No excuses for ‘physically weak’ Eagles after annihilation in Geelong

Even an injured skipper was no excuse for the Eagles (@westcoasteagles Twitter)

The West Coast Eagles suffered their worst defeat under Adam Simpson in a 97-point loss to the Cats at GMHBA stadium this Saturday afternoon.

After their first quarter performance, no one would’ve predicted the absolute carnage that was to come in the remainder of the game.

Heading into quarter time, West Coast was up by five points, and looked competitive around the contest.

Come the second quarter and it fell to pieces, Geelong kicking 10 unanswered goals and taking it to a 55-point lead at half time.

From there, the Cats soared and became unstoppable, while the Eagles continued to crumble.

Post-game, Eagles coach Adam Simpson was disappointed with his team’s efforts, labelling the performance as ‘embarrassing’.

“We got annihilated in every aspect of the game,” he said.

“In the second quarter we got blown away [in] centre bounces, contests in front of the ball, contests behind the ball and they converted.

“We over-handballed a little bit, a couple of missed opportunities and then we started losing some serious contests in the back half and before we knew, it was 30 points.

‘We were just trying to plug holes for the rest of the day. Really disappointing performance.

“They held up first quarter and they put the foot down and we couldn’t stop it. We tried a lot of things, but if you can’t get your hands on the ball, you’re in trouble.”

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Geelong dominated every stat around the ground, including 397 disposals to 261, 75.6% disposal efficiency to 64% and 43 clearances to 35.

One alarming statistic for West Coast was their meagre 64 marks to Geelong’s 120. For a zealous marking team to suffer a deficit that large, is a sign of larger problems.

While Simpson gave credit to the home side, he provided no excuses for his team’s pitiful performances.

“Absolutely no excuses for what we did today,” he said.

“You can lose over here, that happens, but you want to play a brand that you’re proud of.

“There’s stages in games, and from experience, where you… don’t really know what to do and that’s my job, that’s our coaches’ job to realign it and reset it.

“We couldn’t find a way to get our guys mentally back in the game. Physically, we looked weak.”

West Coast have been hit hard by injuries, playing without captain Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo, Shannon Hurn, Liam Ryan and Josh Kennedy.

All-Australian defender Jeremy McGovern is the latest Eagle to fall victim to the injury crisis with an abductor muscle complaint.

Even injured superstars aren’t an issue in Simpson’s eyes, as he expects more players to step up.

“There is a tipping point with personnel, but that’s not a reason to play like we did,” he said.

“The expectation is that we still perform a bit better than we did today.

“We’re missing a few leaders, but we’ve got enough leaders in that team to help try and arrest some momentum.

“We just couldn’t stop the momentum. That’s happened a couple of times this year.”

The past 24 hours have been chaotic for the Eagles, caught up in the Western Australian COVID lockdown drama on the other side of the country.

As WA entered a three-day lockdown last night, it was business as usual for West Coast in its preparation aside from mandatory tests, all of which came back negative.  

“It wasn’t much for us. We got tested last night and it was business as usual,” Simpson said.

“We’ve come back negative so there was no concern with that.

“It was completely normal prep for us, so definitely not part of the reasons of what happened today.”

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About Rebecca Ruthven 43 Articles
Rebecca is an Aussie rules, cricket and basketball writer for The Inner Sanctum. Based in Perth, she mainly focuses on the WA sporting scene, however she does enjoy covering sport interstate. Currently studying Journalism at Curtin University.

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