WEST COAST 6.2 13.6 15.7 18.13 (121)
ST KILDA 1.4 5.5 11.10 13.13 (91)
West Coast has fought off a spirited fight back from St Kilda to claim a 30-point win.
Dean Cox was immense for the Eagles up forward, booting a career-best five goals in what turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
After a positive start for the Saints with a goal through captain Nick Riewoldt, West Coast were relentless as they hammered on six consecutive goals to establish a 28-point lead at quarter time.
St Kilda’s problems were further enhanced when Rhys Stanley was subbed out of the game for Jamie Cripps with a hamstring complaint during the first quarter.
St Kilda once again started the second quarter positively, kicking three of the first four goals, but West Coast were not to be denied, eventually booting home seven goals to four in the quarter to establish a 49-point lead at halftime.
Cox was enjoying having his partner Nic Natanui back while the big man registered four first-half goals.
St Kilda marched back into the game in the third, kicking six goals, five to the Eagles’ two goals, one, reducing the margin to a mere 21 points.
A late knee injury to Cripps will leave St Kilda worried, although he did return in the fourth quarter with heavy strapping.
The Eagles proved too strong in the end, as they answered every challenge St Kilda threw at them, running out the game to earn a hard-fought win.
West Coast will host Fremantle in a local derby on Sunday while St Kilda next face Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
3) Dean Cox (WCE)
2) Beau Waters (WCE)
1) Scott Selwood (WCE)
West Coast: Cox 5, Waters 2, Naitanui 2, Shuey 2, Darling, Gaff, Hill, Lynch, McGinnity, Schofield, Sheppard, Shuey
St Kilda: Riewoldt 4, Cripps 2, Armitage, Gilbert, Milera, Milne, Saad, Steven, Dal Santo
West Coast: Cox, Waters, Scott Selwood, Shuey, Masten, Darling
St Kilda: Montagna, Hayes, Riewoldt, Jones, Steven, Dal Santo
West Coast: Priddis (concussion) replaced in selected side by Stevens
St Kilda: Stanley (hamstring), Cripps (knee)
West Coast: Koby Stevens replaced Adam Selwood at three-quarter time
St Kilda: Jamie Cripps replaced Rhys Stanley at quarter-time
Umpires: Donlon, Dalgleish, Mollison
Official crowd: 38,174 at Patersons Stadium