and all of a sudden, the Crows had a sniff. The Crows repelled an Eagle attack to get it forward but Goodwin would miss. A repeat entry saw Bock mark in the pocket and he threaded a Dom Sheeder to get Adelaide within 4 points. A final attack by West Coast saw Hansen mark in the forward 50 and then the siren would sound to seal a second straight Grand Final berth. He would goal to stretch the margin to 10 points but the story was that of the entire season. Dig Deep. Then Dig Even Deeper. Never did this side feel they were out of any contest. And the following week, they would claim the ultimate.




One of our most underrated game. The rest was all history 7 days later. A 22 pt comeback win over the Crows at Footy Park in Adelaide.
 

Ambrose Burnside

Club Legend
Dec 8, 2006
2,402
2,726
WA
AFL Club
West Coast
That first gif of the Cousins/Kerr/Judd combination still gives me tingles.

Best midfield of all time, don’t @ me.
No arguments here.

Ernie Dingo's story from that game were great too. Copping it all game from Adelaide fans, then giving it back in the last :moustache:

Also, if I was picking an all-time Eagles side, I reckon I'd have Matera on one wing, and Embley on the other. Sorry Mainy and Gaff.
 
Last edited:

flamingEMBERS

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 8, 2011
9,337
7,869
AFL Club
West Coast
THE 2006 SECOND PRELIMINARY FINAL


So the year was 2006. The year before, we’d lost a heartbreaking Grand Final, the closest result of the AFL era, to a fairytale team that was embraced by the entire remainder of the football community. This year was to be our redemption, but we stumbled against that very same team in the Qualifying Final, meaning no break this finals series and an away Preliminary Final to even make the Grand Final.

Back in the years of 05/06 there were three clubs who were thereabouts. Us, the Sydney Swans and the Adelaide Crows. The way it seemed to roll is we had Adelaide’s number, Sydney troubled us, and the Crows had a good record against the Swans. We’d even beaten the Crows a year ago in a home Prelim, and knocked them off in consecutive years in Adelaide (Football Park in those days, which wasn’t a happy hunting ground for us until this era). We’d even smashed the “Crowbots”, as they were known, during the season at Subiaco, announcing ourselves as the top dog on the comp.

But this was always going to be a tough assignment.

The hometown Adelaide crowd was at fever pitch to start the game and the Crows were on their game early, kicking with the breeze. The first 5 minutes or so were an arm wrestle, with both defences holding up their ends of the ground, until Nathan Bock got the opening goal for Adelaide. A chance to hit back saw Chad Fletcher pull his kick for a minor, opening the Eagles’ account. Soon after, Rowan Jones receive a free close to 50 out and failed to make the distance. Another attack saw Ashley Hansen have a snap at goal, only to hit the post. With just over 3 minutes left in the first, Scott Welsh snagged Adelaide’s second goal, and then they would get a centre clearance and a long kick to Brett Burton in the goalsquare and all of a sudden, our good work to hold the Crows up through handball possession was undone. We were down 20 to 2.

Quinten Lynch would mark at 50, soon after, but his long kick into the breeze was just offline for our third behind. Another rushed behind after a Mark Seaby kick saw us end the quarter goalless and down 21 to 4.

I recall at the time feeling a bit ill, being held goalless in a quarter of a final. Did not bode well, but if this side taught us anything, a 17 point deficit was nothing.

The second quarter saw Daniel Kerr grab our first goal a couple of minutes in. Embley bombed a massive behind a minute later and the Crows had a chance through Burton, but Adam Selwood would bump him for a behind. A disputed ball at halfback exemplified our midfield trio, as Ben Cousins tore it away, dished to Kerr who shrugged one tackle before handballing over his head to Chris Judd, who then decided the best way around someone was to do a lefthanded bounce and then burn them off.


The Crows would manage to get a goal against the breeze and the quarter time margin returned. Some pinpoint passes eventually ended with Adam Hunter up forward and was able to land our second major. Sam Butler had an open look soon after, but sprayed it wide. As the boys were using their run and handball game, the Crows would again kick an against the breeze goal, pulling the margin out to 16. A running shot by Jayme Graham went out on the full and some chances were going begging. Burton would manage to clutch a one hander and, all of a sudden, the Crows were 22 points up and really amping up for their first Grand Final since their back-to-back flags in the 90s. He had another shot soon after, and the game was now slipping away from us. Fortunately, his shot hit the post. Daniel Chick marked in the pocket but couldn’t navigate a goal and with the halftime siren sounding, it was Adelaide 41 to the Eagles 19, with Burton unlucky not to receive a late free and shot at goal. The scoreline and having a goalless quarter was eerily similar to the previous season’s Grand Final. We came back only to fall agonisingly short in that match. Was this to be a similar fate?

