West Coast Eagles Wiki
Carlton v West Coast
Round 12, 2021
Ryan takes another Mark of the Year contender. Photo: aflphotos.com.au
Sun, 6 June 2021 (3.20pm EST)
Won by 22
WCE 14.11.95 - 10.13.73 CAR
3 D.Sheed (WCE)
2 L.Ryan (WCE)
1 P.Cripps (CAR)

West Coast overcame an ever-growing injury list and an SCG hoodoo to defeat Carlton and retain touch with the top four. With the Blues forced to host the match in Sydney due to a Victorian coronavirus lockdown, a relatively inexperienced West Coast lineup ground out an impressive 22-point win. Liam Ryan sprang back into form with four goals and another Mark of the Year entry, and acting captain Nic Naitanui led from the front with 33 hitouts and nine clearances but the Eagles lost another star with Brad Sheppard concussed in a head clash in the second term.


1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
Carlton 3.6.24 6.9.45 9.10.64 10.13.73
West Coast 4.1.25 8.5.53 12.8.80 14.11.95

Goals: Ryan 4, Jones 2, Cripps, Darling, Foley, Gaff, Langdon, O'Neil, Redden, Sheed

Best: Ryan, Gaff, Sheed, Langdon, Yeo, Hurn

Injuries: Sheppard (concussion)

Medical subs: (WCE) Jones for Sheppard (concussion) in the second term; (CAR) Newnes for McKay (concussion) in the second term

Milestones: L.Edwards AFL debut

Jumper: Indigenous, white shorts

Named sides[]

West Coast Carlton
B: 25.Hurn 37.Barrass 28.Cole B: 13.Stocker 14.Jones 24.Newman
HB: 5.Sheppard 42.H.Edwards 30.Nelson HB: 42.Saad 23.Weitering 6.Williams
C: 3.Gaff 4.Sheed 15.Cripps C: 15.Docherty 9.Cripps 46.Cottrell
HF: 24.O'Neill 2.Waterman 16.L.Edwards HF: 21.Martin 10.McKay 44.Owies
F: 21.Petruccelle 27.Darling 1.Ryan F: 19.Betts 12.De Koning 1.Silvagni
R: 9.Naitanui 6.Yeo 8.Redden R: 27.Pittonet 18.Walsh 35.E.Curnow
I: 7.Langdon 29.Foley 32.Williams I: 2.Dow 3.Murphy 25.Fisher
35.Rotham 43.Setterfield
E: 19.Vardy 26.Trew 31.Jones E: 8.Fogarty 26.Parks 32.Newnes
33.Ainsworth 41.Casboult

In: H.Edwards, L.Edwards, O'Neill, Foley, Langdon, Waterman (medical sub)

Out: Allen (concussion), Kelly (knee), Kennedy (soreness), Brander (adductor), Ah Chee (calf), Jones

New: Luke Edwards (Glenelg)

Quarter by quarter[]

Both sides went in as named, with Jamaine Jones and veteran Jack Newnes the subs. The match was played in generally fine conditions in front of a near-empty SCG.

First term[]

Carlton went forward early but the Eagles' defence held up well and were eventually able to rebound the ball, where Darling found the ball in space and snapped for the game's first goal. The Blues again attacked from the centre bounce but a Zac Fisher shot was spoiled across the behind line. West Coast went quickly forward again and a Cripps kick found Ryan at the top of 50, with the high-flyer converting his kick for an 11-point lead. Harry McKay had a chance to narrow the scores but pulled a relatively simple shot to the left for a behind. Hurn's kickout went straight to Will Setterfield but he too put his shot to the left, and it was spoiled over the line. Hurn made amends shortly afterwards by spotting up Sheed at a similar position to Ryan's first goal, with Sheed achieving the same outcome. Carlton went quickly forward from the bounce and Setterfield found himself alone in front of a stoppage, squeezing his shot inside the post for Carlton's first. The Blues won another centre clearance and Jack Silvagni received a free kick in a marking contest, but he too was wayward. He had another chance moments later but a running shot also went to the right. Sam Walsh was tripped close to goal but able to return to his feet and slot the goal without waiting for the free kick, reducing the margin to just one point.

