West Coast Eagles break three-quarter time drought, eye streak-busting win

Headshot of Chris Robinson
Chris RobinsonThe West Australian
Liam Ryan celebrates a goal.
Camera IconLiam Ryan celebrates a goal. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

UPDATE: West Coast built a three-quarter time lead for the first time since the opening weekend of the season to give themselves a chance of snapping the longest losing run in club history.

Adam Simpson’s side overcame a sloppy start to settle and creep to a five-point lead at intermission before going on to win the third term and give themselves a strong chance at halting their nine-game losing skid.

West Coast led 13.6 (84) to 10.13 (73) at the final change - the first time they’ve entered the fourth quarter in front since round one, where they were eventually overrun by Gold Coast.

Willie Rioli helped spark West Coast with two second-quarter goals, with the forward pointing to the sky in celebration after his snapped first.

It marked the first time Rioli had faced Essendon since the 2019 elimination final win that ended up being his final game before missing the next two seasons due to a doping ban.

Josh Kennedy banged through three majors in the opening half, including a superb boundary-line set-shot snap.

Fellow premiership forwards Jack Darling and Jamie Cripps added a pair of goals each by half time to give Eagles fans hope of the streak coming to an end.

One of Darling’s goals came courtesy of a fine juggled mark to help West Coast steady after a fast Essendon start.

It was then Liam Ryan’s turn to step up, banging through two majors in the third term to fuel his side’s belief.

Elliot Yeo’s strong form off half-back continued in his second game since shifting to defence, racking up 19 disposals and gaining almost 600 metres through three quarters.

West Coast will move off the bottom of the ladder and jump over North Melbourne with a win.

It would also mark the first time in 335 days the Eagles have saluted in WA - their longest-ever home drought.

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