West Coast have kept their finals hopes alive with a 12-point win over the Brisbane Lions.
West Coast have kept their faint finals hopes alive by holding on for a 12-point victory over the Brisbane Lions.
The Eagles won 11.10 (76) to 9.10 (64) in an uninspiring AFL clash in front of 13,610 fans at the Gabba on Saturday night.
The win moves West Coast within eight points of the top eight but Adam Simpson will know his side need to improve greatly if they are to qualify for the finals.
The Lions led the game in most statistics but their inaccurate kicking meant the Eagles held the upper hand.
Luke Shuey, Mark LeCras, Jeremy McGovern and Ashley Smith all kicked two goals for the Eagles, while Ashley McGrath and Josh Green managed two majors apiece for the Lions.
Shuey shone in the first term nailing two superb kicks from just inside the right boundary – the second on the run – to give the Eagles a comfortable advantage at quarter-time.
The game looked like it could be over by the long break but the Eagles midfield’s tackling let them down, as they struggled to deal with the speed of their Brisbane counterparts.
Daniel Merrett and McGrath were both beneficiaries, taking marks in front of the sticks to bring the margin back to a goal at the long break.
A goal from the impressive Green levelled the scores in the third before two LeCras goals restored the West Coast advantage and from his point onwards the visitors did not look like losing.
The untidy nature of the match was epitomised in the third quarter as the normally reliable Eric Mackenzie kicked against his own goalpost when aiming a defensive cross-field pass to a teammate.