Gaff intercepted a Carlton clearing kick with a strong contested mark and found Ryan inside 50, who marked strongly and kicked his second goal for the term. Gaff found Ryan again but with a kick from outside 50, Ryan just lobbed it to the square and it was intercepted by the Blues. A Naitanui clearing kick from defensive 50 was cut off by Zac Williams but he was run down by Darling, giving up a free kick and clutching at his ankle. Sheppard ran into a fast-moving Adam Saad midfield and came off second best, with the pair clashing heads. Tom De Koning kicked Carlton's third goal while Sheppard was assisted from the field. Setterfield missed another chance as the Blues levelled the scores. Harry Edwards was able to cut off a kick to McKay, with the Blues' spearhead landing heavily in the marking contest. Cripps drilled a pass to Darling who had a shot from 50 metres but pulled it to the left where it was assisted over the line. Neither side was able to add to their score in the final two minutes, with the Eagles finishing the term ahead by a solitary point.

Second term[]

Sheed was bumped as he attempted a kick on goal from the boundary and put it out on the full. He then tried to intercept the resulting kick in, but collided with Walsh and came up clutching at his shoulder. Both sides spent several minutes trying to tightrope-walk their way around the boundary on the outer side, before eventually some individual brilliance from Naitanui - a smother followed by a lookaway handball to Gaff - led to the first score of the quarter, with Gaff calmly slotting the kick from the left pocket. Waterman had an opportunity from a similar position but his attempt off the outside of his right was narrow. Carlton rebounded quickly and a chip kick from Eddie Betts found De Koning in the square, with the Blues' ruckman kicking his second and narrowing the margin to two points. Redden received a free kick inside 50 after Matt Cottrell dragged the ball under himself in a tackle, and his shot was eventially ruled a goal after a score review confirmed it had not brushed the goalpost.

Both sides made their substitutes almost simultaneously, with both Sheppard and McKay ruled out with concussion. A poor kick out of 50 by Harry Edwards was chopped off and rebounded to Matt Owies, who converted and brought the margin back to two points. Ruckman Marc Pittonet took a strong mark inside 50 but put his kick out to the left. West Coast scrummed the ball forward and Naitanui threw off a tackler before handballing to Petruccelle, but his kick dribbled the wrong side of the post. Cottrell had a snap at the other end but missed as well. Jones had a shot on his left but it was run down by Saad who ran it across the line for another behind. Quick transition from Carlton saw Owies mark and goal and give his side the lead for the first time. Yeo received a free kick in the middle and pumped it forward, where a scrap on the line was settled by a quick-thinking Jones who poked the ball through for his first goal. A quick kick by Silvagni was marked by Pittonet in the pocket, but his shot was narrow all the way. Ryan found Jones, possibly by accident, inside 50 and the sub kicked his second of the term. Yeo won another free in the centre and went straight for goal, but it was punched over the line. Despite some strong pressure from the Eagles they were unable to add to the score, going into the long break with an eight-point lead.

Third term[]

Both sides spent several minutes feeling each other out before Langdon had a chance in the pocket. His kick went across the face and was kept inbounds by Carlton, who moved the ball downfield quickly and found multiple targets on their own inside 50, with Cottrell eventually receiving the honour of kicking the goal. Ryan answered immediately down the other end after Gaff smothered a clearing kick from Nic Newman in his defensive goalsquare and had the presence of mind to hand off to the livewire forward. Darling nearly hauled in a contested mark but Langdon was able to gather the crumbs and snap his first of the day. Williams gave away a free kick in the ruck down the other end but De Koning missed a gettable shot. West Coast scrapped the ball quickly down the other end but Petruccelle missed everything with his own set shot. Carlton were only able to clear as far as halfway before West Coast intercepted and Cole sent the ball inside 50 where Ryan took a Mark of the Year contender over Liam Stocker. He quickly passed to O'Neill in the corridor, but he sprayed his kick to the right.

