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West Coast v Melbourne
Round 1, 2020
S20r01
Barrass marks in front of empty stands. Photo: aflphotos.com.au
Date
Sun, 22 March 2020 (3.20pm WST)
Attendance
n/a
Result
Won by 27
Score
WCE 12.6.78 - 7.9.51 MEL
Brownlow
3 D.Sheed (WCE)
2 A.Gaff (WCE)
1 J.Viney (MEL)
Ladder
3rd
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West Coast opened their 2020 premiership campaign with a comfortable win at home against Melbourne. In front of empty stands, and with a pre-game announcement that the season would be officially postponed indefinitely at the conclusion of the match due to the coronavirus crisis, the Eagles broke the game open with a four-goal burst late in the first term, and held the Demons at arm's length from there on. Andrew Gaff tallied his usual 30 possessions despite the shortened game time, and Dom Sheed kicked two goals from 22 touches.

Summary[]

1/4 time 1/2 time 3/4 time Final
West Coast 5.1.31 7.3.45 11.6.72 12.6.78
Melbourne 0.4.4 3.6.24 5.9.39 7.9.51

Goals: Ryan 3, Ah Chee, Sheed 2, Darling, Gaff, Jetta, Kelly, Petruccelle

Best: Naitanui, Gaff, Sheed, Ah Chee, Shuey, Ryan, Hurn

Injuries: Nil

Milestones: Kelly WCE debut, Hickey 100th AFL game

Jumper: Home, blue shorts

Named sides[]

West Coast Melbourne
B: 5.Sheppard 37.Barrass 25.Hurn B: 39.Jetta 1.May 8.Lever
HB: 23.Jetta 20.McGovern 14.Duggan HB: 28.O.McDonald 4.Harmes 14.Hibberd
C: 3.Gaff 6.Yeo 10.Brander C: 15.Langdon 13.Oliver 20.Tomlinson
HF: 8.Redden 27.Darling 4.Sheed HF: 30.Neal-Bullen 31.Fritsch 7.Viney
F: 1.Ryan 17.Kennedy 15.Cripps F: 9.Spargo 25.T.McDonald 10.Brayshaw
R: 9.Naitanui 11.Kelly 13.Shuey R: 11.Gawn 5.Petracca 18.Melksham
I: 30.Nelson 21.Petruccelle 41.Ah Chee I: 38.Brown 36.Pickett 41.Lockhart
16.Hickey 12.Bedford
E: 32.Williams 31.Schofield 34.Hutchings E: 34.Hore 26.Weideman 6.Jackson
2.Waterman 32.Sparrow

New: Tim Kelly (Geelong/South Fremantle)

Quarter by quarter[]

Both sides went in as named. The match was played in fine and clear, but eerie, conditions, with the absence of a crowd magnified by the AFL announcement in the hours before the match that the season would be shut down indefinitely.

Club Champion votes[]

[1]

Gaff 15 Kelly 7
Hurn 15 McGovern 7
Ryan 15 Darling 6
Barrass 14 Jetta 6
Naitanui 12 Redden 5
Shuey 12 Hickey 4
Duggan 11 Kennedy 4
Sheppard 11 Petruccelle 4
Ah Chee 10 Brander 3
Sheed 10 Nelson 3
Cripps 9 Yeo 3

From the coach[]

From the papers[]

The West Australian[]

"The Dees were good around the ball, but wasteful with it. The Eagles more than held their own at stoppages but even when they lost them, they caught Melbourne's attacks in defensive pincer movements.

They set up brilliantly behind the ball to blunt Melbourne's attacks and picked them off in defence.

For the Eagles, the game was a reminder of what they have had, an indication of what they may have gained, and a surprise or two about things they might not have been aware of.

Nic Naitanui was the dominant ruckman on the ground against Max Gawn and Andrew Gaff brought his own ball which he ran up and down the wing all day."[2]

The Age[]

"Brendon Ah Chee, who has been in the AFL system since the 2011 draft but was playing just his 37th game – and only ninth in more than two seasons at the Eagles – kicked two goals in less than a minute in the first term.

He was delisted at the end of last season and ended up on the Eagles rookie list. And with Willie Rioli benched while he waits notice of a ban due to alleged urine sample tampering, Ah Chee found himself in the round one side.

He only kicked those two goals, but Ryan and Dom Sheed can thank him for a couple that they kicked. Tim Kelly, in his first game in Eagles colours since moving from Geelong, wasn’t bad either."[3]

Reserves[]

Due to the pandemic, no reserves match was played.

Injury list[]

In the leadup to the round the following players were listed as injured or unavailable (expected returns are estimated based on club's description):

Player Injury Expected return
Venables Concussion Season (placed on inactive list 4/3/20)
Rioli Suspension Indefinite
Foley Pubic bone stress Indefinite
Cameron Pubic bone stress 4-6 weeks
Cole Fractured thumb 4-6 weeks
Darling Cheekbone Test
Allen Ankle Test
Williams Hamstring tightness Test
Kennedy Elbow Available
McGovern Achilles Available
Duggan Sprained thumb Available

References[]

https://www.afl.com.au/matches/2043

https://afltables.com/afl/stats/games/2020/111820200322.html

  1. West Coast Eagles Yearbook 2020, p.26
  2. Mark Duffield, The West Australian (23 March 2020, p.GAM4), "Efficiency is Eagles hallmark"
  3. Brad Elborough, The Age (22 March 2020), "Eagles off to a flying start against scrappy Dees": https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/eagles-off-to-a-flying-start-against-scrappy-dees-20200322-p54css.html
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