A few minutes into the second half, we’d land our third goal, again through a Hunter set shot. A period of repeat attacks would see Andrew Embley cleverly grubber one off the ground and cut the margin back to 9 points.


We were back in business. A minute later and Cousins snapped a beauty on the run and it’s only 3 points the margin.


Hunter almost threaded a goal, Sheed style, from the boundary but hit the post. A long shot on the run by Cousins and not even halfway through the quarter it is now 1 point the difference. The Crows would repel an aggressive attack to score a Tyson Edwards steadier but the Eagles would hit back soon after with Hunter leading, marking and goaling for his third. Andrew McLeod would pull the Crows 9 points clear with a few minutes remaining in the third, but had Adelaide wasted their turn with the breeze? We’d certainly made up for doing the same ourselves in the second quarter. Another poster to Hunter and three quarter time saw the scores as Adelaide 56 leading the Eagles 48.

One quarter to go for one of these sides to meet Sydney in the 2006 Grand Final. The crowd were doing their part to lift their hometown heroes and they attacked early. A Daniel Kerr run down the wing saw the ball delivered into fifty but Hunter spilled a sitter. Hansen missed badly soon after, and some early chances were going begging. But Embley drove long to the goalsquare, allowing Hunter to mark and run straight in for his fourth.


Back to 1 point. Lynch marked strongly and steered through his first, putting the Eagles in front for the first time in the game.


Another long kick into the goalsquare saw Embley mark at the back of the pack and put the Eagles two goals up with just over half a quarter to go.


Another poster, this time from Lynch, and we were all over the Crows. We would pepper the goals, threatening to really put the game away as Adelaide could do seemingly little to stop our attacks. Somehow, a long kick into a pack in the Crows forward line ended in the hands of Matthew Clarke, who goaled and pulled them back to 10 points. Several Crows attacks were repelled until a Sam Butler snap brought it back out to 16 points with just over 7 minutes to go.


You just wanted this time to run down as quickly as possible. We were so close to shutting the game. With Channel 10’s 5 Minute Warning hitting, Nathan Bock had a shot but failed to score. The Eagles began sharing it around in their back half before some Chris Judd magic found Rowan Jones just outside the goalsquare. But RoJo is gonna RoJo and he would miss the sealer!


A goal down the other end to Bock and all of a sudden, the Crows had a sniff. The Crows repelled an Eagle attack to get it forward but Goodwin would miss. A repeat entry saw Bock mark in the pocket and he threaded a Dom Sheeder to get Adelaide within 4 points. A final attack by West Coast saw Hansen mark in the forward 50 and then the siren would sound to seal a second straight Grand Final berth. He would goal to stretch the margin to 10 points but the story was that of the entire season. Dig Deep. Then Dig Even Deeper. Never did this side feel they were out of any contest. And the following week, they would claim the ultimate.




No mention of that fateful last centre bounce ;)

When RoJo missed that goal I nearly teared up
 

Cuzz09

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 21, 2004
21,819
8,064
Adel - SA - Aust - Earth
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No mention of that fateful last centre bounce ;)

When RoJo missed that goal I nearly teared up
Yeah that last bounce saved us. Goodwin I think was bursting away.

RoJos miss made me have that sick feeling in my guts. You knew theyd come back.

On SM-G925I using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

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RookiePick

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2014
14,627
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Watched the 06 Grannie on Friday night after being geed up by this thread.

It's amazing how much footy has changed. In the last decade.

I had almost forgotten how frustrating that side was, the midfield and defence generated so many shots and the gate was always swinging open thanks to the rubbish finishing in front of the goals.

Waters disposal in the GF had me shaking my head. I think we retained possession twice after his disposals for the whole game. Still a total. Stud tho!
 

jorel6669

John Worsfold Medallist
Jun 5, 2004
8,450
5,170
AFL Club
West Coast
TY24 is almost out of time, but hasn't been online since Friday morning anyway. Pedals23 is also passing this round.

So in lieu of this, I'm gonna say that HoneyBadger35 is now up, so you can start preparing your pick with your 48 hours. If you do log in sometime soon, TY24, you can go after HoneyBadger35. Just make sure to post to confirm. After HB35's pick, we'll be moving on to Keys.

If anyone else wants to drop, just post to that effect. Nobody needs to feel compelled.

Also, please make sure, if you need more time, just post as such.
 

Cuzz09

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 21, 2004
21,819
8,064
Adel - SA - Aust - Earth
AFL Club
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Other Teams
Norwood & Liverpool.
Another personal favourite but not many would remember maybe..


