Eagles Eye Off Five Straight

Picture: Lincoln Baker/Perth Now
Luke Shuey is a vital part of the Eagles' midfield. Image courtesy of perthnow.com.au/Lincoln Baker
Last Five Meetings

Round 5, 2012 – West Coast Eagles 107 d Richmond 97 (Etihad Stadium)
Round 20, 2011 – West Coast Eagles 147 d Richmond 90 (Patersons Stadium)
Round 12, 2010 – Richmond 126 d West Coast Eagles 77 (MCG)
Round 22, 2009 – West Coast Eagles 125 d Richmond 45 (Patersons Stadium)
Round 12, 2009 – Richmond 92 d West Coast Eagles 77 (Etihad Stadium)


Form

     Rd 5       Rd 6       Rd 7       Rd 8       Rd 9   
West Coast   L  W  W  W  W
Richmond   L  L  W  W  L

Every time Richmond gets an opportunity on a big stage to show its top eight material, it blows it. The Tigers have been comprehensively beaten by Collingwood and Essendon in front of big crowds at the MCG, and last time they travelled to Perth they went down by a point in a Friday night match against Fremantle in round 5. They head back to WA for a rare Monday night encounter with West Coast to complete round 10.

Robin Nahas earnt another reprieve last week when Brandon Ellis was a late withdrawal, but he and Luke McGuane have paid the price as the Tigers’ forward line failed to fire against the Bombers. Ellis has recovered from a hamstring problem and will be a welcome inclusion after picking up 39 touches in his last outing against the hapless Demons.

West Coast is chugging along nicely after dropping four of its first five games. In saying that, the Eagles’ four-game winning streak has been built by taking on the Bulldogs, Lions, Kangaroos and Giants. The only quality side amongst that quartet, North Melbourne, had the Eagles beaten until the last kick of the game, so that should give the Tigers hope that their opponent isn’t quite scaling the heights of the past two seasons just yet.


Key Men

(Eagles) Luke Shuey – One man the Eagles need to get in form before taking on the big guns of the competition is Luke Shuey . He was very quiet against the Lions and Kangaroos before a decent outing against the overmatched Giants last weekend. He provides the Eagles with pace and he is an outstanding kick of the football. He has tended to perform better in West Coast wins the past couple of seasons, but it seems as though the reverse is happening this season, a trait that could do with some changing.

(Tigers) Jack Riewoldt – Back in 2010, Jack Riewoldt bagged his career high of 10 goals against the Eagles at the MCG. Eric Mackenzie was his whipping boy that day and the spring-heeled forward already had four goals in his pocket at the 11-minute mark of the first quarter. Richmond thumped West Coast by 49 points that day, but the Eagles have won the past two with Riewoldt held to six goals across those two contests.


Prediction

Richmond has won on just one of its last seven trips to Perth to take on the Eagles, but after getting so close to Fremantle earlier this year, the Tigers should take some level of confidence in to this game. Damien Hardwick’s men went very defensive against Essendon last week, in contrast to the free-flowing style which characterised their winning run at the start of the season. The Eagles seem to be running in to some form, but these are the games they need to win to secure a top four spot for the finals. Eagles by 26 points

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