A shot by Walsh failed to make the distance but Betts was lurking in front of goal and put through his first of the day to bring the margin back to eight points. Rotham passed to Jones in the right forward pocket but his kick was always narrow. Foley was caught holding the ball just outside 50 and the ball ended up with Zac Williams who snapped a goal to cut the margin to three points. Ryan answered quickly after taking a strong mark outside 50, then balking around the man on the mark and a second opponent before slotting his fourth. Waterman found Jones on his own inside 50 but he had to delay his shot on goal as Carlton's trainers attended to Newman, who landed awkwardly on his head after a marking contest and had to be assisted from the field. Jones missed his shot but West Coast cut off the kick-in and Gaff handed off to Foley, who let fly from 50 metres for his first AFL goal. Carlton pressed late but couldn't break through, with the visitors leading by 16 going into the final term.

Final term[]

Betts opened the scoring after keeping a ball inbounds in the pocket then staying involved to kick his second goal. Owies had another opportunity inside 50 but hung his shot out to the left. Gaff kicked the ball to a dangerous spot where Zac Williams had to rush the ball over the line for a behind. Cripps had an opportunity from 50 metres as Ryan left the ground grabbing at his hamstring, and put it straight over the goal umpire to push the margin to 16 points. Naitanui stormed out of the middle but his kick was able to be rushed over the line by the Blues' defenders. Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps joined the walking wounded after copping a cork in a marking contest. O'Neill was able to gather off a marking contest and goal with the outside of his right boot to push the margin to a game-high 23 points.

Carlton pressed through Saad but Cole was able to win a free kick after being pushed in the back, as Ryan returned to the field. Naitanui took the ball cleanly out of a throw-in inside 50 and threw it on the boot but it sailed through for a behind. West Coast began chipping the ball around the wings and half-back to chew time off the clock before Carlton won the ball back and Saad went on a run, but his kick on goal hit the woodwork, with Petruccelle hobbling off after unsuccessfully attempting to chase him down. Despite players being out on their feet, Carlton continued to try to find a late goal and Patrick Cripps had a chance, but he too hit the post. West Coast were able to maintain possession until the final siren, winning by 22 points.

Club Champion votes[]


Gaff 12 Cripps 5
Naitanui 12 Foley 5
Ryan 12 Rotham 5
Sheed 12 Darling 4
Barrass 11 L.Edwards 4
Redden 11 Nelson 4
Hurn 10 O'Neill 4
H.Edwards 8 Petruccelle 4
Jones 8 Waterman 3
Langdon 8 Sheppard 0
Yeo 8 Williams 0
Cole 6

From the coach[]

"Yeah, we’re really proud. We played with plenty of spirit, got the sense all week towards the game where we could really dig in and make our supporters proud. We’ve been a bit inconsistent this year,  but tonight we were down on numbers, like every club, we’re missing a few good players, but the young kids stood up, but our leaders were exceptional, and our captain Nic (Naitanui) first time as captain, and you know right through the lines with Gaff, Sheed, Yeo, Barrass, Hurn, and Jack Darling, those guys, so as much as we’re missing some players, we’ve got some really good leaders in the side.

"Sometimes we don’t get bang for buck with supply, and teams scout and hunt with Nic, but I thought today it was a pretty good arm wrestle. I thought both midfields had dominance in stages, but I think overall he was probably our best player. He gave us supply when we needed it. I thought the kids played their part as well, they all did something special that they’ll remember for a long time.

"...I think all of them (inexperienced players) played their part, Luke Edwards' first game for the footy club, he’s got a really good footy brain, makes really good decisions with it. The pace of the game didn’t seem to worry him too much, he’s only going to get better. Foley had a really good impact. Bailey Williams is battling hard to try and lock down that second ruck/forward spot. Harry Edwards in his third or fourth game, stood up as well. Xavier O’Neill, he’s still forging his way through his career. We were missing the mid-range players really, we had some good leaders and I’m pretty happy with those young players."[2]

From the papers[]

The West Australian[]

"Ryan was playing just his third game back from injury, had struggled in the previous two to get involved and yet kicked four majors, took nine marks, four of which were contested, and had 17 disposals. He was superb.

