Eagles plight "sad" after new low
West Coast legend Peter Sumich has called the club’s plight “sad” after their horror run reached a new nadir with a 116-point loss to Hawthorn.
The flogging at the hands of the 17th-placed Hawks in Launceston on Saturday leaves the Eagles rooted to the bottom of the ladder with a percentage of 55.4, having lost 33 of their last 36 games.
Sumich told Sports Breakfast he was hurting as a life member who cared deeply for the club.
“I thought Hawthorn would win the game, I think most people probably thought that as well, but I thought West Coast were going to be very competitive,” Sumich said.
“After the first quarter, I was thinking ‘jeez, hopefully this doesn’t blow out to 80 plus points’, and it actually blew out a bit more. “It wasn’t great. I know they’re undermanned but … you just don’t like to see those things happen.”
Despite having seven of their top ten most senior players on the sidelines, the Eagles came into the game only marginally less experienced than the Hawks, with their 23 having played an average of 64.9 games of AFL football against Hawthorn’s 69.1.
Sumich questioned whether the club’s development program was giving the players the best opportunity to succeed.
“A lot of those players are developing players and of course, there’s a fair few younger ones there that have just come into the system over the last 12, 24 months,” he said.
“I just don’t know whether they’ve been given the right opportunity.
“If that’s the case, how can you get rid of those players without giving them the opportunity?”
Across town, Walyalup (Fremantle) continued their upward trend with a 29-point win over reigning premiers Geelong at Optus Stadium on Saturday, with Sumich saying he thought Justin Longmuir’s side was back in finals contention.
“[Geelong] probably had about five players that are in their best 22 who were out, so that was the opportunity for Fremantle to strike, and they did it really well,” he said.
“They’ve got no injuries, Fremantle, they’re rolling along.
“Four, five weeks ago, you would’ve pencilled in Geelong, so well done to Fremantle. They give themselves a good chance, I think, against Melbourne as well, if they’re off the ball by five percent, Fremantle will win that game.”
Walyalup will head to the MCG to take on the Demons at 12:10pm on Saturday, while West Coast will look to turn their season around against Essendon at Optus Stadium at 5:30pm on the same day.