Melbourne v West Coast
Round 18, 2019
Sun, 21 July 2019 (2.50pm CST)
Won by 13
WCE 14.7.91 - 11.12.78 MEL
3 D.Sheed (WCE)
2 B.Fritsch (MEL)
1 C.Oliver (MEL)

West Coast came out on top in an arm-wrestle with Melbourne, winning by 13 points in their first game for premiership points in Alice Springs. The Eagles opened up a 32-point lead early in the second term but Melbourne fought back late in that quarter to close to within a point at the main break, and looked to be running over the top of the Eagles in the third term but West Coast were able to find goals late to take the points. Dom Sheed had 34 touches and kicked a vital last-quarter goal, and Jack Darling had nine marks and kicked four goals.


1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
Melbourne 1.5.11 7.8.50 10.10.70 11.12.78
West Coast 5.1.31 8.3.51 10.4.64 14.7.91

Goals: Darling 4, Kennedy, Petruccelle 2, O.Allen, Rioli, Ryan, Sheed, Waterman, Yeo

Best: Darling, Sheed, Gaff, Yeo, Redden, Jetta

Injuries: McGovern (ankle)

Milestones: Watson AFL debut

Named sidesEdit

West Coast Melbourne
B: 25.Hurn 37.Barrass 5.Sheppard B: 8.Lever 1.May 39.Jetta
HB: 23.Jetta 20.McGovern 28.Cole HB: 35.Petty 17.Frost 14.Hibberd
C: 3.Gaff 6.Yeo 7.Masten C: 29.Hunt 4.Harmes 2.Jones
HF: 39.Cameron 27.Darling 44.Rioli HF: 6.Lewis 5.Petracca 31.Fritsch
F: 1.Ryan 17.Kennedy 12.O.Allen F: 13.Oliver 21.Preuss 3.Salem
R: 16.Hickey 8.Redden 13.Shuey R: 11.Gawn 7.Viney 10.Brayshaw
I: 2.Waterman 4.Sheed 21.Petruccelle I: 41.Lockhart 40.C.Wagner 30.Neal-Bullen
30.Nelson 42.J.Wagner
E: 26.Watson 31.Schofield 32.Williams E: 48.Dunkley 33.Baker 19.Hannan
43.M.Allen 38.T.Smith

In: Waterman, Petruccelle

Out: Naitanui (ankle), Cripps (abductor)

Late change: Watson for Hurn (calf)

New: Francis Watson (Claremont/Yardgee JFC)

Quarter by quarterEdit

West Coast replaced injured skipper Hurn with debutant Watson. The match was played in perfect but warm conditions.

Club Champion votesEdit


Darling 15 Watson 6
Sheed 13 Allen 5
Hickey 10 Jetta 5
Sheppard 10 McGovern 5
Nelson 9 Cameron 4
Rioli 7 Gaff 4
Ryan 7 Redden 4
Yeo 7 Waterman 4
Kennedy 6 Barrass 2
Masten 6 Cole 1
Shuey 6 Petruccelle 0

From the coachEdit

"It was a grind. It ebbed and flowed. I think in the first quarter we started pretty well, but the scoreboard probably wasn’t a true reflection of the game. I think we kicked 5.1 and they kicked 1.5, so we sort of knew the contest was tighter than that. The game got away from us in the second and third quarters; the third quarter was pretty tight but the second quarter, in particular the second half of the second quarter we couldn’t stop the marking in their front half. We tweaked a couple of things at three quarter time. I think they might have lost a couple of soldiers as well, so we sensed the fact that we had a reasonably fresh group of players, albeit we had a couple of niggles ourselves. We found a way in the last quarter.

"...We loved coming here. There’s a great support network here for AFL but also for West Coast. We’ve had a really good time. It’s a shorter flight than Melbourne, so we’ll take that. But we understood Melbourne had played here a few times before, so we knew there was an advantage. The ground was fine. The win was a bit blustery but not ridiculous, so we’ve had a good experience.

"...We’re getting good practice at recognising opportunities to stand up. We didn’t do that last week; that was probably our first game we’ve lost that’s been a close one for a long time. It looked like we ran out of juice as well. I felt Melbourne, the injuries really hurt them today. It looked like with the conditions and the way the game was going, it looked like that had a part to play today. Their best was well and truly matching ours and they probably had their noses in front until they lost a couple."[2]

From the papersEdit

The West AustralianEdit

"West Coast led by 20 points at quarter time and while the conditions changed slightly, quick ball movement to give forwards better chances of scoring was crucial.

The Eagles extended their lead to 32 points during the second quarter and the game looked over.

But Bailey Fritsch turned the game for the Dees. The Demons were desperate for a touch of class inside 50 and Fritsch provided it with his left foot.

The former defender kicked three goals for the term including a set shot after the half-time siren to reduce West Coast’s lead to only one point."[3]

The AgeEdit

"For much of the second half it looked like a classic banana skin game for an Eagles side chasing a top-four finish, and a Demons side trying to take something from a disappointing campaign.

It wasn't until the last term the Eagles could break clear and even then it was only with four or so minutes to play that Sheed put his boot into a long kick which rolled end-over-end over the goal line to lock in a 13-point win in Alice Springs.

The Eagles dominated early, led by 32 points, before the Demons stirred thanks to the dare and deft kicking of Bayley Fritsch. The dynamic Dees utility kicked four goals, pulled in 10 marks and showed why he could be a key player for the embattled team to rally around in the final weeks of the season.

But as good as Fritsch was and as regularly as Clayton Oliver (34 possessions) could find the football, Melbourne couldn't regularly create goals or defend and transition in a way to truly trouble the reigning premiers.

What Melbourne did well was compete and contest, that was what kept them in the game - but in the end the relentless run of the Eagles eventually proved telling."[4]


The West Coast WAFL side had a bye.

Injury listEdit

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

Player Injury Expected return
Venables Concussion Season
Naitanui Ankle Indefinite
Cripps Abductor 3-4 weeks
Duggan Ankle 3-4 weeks
Hutchings Hamstring 2 weeks
Vardy Knee/ankle 1-2 weeks
Ah Chee Calf 1 week
Foley Calf 1 week
Smith* Hamstring TBC
Bines* Hernia 2 weeks
Edwards* Foot 2 weeks


  1. West Coast Eagles Yearbook 2019, p.44
  2. (22 July 2019), "Round 18: Pressing questions":
  3. Craig O'Donoghue, The West Australian (21 July 2019), "West Coast Eagles outwork and outsmart Melbourne to earn the points in Alice Springs":
  4. Roy Ward, The Age (21 July 2019), "Eagles leave it late to find a way past the Demons":
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