Eagles win tenth straight Derby
West Coast has prevailed in Western Derby 51, defeating Fremantle by 30 points at Optus Stadium.
Josh Kennedy starred in his 250th game, kicking four majors to capitalise on an under strength Dockers defence and win his third Glendinning-Allan medal.
Having spent a month in Queensland in hub life it was a joyous return for the Eagles, Fremantle's home crowd kept quiet for the most part as Adam Simpson's men won a club record tenth straight derby against their cross town rivals, winning 9.8 (62) to 5.2 (32).
Kennedy kicked the first goal of the evening before Fremantle gained the ascendency around the contest, Matt Taberner imposing himself up forward in kicking consecutive majors.
It should have been three however, with the Dockers forward playing on at the top of the goal square only to be run down by Eagles defender Tom Cole.
The start of the second term was a dour affair, neither team willing to take risks as uncontested possessions became the hallmark of the contest.
A dominant five minute stretch from the Eagles gave them breathing space, goals from Kennedy, Jarrod Cameron and Jake Waterman pushing the lead out to 20 points.
Rory Lobb kicked a late goal to keep Fremantle thereabouts at the major break, but West Coast assumed complete control of the game in the third term, keeping their opponents scoreless while kicking the only two goals of the quarter.
The Eagles defence was impenetrable, Brad Shepperd and Shannon Hurn partnering with key defenders Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass to shut down Fremantle's forward forays.
Lobb broke the scoring drought early in the last quarter with a goal, before two missed opportunities came back to bite the Dockers, Kennedy sealing the result with his fourth major of the night.
Andrew Gaff had a game high 24 disposals for West Coast, defenders Jackson Nelson and Brad Shepperd each with 23 disposals.
Luke Ryan had 19 touches for the vanquished, James Aish and Michael Walters 18 apiece.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson was pleased with his team's performance.
"“Overall I thought our leadership and ability to sustain the pressure shone through.” he said.
The 2018 premiership coach had particular praise for his veteran forward Kennedy.
"“He had that look in his eye. I knew he was going to play well. I couldn’t be prouder for him.”
West Coast will face Collingwood at Optus Stadium next Sunday, while Fremantle has an eight day break before they host Geelong at the same venue on a Monday night.
IMAGE: West Coast Eagles Twitter.