In this football frenzy that we have in Season 2020, wins are more crucial then ever before and for West Coast & Fremantle, it was wins they got in Round 9 as their success in the WA hub continues.
The Eagles came from behind against Geelong, and the Dockers overcame a poor start to overrun Collingwood in a valiant performance.
Here are some of the keys for both teams for Round 9 of the 2020 AFL Season.
West Coast def Geelong by 9 Points
Engine room gaining traction
Despite a slow first half where Geelong got more of the ball and momentum was their way, the second half saw the Eagles midfield unit’s dominance in 2nd halves on display again and proved many as to why the Eagles centre rotation is often hard to beat anywhere around Australia.
Sheed again was at his best amassing 24 Touches, Tim Kelly proved his true value with 23 ably combining with Naitanui and Yeo gathered 22 as they were influential in backing up the ruckwork of Naitanui who we will get to a little bit later on.
That trio is ranked among the best of the AFL and no wonder, its the form they are in that sees them gathering plenty of the ball and being effective with it, their second half was one of the best performances and shows they have really gelled as a unit in Season 2020.
The three-time All Australian Forward has been in his best form in the last 3 weeks as he kicked another 4 goals on Saturday to take his tally to 15 in the last 3 matches.
His goal in the first 12 seconds of the game looked to have been the sign of a big call but Harry Taylor contained his presence solidly for much of the game that limited West Coast’s avenues to goal but to Kennedy’s credit he was able to leap back into his true form with a inspired 3 goal burst in the last term, escaping Taylor inside 50 to finish with another 4 for the game.
Kennedy is truly back as an elite forward in the competition and has more then 2 years left in him at the West Coast Eagles.
Don’t expect nothing less From Nic Nat
When you are playing against the Eagles there is one only negative when you kick goals against them, that is awaiting the presence of Nic Naitanui in the centre bounce because he will easily wreck the opposition.
His performance against Geelong proved why his aura should be of high regard in the football world.
Chris Scott, the Geelong coach, even said himself that Naitanui will always be a threat to opposition ruckman because according to Chris, no one can compete with him.
Nic Nat can create game breaking clearances with just the palm of his hand when you least expect it.
Case in point in the last quarter when he palmed a clinical tap to Josh Kennedy who acted as a swooper and snapped accurately to boost the team’s unstoppable momentum that carried right through to the final siren.
Fremantle def. Collingwood by 12 Points
Serong Its So Right
Fremantle found a harder edge to beat Collingwood on Sunday, but one of those young guns had the hardest of the edge when they were needed the most.
That man was Caleb Serong, the No.8 Draft pick of last year showed his growing stature as a key midfielder in the first string rotation with another 24 disposals but the Dockers also may have found their new clearance man to support Nat Fyfe.
He had 9 clearances in a vote gathering display in the centre, his presence in the centre cant be ignored as he is a young midfielder who is well balanced on his feet and when he has the ball in his hand, he can deliver up the ground.
His 9 clearances are proof that his value will skyrocket if he keeps his good form up a good level for the remainder of the 2020 Season. His work did help the Dockers win the contested possession count 151-114
Tabener The Giant
Who says this guy can’t be a good key forward? Well not me.
Matt Tabener continued to be a threatening presence inside their forward 50 with another 4 goal bag which re-established the buffer the Dockers got back early on in the last term.
Despite the critics pressures, Tabener is what a tall key forward should be at the top level.
Key marks inside 50 and bags of goals, and the support he gets from Fyfe and Serong proves that he is now the main avenue to goal if Hogan & Lobb either aren’t reliable inside 50 or not playing in general.
He is the man up forward for the Dockers, and when the Dockers get the ball out of the midfield, he should be your Number 1 target and last week against Collingwood, he proved it.
Brayshaw The Busy Bee
The Dockers fans and pundits have enjoyed the work of Andrew Brayshaw in Season 2020 and no wonder.
He is the busy bee in the midfield always hunting down that ball with ferocity and aggression.
It wasn’t the complete game but when he gets the ball he can be effective in releasing their swoopers in Fyfe and Serong.
He did butcher an early scoring chance but that was his only mistake of the day.
He touched the ball 17 times and laid 7 tackles in a good but not as polished display, his finishing will need improvements over the coming weeks but he is a good enough player to get better and better, week after week.
After the bye in Round 10 due to the condensed fixture, the Eagles will take on a rebounding Carlton on Sunday Afternoon at Optus Stadium while the Dockers host another Monday night fixture, this time against Hawthorn.