Home

West Coast Eagles, Harley Reid show signs of improvement in pre-season loss to Adelaide Crows

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockThe West Australian
CommentsComments
West Coast showed some good signs but were still well beaten.
Camera IconWest Coast showed some good signs but were still well beaten. Credit: Mark Brake/Getty Images

There is light at the end of the tunnel for West Coast, even if their 67-point defeat at the hands of Adelaide proved they’ve still got a long walk to go to get there.

The Eagles ticked several boxes, including getting through injury-free, but couldn’t stop an impressive Crows outfit in a 17.15 (117) to 7.8 (50) defeat at Richmond Oval on Saturday afternoon.

West Coast needed to tick several boxes just over a fortnight from their season opener against Port Adelaide – most importantly not adding to their injury list that featured 14 players before this game.

No.1 draftee Harley Reid showed he was better for the run against Fremantle the week before with a 20 disposal outing, including several fend offs and five clearances.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW

Reid wasn’t sighted at half-back and at one stage even played as the deepest forward, but most impressive was his ability to stand up against the Crows who were obviously trying to be physical with the inexperienced teenager.

Still, the Eagles best players were their stalwarts with four-time All-Australian defender Jeremy McGovern (16 disposals) showing he is still one of the Eagles’ most important.

The Game AFL 2024

Harley Reid stood up well to some heavy attention.
Camera IconHarley Reid stood up well to some heavy attention. Credit: Mark Brake/Getty Images

McGovern and his partner-in-crime Tom Barrass were excellent early in holding out the Crows who dominated the game early, but didn’t capitalise with their forward entries.

Reigning club champion Tim Kelly continued his form from the previous year with 26 touches, seven tackes, eight clearances and a goal, while Elliot Yeo got through unscathed and finished with 16 touches to go with six clearances.

Veteran forward Jack Darling made a cameo appearance with two goals early in the second term, while Jack Petruccelle had moments both up forward and in the midfield.

And the Eagles delivered on coach Adam Simpson’s plan to work on the basics and the contest, winning the tackle count 66-49 while competing hard at stages but not consistently.

Unfortunately, there were still signs of just how far the Eagles are off competing against the better sides.

Jeremy McGovern was one of the Eagles’ best.
Camera IconJeremy McGovern was one of the Eagles’ best. Credit: Mark Brake/Getty Images

The loss of recruit Matt Flynn was evident as Crows ruckman Reilly O’Brien (22 disposals, 34 hit-outs and eight clearances) dominated the game, monstering Bailey Williams (one touch and 14 hit-outs) and his trio of helpers in Coen Livingstone, Harry Barnett and Callum Jamieson.

Adelaide had 23 more clearances and 111 more disposals, in a clear sign of where the Eagles can improve.

And when the ball got on the outside, Adelaide’s fleet-footer brigade got to work and West Coast could not keep up.

The home side transitioned with pace and confidence and once they worked out how to circumnavigate McGovern and Barrass they began to hit the scoreboard.

Riley Thilthorpe marks in front of  Callum Jamieson.
Camera IconRiley Thilthorpe marks in front of Callum Jamieson. Credit: Mark Brake/Getty Images

Izak Rankine booted four goals from 18 touches as a result, mixing his time as a midfielder and forward before being rested in the final quarter.

Captain Jordan Dawson (28 touches, seven inside 50s and a goal) dominated at the clearances early alongside Matt Crouch (23 disposals and six clearances) and Rory Laird (26 disposals and seven clearances), as the Eagles struggled to match their experience and strength once they got on the move.

Adelaide finally broke the game open in the third term despite kicking against the wind, with West Coast looking weary and conceding seven goals to three.

The Crows only worry was an knee injury to forward Riley Thilthorpe in a marking contest early in the final term.

Jordan Dawson celebrates a goal with  Izak Rankine
Camera IconJordan Dawson celebrates a goal with Izak Rankine Credit: Mark Brake/Getty Images

West Coast will be buoyed by the fact they should regain co-captain Oscar Allen, second-year star Reuben Ginbey and forward recruit Tyler Brockman back for round one as a minimum.

Forward Jake Waterman was managed after half-time, while co-captain Liam Duggan and McGovern took no part in the final term.

SCOREBOARD

ADELAIDE 4.0, 7.5, 14.7, 17.15 (117)

WEST COAST 1.0, 3.2, 6.6, 7.8 (50)

Goals – ADELAIDE: I Rankine 4 J Rachele 3 S Berry 2 L Murphy 2 T Walker 2 B Keays J Dawson L Pedlar L Sholl. WEST COAST: J Darling 2 J Petruccelle 2 L Edwards T Kelly J Waterman.

Best – ADELAIDE: R O’Brien I Rankine J Dawson S Berry M Crouch L Sholl. WEST COAST: J McGovern T Kelly H Reid E Yeo T Barrass T Cole.

Injuries – ADELAIDE: R Thilthorpe (knee).

Umpires: C Donlon L Haussen A Heffernen P Bailes. Crowd: TBC at Richmond Oval.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails