It was the battle of the birds in the Sydney AFL’s Round 4 East vs West Showdown, as our East Coast Eagles took on the Western Suburbs Magpies at Picken Oval in Round 4.
This would be a slogfest of a game, with Wests being notoriously tough to play against at home, and the Eagles always being a tough gritty side at the footy. For Wests, they were coming into this game after dropping their annual ANZAC Day clash with Pennant Hills, whilst Eagle spirits were up and about after gaining our first win by thumping Camden. Its pretty early in the season to call this a must win game for both sides, but they definitely didn’t hold back from the get go. Both sides wanted the win.
The first quarter was won by Wests on the scoreboard, but from an East Coast perspective, we looked the better side. According to Coach Damien Truslove, we met our key performance indicators in the first term, but were just left ruing missed opportunities on goal. Down by 9 at the first break, the second stanza would have a key impact on the end result.
Wests used this time to pounce, capitalizing on some East Coast miss-kicks, to score heavily off turnovers. Wests are a momentum side, and thrive off having the upper hand even if it be for 5 or so minutes. They like to use their hot streaks to make their opponents pay quickly. We struggled to shut down Wests momentum in the second quarter, and went into half-time 40 points down. This by no means meant the game was over, but we needed to fix the little things if were any chance to mount a comeback.
East Coast looked for an early break in the third term, but Wests held their grip on the game, making it even tougher for us to make in-roads. We kicked a few goals during their period, but not enough to make Wests too uncomfortable, thus we trailed by 38 at 3QT.
We never gave up, but it wasn’t our day. Picken Oval is an underrated road trip in this competition, as Wests seem to go to the next level when playing there. They won the key moments in the last quarter, eventually doubling our score to win by 52 points.
Stephen O’Connor was a massive inclusion for East Coast this week, with the veteran Ruckman making a massive impact winning plenty of taps to give our on-ballers first possession at the stoppages. Our young brigade also took some big steps forward during this clash, with Will Mitchell, Corey Dowle and Cameron Wilson being especially impressive, particularity in defense.
As Truslove said on the match “They scored lots from turnovers, meaning we need to fix our skill execution. We also need to tidy up our off-ball defence to prevent sides from putting big scores on us”.
Couldn’t of said it any better myself. We know what the focus is, and its going to be a big week in preparation for a massive game against UNSW back at the NEST in Round 5.
Inner West Magpies
Best Players: P. O”Connell, C. McEvoy-Gray, B. Klemke, B. Lagana, P. Wilmot, N. McCormack
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: W. Mitchell , C. Dowle, C. Wilson, K. Merson, B. Stewart, J. Cutting
|1||North Shore Bombers||4||4||0||0||354||163||217.18||16|
|2||UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||4||3||1||0||446||154||289.61||12|
|3||Pennant Hills Demons||4||3||1||0||303||220||137.73||12|
|4||Inner West Magpies||4||2||1||1||266||268||99.25||10|
|5||UTS Australian Football Club||4||2||2||0||351||280||125.36||8|
|6||St George Dragons||4||2||2||0||324||272||119.12||8|
|8||Manly Warringah Wolves||4||1||3||0||236||290||81.38||4|
|9||East Coast Eagles||4||1||3||0||240||297||80.81||4|