Round 10 1996 v Adelaide @ Footy Park.

I was a 16 y.o. rabid Eagles fan heading to this game with just a bit of hope more than confidence of a win.

Went with my mum who is a crows fan.

We came out the blocks with a great 1st quarter and just when I got my hopes up the crows had a 7 goal 2nd qtr to get the margin back to 5 points. A Daniel Metropolis goal right on half time got us an 11 point half time lead.

I was all ready for Adelaide to over run us but the 3rd qtr was a thing of beauty.

Domination in all areas. 9.3 to 1.2 3rd term gave us a 10 goal lead. I was on top of the world. In my element. Outnumbered by sobbing crows fans as each goal sailed through I got closer and closer to losing my voice (which gave me the Monday off school my throat was on fire)

A great quarter indeed and that was part of the 1996 winning streak from rd 6 to 16 which was up there with the best and most exciting footy Ive seen us play.

I have the game (and many others)on VHS but unfortunately have no idea how to put stuff on youtube.






On SM-G925I using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

jorel6669

John Worsfold Medallist
Jun 5, 2004
8,450
5,170
AFL Club
West Coast
Cuzz09 it's easier than ever

First is to digitise:

Uploading to Youtube is as simple as creating a Google account and dragging and dropping in the Upload Video section.

My mum had a heap of old 90s games, most of which got taped over or gotten rid of when they moved. Spewing that I never kept them, as borrowed them once back before digitising was made really easy... I transferred some to DVD at the time but not all, so gave them back to her for "safekeeping". I've been raiding YouTube for as many old games as I can find, but not a lot is out there, unfortunately. Seems to be a lot of games we lost, though (you'll find some prick who's got every damn game Carlton has beaten us in, but none of the ones where we beat them).
 

Brolga

Grumpy Old Git
Nov 20, 2011
367
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In that Adelaide Prelim final wasn't there a point kicked by us in the last quarter which was shown after to be touched well over the line, and not even commented upon when it was shown later from side on?
 
#14 - 2015 2nd Qualifying Final vs Hawthorn New

HoneyBadger35

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Aug 11, 2011
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Qualifying Final 2015 – West Coast Eagles (14.12.96) def. Hawthorn (9.10.64)

1573644503463.png

The Context:
2013 marked the end of an era for West Coast, with Eagles legend John Worsfold stepping aside from the head coach position, making way for Adam Simpson to take the helm of this great club. After a solid, albeit unremarkable, first season in charge, Simpson had one job – return the Eagles to the finals, lest we match our longest ever streak without September action (three seasons, imagine not supporting this juggernaut).

The 2015 season marked the beginning of Shannon Hurn’s tenure as captain, replacing another outgoing legend in Darren Glass. For all intents and purposes, this was as close to an organisational cleanout as the Eagles had seen in some time, with Simpson and Hurn hoping to make their mark on the blank slate ahead of them.

Despite starting the season with a 1-2 record, the Eagles found an identity in a zone defence, quick transition game plan that saw them rocket up the ladder to finish in second place. All-Australians Matthew Priddis, Andrew Gaff and Josh Kennedy led the way, firing the high scoring Eagles into September, while the emergence of Jeremy McGovern, the continued dominance of Nic Naitanui and midfield exposure of Elliot Yeo saw the club boast match winners on every line.

Put simply, the 2015 West Coast Eagles were good. How good? Well, to find that out, they’d need to test themselves against the very best.

Hawthorn entered 2015 as back-to-back Premiers, finishing just two premiership points below the Eagles on the ladder. While West Coast would host the Qualifying Final, history was on the Hawks’ side. The Eagles had failed to beat Hawthorn since 2012, losing five consecutive games to the Hawks including one at Subiaco Oval just weeks prior. Alistair Clarkson seemed to have the wood over his protégé, along with a wealth of finals experience against a man leading his team into September for the first time.

The season was fun, but this game was the first major test of Adam Simpson’s credentials. Coaching against his mentor, Simpson hoped he could lead the Eagles to their first home prelim in a decade. All he had to contend with was the back-to-back Premiers, an imminent storm….oh, and the game day withdrawal of his reigning Brownlow medallist.
The Mood:
Priddis rumour about a thigh. Would cripple us if true because it will be wet.
Looks like it will be dry for the first half or so then could get pretty wet pretty quickly.

Need a good start.
No Priddis no Masten no chance
If we win this, Simmo probs deserves a 9 year 10 million dollar contract.
Just belted a guy wearing a Hawks shirt who was minding his own business in the city because it's TIME TO HUNT!!!
fu** injuries, fu** Hawthorn, fu** diving and drink driving, fu** blocking the mark, fu** injunctions.

