WEST COAST 8.3 11.5 17.11 25.16 (166)
GOLD COAST 2.3 4.8 5.9 5.10 (40)
You could spend a lot of time analysing why West Coast are a vastly superior side to the team selected by the Suns, but it can be summed up most efficiently by one observation: It was the most extreme case of men against boys that you could ever imagine.
The Eagles took the role of the bully, beaten by someone their own size last week and ready to deal out punishment to a small child – or in this case, an infant – unable to fight back.
Hawthorn’s victory on Friday knocked the Eagles out of the top four for the first time this season, and with six teams seriously vying for four spots, percentage becomes paramount.
That was the attitude the Eagles took into the contest, and it showed. 10 seconds in and Dean Cox was lining up for goal from inside the goalsquare. Five minutes later and the Suns had only one possession – a rushed Gary Ablett kick which was marked by Andrew Gaff, who then kicked the Eagles third goal.
Matt Shaw provided some relief with a nice running goal, but by quarter time the score read 51-15 and it was clear that the Eagles were headed to a triple figure victory.
Nic Natainui was dominating the stoppages, his taps not only finding his teammates but finding them in attacking space. Matthew Priddis, Daniel Kerr, Luke Shuey, Scott Selwood, Matthew Rosa and Gaff all had at least 25 disposals and the collective height of their forward line was far too much for the Suns back half to handle.
Dean Cox, Quinten Lynch, Naitanui and Jack Darling combined for 11 goals, and provided the crumbing forwards the luxury of knowing exactly where the ball was headed at all times.
It’s not to say that there weren’t passages of play which highlighted the potential this Gold Coast side has, but the glimpses were too few and far between. Anything positive from the Suns was met with just a complete onslaught of possession and attack from the Eagles.
The Suns have had a rough year, and with a second wooden spoon looking likely it is obviously tough for the players to play with any sort of confidence at all. Against a side gunning for a double chance in the finals, they never really had a hope.
West Coast: Lynch 4, Darling 3, Shuey 3, Newman 2, Naitanui 2, Hams 2, Cox 2, Hill 2, Kerr, S Selwood, Gaff, McGinnity, Hurn
Gold Coast: Ablett, Shaw, Patrick, Bennell, Dixon,
West Coast: Shuey, Masten, Kerr, Cox, Naitanui, Priddis, S Selwood, Gaff, Lynch
Gold Coast: Stanley, Bennell, Ablett, Shaw
West Coast: McKenzie (ankle)
Gold Coast: Harbrow (illness) replaced in selection side by Taylor
West Coast: Murray Newman replaced Andrew Gaff in the third quarter.
Gold Coast: Jeremy Taylor replaced Alex Sexton in the third quarter.
Umpires: McBurney, Dalgleish, Fila
Official crowd: 34,592 at Patersons Stadium