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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

Eagles effort against StKilda should be the benchmark

After a week under the brightest of spotlights following their historic 171-point defeat at the hands of Sydney, the Eagles produced a strong performance in front of their home fans, leading by as much as 31 points in the second term before the Saints came late to steal the win.

West Coast legend Peter Sumich has praised an improved effort from his former club in their eight-point loss to St Kilda.

Sumich told Sports Breakfast the desire the Eagles brought to the contest should be their new benchmark moving forward.

“It was a terrific effort,” Sumich said.

“They came to play, which is sad because you should be having that type of effort all the time.

“If it was any other side, West Coast might have been up by six or seven goals, but because it was St Kilda, they were always only three or four goals in arrears and they always had a chance to peg the game back, which they did.”

“They play Brisbane in Brisbane (this week), and we know they’re not going to win the game, but effort plays a big part. If they go down by eighty points but you can see the effort, you’re going to say they’re not good enough and that’s fine.”

Sumich said it was pleasing to see some of the club’s youngsters stepping up to the level of AFL football.

“You’ve got Chesser and Long, they’re going to be good players going forward,” he said.

“Elijah Hewett, (Reuben) Ginbey, all those players, you wouldn’t say they’re A graders, but they look like a B, B plus type player, and that’s what you need.

“We don’t have to get carried away and say where are the A graders, they’ll come in the draft and one of these kids might bob up and become an A grader.

“There’s a lot to work with those three and four players. They’ve just got to build around that and go from there.”

It was Fremantle’s turn to disappoint on the WA front as they suffered a 29-point loss to the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium, with Sumich saying it was frustrating to see the Dockers let a chance to enter the top eight slip.

“They build you up, Fremantle, we’ve said it a hundred times before, and they just let you down when you think they’re a chance,” he said.

“They play Collingwood and Geelong away, right now you’d say they’re not going to get the four points there. There’s eight games left, they’ve got to win a minimum of five if not six to make it because their percentage is not where it should be.

“Difficult task right now and even Carlton this week will be a big game for both clubs, they have to win that one.”

This week, the Eagles come up against the Lions at the Gabba at 11:45 am on Saturday, while the Dockers welcome the Blues to Optus Stadium at 2:40 pm on Sunday.

IMAGE: Getty Images


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