We are winning this game. Nic Nat to show the footy world to never doubt him for a second. fu** you Hawthorn.
I think I'm gonna be sick
**** I love this stuff!!

Get excited, this is what it's all about!!

Rip em lads!!!
I give the Eagles board a feisty 7/10.
The Game:



First quarter: Nic Naitanui approached the opening bounce, more focused than perhaps any player on the field that evening. When the Eagles and Hawks last met, the star ruckman was a last-minute withdrawal, taking time away from football due to the passing of his mother. The ball was bounced, and Naitanui leapt to win the tap, his first of 40 hitouts, before following it up with the Eagles’ first possession of the game.

The two sides battled for supremacy, with the similar, skills driven gameplans clashing not only against one another, but with the intensity and scrappiness of finals football. The Eagles struck the first major blow, as Josh Hill was gifted a routine snap after a kick-in error. Jack Gunston snuck out the back of the Eagles zone to respond, before Elliot Yeo made his first major impact of a game that would prove to be a coming out for the emergent midfielder. The Hawks turned the screw ahead of quarter time, and the first term had been effectively a stalemate. With the rain looking imminent, and the veteran Hawks tipped to handled the conditions better, the Eagles would need to strike quickly. QT: WCE 2.2.14 trail HAW 2.3.15


Second quarter:
Stop reading right now and watch this quarter. I’ll wait.







Did you watch it? Good.

A cheap 50 metre penalty saw Brad Sheppard kick his only finals goal to date, a just reward for a player tasked with battling beyond his weight class all season as he continued to blossom at the heart of Adam Simpson’s defensive system. Josh Kennedy showed his class, with the Coleman Medallist taking the quarter and game by the scruff of its neck, kicking them from everywhere in a classic display of forward craft. Luke Shuey’s 11 disposals fired the Eagles forward time and time again, while the defence dug in their heels and held the Hawks to just one behind in the term. Five goals to none. Breathtaking stuff. HT: WCE 7.6.48 lead HAW 2.4.16


Third quarter:
The Hawks piled on the pressure to strike back at West Coast, but inaccuracy and some desperate defence held the visitors to just one goal in nearly 10 minutes of play. An uneasy four goal lead was extended by Josh Hill, before David Hale returned serve with a major of his own. It would be the last shot fired by Hawthorn.

The Eagles responded immediately with a forward entry that was unfortunately rushed through for a behind, but represented a clear indicator of the wave of pressure that was to come. LeCras, Cripps and Darling all took turns adding to the goal column, before Cripps marked in the goal square on the siren, slamming through another goal and sending Subiaco Oval into party mode. The Eagles had registered eight of the final 10 scores of the quarter, booting five goals to two and extending the lead to 50 points at the final change. Now they just had to hold on. 3QT: WCE 12.11.83 lead HAW 4.9.33


Fourth quarter:
Jarryd Roughhead goaled within moments to open the term, cutting the margin to 44 points. Who cares? Shaun Burgoyne got in on the act, reducing the lead to 38. Josh Kennedy let the Hawks off the hook and, while time was draining off the clock, Hawthorn weren’t giving up the chase. Goals to Burgoyne and Isaac Smith made it four unanswered for the Hawks, and the margin was just 27 with nine minutes to play. The Eagles weren’t out of the woods yet.

A tense four minutes of football ensued, with the clock becoming an ever present factor. The Eagles repeatedly surged forward, but failed to find a clear shot at goal. Enter, Mark Clutchings. Capitalising on Naitanui’s ruck dominance, Hutchings found himself in possession of the ball directly in front, before Luke Hodge slammed into his back like he was a roadside pole during a drunken bender. Goal. Ball game.

The sealer had been kicked, now all that was left was jubilation. Nic Naitanui outmarked two opponents down the line (doesn’t do it enough tbh), sent the ball inside 50 and set up Josh Hill’s wonder strike for his third, and best, goal of the evening. That was that, the Eagles had done it. On cue, the rain began to fall over Subiaco Oval, and nobody cared for a damn second. FT: WCE 14.12.96 def HAW 9.10.64
The Impact:

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This game tends to get buried given what was to come in the 2015 Finals series, but that’s a revisionist approach. At the time, this was the single biggest test that could have been thrown the Eagles’ way, and they passed with flying colours. The roar of the crowd as the siren sounded (kicked up a notch once the heavens opened) was, in my opinion, the best moment the Eagles had delivered in a decade. Relief. Hope. Joy. Pride. Adam Simpson’s Eagles were for real, and the 2015 Qualifying Final proved it.
 
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