The game started bright for the kangaroos in the 1st quarter, dominating centre clearances through the excellent tap work from Todd Goldstein and great centre clearance work from Ziebell, Higgins, Swallow and Dumont. The signs were particularly good early with some crunching tackles setting the tone for what looked like being a tough afternoon for the Eagles. The only negative was that the margin should have been greater, with only a 9 point lead separating the 2 teams.
The 2nd quarter started off poor for the Roos with West coast kicking 4.1 in the first 5 minutes and getting the lead and never to be headed again in the game. Sam Mitchell in his first game for the club owned the middle of the ground having 22 possessions to half-time. The Kangaroos fought hard to stay in the contest and went goal for goal after the early onslaught to only be down by 6 points at the half.
The 3rd quarter started off just as the 2nd did, with West Coast kicking early goals to get ascendancy in the game. The outside run was where West coast started to dominate. Yeo, Wellingham, Shuey, Masten and Hurn really starting to show why the Eagles will be a contender this year, finding space and hitting up targets with ease, making life for North Defenders very difficult. The margin blew out to 35 points and things were looking bleak.
The 4th quarter started brightly for the Roos with an early goal to Goldstein, but missed opportunities really hurt, with Waite missing an open goal from 10 metres breaking supporters hearts. Drew Petrie sealed the game for the Eagles, going down the other end and kicking a goal from the 50 metre line, with some generous applause from the North Faithful. Basic Turnovers and fatigue become the theme in the last quarter, with North’s younger bodies really struggling to finish off the game. West Coast took over and were in cruise control for the last 15 minutes posting a comfortable 43 point win.
Each week I’ll do player ratings from the game and a quick summary of each player.
Robbie Tarrant: 4/10
Had his colours lowered by Kennedy. Battled really hard and done some nice things, but I’d expect him to bounce back this week against Geelong.
Luke McDonald: 5/10
Was too loose on Lecras in the 2nd quarter and payed the price with the classy forward kicking 3 goals. Didn’t let it affect him too much and had a reasonable game.
He was ok without being spectacular. He’ll be more confident as he gets more games into him. Certainly not a bad debut.
Shaun Atley: 5/10
Drifts in and out of games too much, with 133 games experience now, id hope for more consistency. We definitely need his run this year. Done some nice runs and got a bit of the ball.
Lachlan Hansen: 6/10
Seems to be a whipping boy and has sometimes been mine over the years. Started on Petrie and then went on Kennedy. He battled hard and was better than average.
Marley Williams 5/10
Started the game off slow and then went on LeCras in the 2nd half and shut him down. Not a bad debut and I think will be a senior regular playing on the oppositions dangerous small forwards.
Jy Simpkin 4/10
Done some really nice things, but looked under-done and a boy playing against men. He will be a very good player and I don’t mind him getting games early.
Trent Dumont 5/10
He was ok and got 25 possessions with 6 inside 50’s. Didn’t use the ball well on occasions and is very one paced.
Jamie McMillan 6/10
Played well and is the general of the backline. I’d love to see him push through the midfield more to add much-needed class. A consistent player who coaches and supporters love.
Declan Mountford 4/10
Similar to Simpkin. I would have loved to see his pace more during the game, getting the Handball receives and running at the goals. I’m looking forward to seeing his development over the year.
Jarrad Waite 3/10
This could have easily been 9/10, but bad kicking is bad football. 1.7 is unacceptable for a forward whose job is to kick goals. To make matters worse, he injured his shoulder and will be out for 4-6 weeks.
Nathan Hrovat: 4/10
Got 14 touches and kicked a goal on his debut. Has got a lot of class about him and will hopefully be better against Geelong this week.
Shaun Higgins 8/10
If I had to take a punt now and he stays fit, he’ll win our best and fairest. Had 25 touches with 11 clearances and 8 score involvements. We need 22 games out of him this year if we are going to be competitive most weeks
Braydon Pruess: 5/10
The raging bull had an impressive debut. He only got 5 touches, kicked a goal and done some nice tap work around the stoppages. Already a fan favourite.
Lindsay Thomas: 4/10
Bad kicking is bad football and had 3 set shots which were all gettable. His pressure up forward was good, laying 6 tackles. My worry is that the yips are back. I hope I’m wrong
Todd Goldstein: 7/10
Was excellent in the ruck as per usual, also going forward and kicking 3 goals. He was back to his best and will hopefully have a great year.
Jack Ziebell: 7/10
Led from the front and had 31 touches. Had a few clangers in the game, but he is what he is and you have to take the good with the bad.
Andrew Swallow: 6/10
Had 23 touches and is a tackling machine. He looked like a player that enjoyed having the pressure of captaincy off him. Missed a simple set shot from 30 metres out in the 1st quarter which was his only negative.
Scott Thompson: 3/10
Maybe a little harsh but looked a step slow out there and looked nervous with the ball in his hands. Might get dropped with Durdin knocking on the door.
Kayne Turner: 5/10
Only got the 9 touches, but kicked 2 goals. A good pressuring half forward who’ll look to cement a spot in the team, particularly after a disappointing 2016, on and off the field.
Sam Gibson: 5/10
Was ok, without being spectacular. He seems to be a bit of a whipping boy by the supporters. He is consistent, if nothing else.
Ben Brown: 5/10
Hasn’t had much of a pre-season and was a good target up forward. Kicked 2 goals and is one of our most important players.
Votes for the game
3. S. Higgins
2. T. Goldstein
1. J. Ziebell