It wasn’t a normal West Coast game. It took until after half-time for them to play the marking game that has made them so damaging in recent years.

Carlton forced the Eagles to adapt. But instead of panicking, they took the game on.

The smaller SCG provided them reward for attacking too as they drove the ball inside 50 on 57 occasions. They’ve averaged only 48 for the year."[3]

The Age[]

"West Coast’s remaining core were tougher and cleaner for longer than that of the Blues.

Liam Ryan was the match-winner, taking a third-quarter hanger to go with four goals before being sidelined by cramp late in the game.

Even without Kelly and Shuey, West Coast’s midfield bested the Blues’ on-ball brigade, with Elliot Yeo, Andrew Gaff, Dom Sheed, Jack Redden and Nic Naitanui hauling their side over the line, while Shannon Hurn provided a sense of calm when needed.

Having been overrun by Essendon eight days earlier, West Coast were ultimately more desperate, too. Carlton laid just 44 tackles and just four inside 50, not the signs of a team that knew its season was on the line."[4]


Round 9 (5 June)

An under-strength West Coast were beaten but far from disgraced by premiership fancies Claremont, leading late in the second quarter before eventually losing touch with the Tigers who ran out 27-point winners. New addition Connor West was a standout after joining the club in the mid-season draft during the week, picking up 29 possessions and seven tackles, and ruckman Nathan Vardy had 25 hitouts and 13 disposals in a solid display.

1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
Claremont 5.0.30 10.2.62 12.6.78 14.9.93
West Coast 3.7.25 7.9.51 8.11.59 9.12.66

Goals: Hug, Nitschke 3, Brayshaw, Paunich, West

Best: West, Vardy, Nitschke, Deegan, Hug

Injuries: Humble (ankle)

Named side:

West Coast
B: 66.McGee 40.Jamieson 38.Johnson
HB: 18.Sears 35.Collins 51.Marlin
C: 60.Deegan 45.Brayshaw 57.Bentley
HF: 61.Robilliard 12.Garlett 56.Hug
F: 59.Nitschke 52.Feeney 53.Humble
R: 67.Borgogno 34.Hutchings 21.West
I: 58.Busher 62.Cary 63.Hansen
E: 50.Fitzgerald 47.Paunich 54.Sinclair

In: Bentley, Borgogno, Collins, Feeney, Humble, McGee, Sumich, West

Out: Ainsworth, H.Edwards, L.Edwards, Foley, Langdon, O'Neill, Trew, Vardy (AFL)

Late changes: Vardy, Trew, Paunich for Jamieson (inj), Busher, Feeney

New: Will Collins (Swan Districts), Zane Sumich (South Fremantle), Connor West (West Perth)

Injury list[]

In the leadup to the match the following players were listed as being injured or unavailable:

Player Injury Expected return
Cameron Ankle TBC (on inactive list 1/6/21)
Rioli Suspension 11 weeks
Winder Knee 5-6 weeks
Kelly Knee 4-5 weeks
Witherden Groin 4-5 weeks
Shuey Hamstring 3-4 weeks
McGovern Knee 3-4 weeks
Duggan Knee 3-4 weeks
Allen Concussion 1 week
Venables* Concussion Indefinite (on inactive list 1/6/01)




  1. West Coast Eagles Yearbook 2021, p.37
  2. westcoasteagles.com.au (8 June 2021), "Round 12: Pressing questions": https://www.westcoasteagles.com.au/news/954446/round-12-pressing-questions
  3. Craig O'Donoghue, The West Australian (6 June 2021), "Undermanned West Coast Eagles break SCG curse in style with win over Carlton": https://thewest.com.au/sport/west-coast-eagles/undermanned-west-coast-eagles-break-scg-curse-in-style-with-win-over-carlton-ng-b881892342z
  4. Daniel Cherny, The Age (6 June 2021), "Undermanned Eagles outwork Carlton to all but end Blues’ season: https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/undermanned-eagles-outwork-carlton-to-all-but-end-blues-season-20210606-p57yh7.html