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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

Richmond win would be "massive" for young Eagles: Cripps

West Coast Eagles forward Jamie Cripps says West Coast’s team defence needs to be top-notch against the chaotic Tigers.

On Sunday, West Coast will look to win their first game of the season against an injury-ravaged Richmond side at Optus Stadium. 

However, despite losing the likes of Noah Balta, Dion Prestia, Tom Lynch and Dylan Grimes, Cripps told SportFM it won’t be an easy game.  

“Richmond is going to be a tough game. I think their first half last week was really good,” he said.

“The quick game that they play is hard to defend, so our team defence has to be right up there. 

“If we play a good four-quarter effort, I think we can get the win. Looking forward to it and hopefully, a big crowd can come out to show their support and get behind us.”

When asked about what a win against Richmond would mean for the club, Cripps said it would be ‘massive’, especially for the younger players.

“They can feel that win feeling, sing that song, which we haven't done for a while," he said.

“If we're getting the win, we obviously played a good brand of footy, the brand that we want to play each week. So fingers crossed that we can come out and get the win.”

Richmond has just one win this season which happened a fortnight ago against Sydney, in what was a resilient, but daring display. One week later, West Coast outscored and challenged the Swans in the first half, but dropped away to lose the match in the second half.

Compared to previous weeks, West Coast looked stronger across the board and converted more scoring opportunities to come away 11.12 (78). 

Cripps says, although satisfying to see some results, it needs to be a four-quarter effort to get a win. 

It's good to finally see what we've been working on in the pre-season, and in the training in the first few weeks of the season come out in a game. We haven't really had that this year,” he said.

“That was the most disappointing thing in the first three games that we were just going out there and we weren't seeing anything that we were working on. In little snippets, we would.

“On the weekend, it was just a longer brand of footy that we want to play for two to three quarters and now we have to do it for the four quarters to start getting some wins.” 

Over the weekend, Harley Reid kicked his first goal for West Coast, and proudly tugged his jumper in celebration as his teammates gathered around him.  

The much-hyped battle between Richmond superstar Dustin Martin and Reid will take centre stage at Optus Stadium on Sunday. 

Within four games, Reid has made a name for himself with his fend-offs and broken tackles, with fans eager to see how he matches up with Martin's 'don't argues.' 

“He's just a big unit. He's strong. I think he broke a fair few tackles on the weekend,” said Cripps.

“He's a good user with the footy and he can go up forward and kick goals as well. 

“He's definitely good to have in the midfield, he's got a bit of speed behind him as well which is nice. He can get on the outside and use his legs.”



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