Giants continue Eagles road woes
West Coast's struggles on the road have continued in 2021, defeated by the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Sydney Showgrounds on Sunday.
In what was a close contest throughout the home side kicked the final two goals of the contest to record a 13.15 (93) to 11.11 (77) win, putting the Giants in the frame for a top 8 spot after starting the season 0-3.
Key forward Jeremy Finlayson, returning from a one-game ban, booted a match-high three goals.
Young defenders Sam Taylor and Jack Buckley were both outstanding for Leon Cameron's side, restricting star Eagles forwards Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling to one goal apiece.
The match was in the balance until speedster Bobby Hill kicked consecutive goals to hand GWS a game-high lead of 16 points with three minutes remaining.
Stand in Giants skipper Josh Kelly (25 disposals, seven clearances, eight tackles) led from the front when it came to pressure and poise, inspiring his team to lay 32 more tackles than the Eagles.
Namesake Tim Kelly tallied a game-high 15 contested possessions and eight clearances for West Coast, while ruckman Nic Naitanui had eight clearances and 34 hitouts.
The loss, coming as premiership captain Shannon Hurn became the club's all-time games record holder, extended West Coast's concerning away record in 2021.
Adam Simpson's side are undefeated in Perth this season but are now 1-4 from games outside Western Australia.
GWS, who face an in-form Brisbane at the Gabba in round 11, have drawn level with eight-placed Richmond in banking a 5-5 start to 2021.
Neither team created a buffer of any substance during the opening half, when there were nine lead changes.
Finlayson helped the Giants establish an 11-point lead in the third quarter, only for the Eagles to fire back in the arm-wrestle and trim the hosts' advantage to four points at three-quarter time.
The topsy-turvy nature of the clash continued in the final term, during which GWS controlled proceedings but couldn't put the Eagles away until Hill stood up amid a pressure-laden finish.
West Coast plays Essendon in round 11 on Saturday night, their season intriguingly placed at 6-4 sitting in seventh position.
IMAGE: Fan Footy.