Ominous Eagles thrash cold Pies
West Coast has made a statement to their premiership rivals in season 2020, hammering Collingwood by 66 points at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
Having trailed by 14 points at quarter time, the Eagles kicked 16 of the next 18 goals to record the highest score and biggest victory margin of the season, defeating the Pies 18.3 (111) to 6.9 (45).
Josh Kennedy put on a clinic up forward, kicking seven goals straight to dismantle Collingwood's previously stingy defence, the home side kicking 11.0 from set shots for the match in an outstanding display of goalkicking.
Nathan Buckley's side was rocked by the last minute withdrawal of captain Scott Pendlebury, who was ruled out just moments before the bounce with a quad injury.
It didn't seem to deter them too much in the opening stanza, kicking the opening two majors through Will Hoskin-Elliott and local product Darcy Cameron.
Despite the absence of stars Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and Jordan De Goey, the Pies were winning the clearances through the tap work of Brodie Grundy with Adam Treloar and Taylor Adams impactful early.
The game changed complexion after quarter time as West Coast's midfield lifted, Tim Kelly, Elliot Yeo, Luke Shuey and Andrew Gaff gaining silver service from Nic Naitanui.
Kennedy had four by the major break, fellow key forward Jack Darling producing one of the clangers of the season when he shelled a simple mark 15 metres out from goal but redeeming himself on the half time siren by setting up Andrew Gaff for a major to give the Eagles an 11 point lead at the half.
The third quarter was an Eagle domination, kicking six goals straight to Collingwood's three behinds as star recruit Kelly put on a clinic at clearances, giving the forwards silver service.
Young forwards Oscar Allen and Jake Waterman continued their growth as they shared four goals between them for the term, Kennedy slotting his fifth goal to put the result beyond doubt before the three quarter time siren.
There was to be no let off in the final stanza, kicking another five goals before a late Josh Daicos major broke a 13 goal run for the home side.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson was delighted with his team's dominant win.
"“We were really efficient in the front half. But our pressure and intensity were good all day. We made the most of our opportunities. Collingwood were a few men short today," he said.
“Overall I thought our midfield were pretty damaging today.”
West Coast premiership defender Jeremy McGovern was a late withdrawal with a finger injury, but is set to return against Geelong in round nine.
IMAGE: West Coast Eagles Twitter.