The West Coast Eagles showed why they won the Premiership last year after a gritty 22 point win over Collingwood at the MCG. Eagles’ 15.8 98 to 11.10 76 win ensured the reigning premiers are still the competition’s benchmark.
There were some forgotten faces doing their fair share of the damage, as well.
Back from eight matches on the sidelines due to his infamous suspension late last year, Andrew Gaff was booed throughout but performed admirably in his anticipated return.
Gaff finished with 35 disposals and five clearances. Eagles’ Skipper Shannon Hurn was influential off half-back collecting 28 disposals. Collingwood’s Taylor Adams was among The Pies most prolific to finish with 26 disposals and 3 goal assists.
Grand Final Hero Dom Sheed finishing with 24 disposals and three-goal. Luke Shuey continues his great start to the season with 24 possessions and 2 goal assists. 4 goals to Jamie Cripps and 3 to Josh Kennedy also proved crucial. Their performances came as West Coast overturned an early deficit to stroll home.
Jordan De Goey had threatened to break the game open early, kicking three goals. But his influence was importantly limited by Brad Sheppard for the remainder of the match.
The Pies, like they had done in the 2018 Grand Final, claimed an early advantage in large part through De Goey’s excellence. His two early goals set up a 12-point quarter-time lead.
The Eagles have now won the past 4 encounters with Collingwood, showing that the MCG isn’t a worry for them anymore.
Collingwood returns to the MCG next Friday night to meet the Western Bulldogs, while West Coast heads back home for the derby against Fremantle on Saturday night at Optus Stadium.
By Daniel Ebert