Australian Rules Columns Fremantle Dockers WA Sport West Coast Eagles What We Learned

What we learned: Eagles power outage while prodigy Sun outshines star

Round 4 of the AFL Season unfortunately heralded more disappointment for the Eagles and Dockers are their hopes for the finals are slipping away further then before.

The ladder was already grim reading for both sides, with only the Eagles having registered a solitary win so far this season.

For many clubs, it feels as though with 13 Rounds left, 2020 could be written off worse then it already is to a degree for the football world with many sides already preparing for 2021.

Doom and gloom aside, let’s take a look at what we learned from the Eagles clash with Port Adelaide and the Dockers performance against an in-form Gold Coast Suns in Round 4.

Eagles Def. By Port Adelaide By 48 Points.

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Exposed By Charlie

The Eagles defensive structure was still without Jeremy McGovern and though they brought in Will Schofield, the big matchup would be on Power big forward Charlie Dixon who had started to come back to his true form.

West Coast showed absolutely no pressure on the big forward.

Usually without McGovern, the Eagles defence is holed big time, but the hole was bigger and it was in the form of Dixon booting six goals all on Schofield in what was one of Dixon’s best games in the last three years of football.

With McGovern expected to return next week against the Sydney Swans, and the Swans dealing with their own problems minus Lance Franklin, adjustments must be made and quickly.

Homesick Puppies

Hubs should not serve as an excuse for a team in poor form.

The Eagles are no different but if I was to be completely honest about their attitude and endeavour against the Power, the Eagles showed none and it looked like they were not interested in going hard at the ball.

Besides their victories in the clearances thanks to Naitanui’s work in the ruck and the aggression of Andrew Gaff in the centre, not much else went right for the Eagles, 

Anyone out there saw a Port side that was out there to dominate and that’s exactly what they did, a return to Perth cant come any sooner.

A Rare Shue-In

A largely demoralised Eagles midfield did have one rare winner and that was the Captain, Luke Shuey.

He had played on Saturday with minimal training time due to injuries on his ribs and was still experiencing pain at half-time.

Upon returning to the field he had an game equal high 12 contested possessions and 20 pressure acts as Port’s midfielders in the form of Boak & Rockliff controlled much of the centre possession.

Fremantle Def. By Gold Coast By 13 Points

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Dockers find their kicking straps

The Dockers in the last few weeks, nay for that matter years, have been blasted due to their lack of scoring game plan and their inaccurate kicking in general play.

Neither team made the Umpires move either side of the middle posts with the Dockers booting six straight goals and keeping within a goal at half-time.

Matera, Bewley & Tucker were among the Goalkickers in the first half, Bewley would eventually finish up with 2 Goals from 11 kicks in a passable display that included four marks inside the forward half.

Freo star loses out to Goldy prodigy

The much hyped matchup of the night was Fremantle’s dual Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe against rising star nominee Matt Rowell and unfortunately the established mid did get schooled by Rowell as the young Sun amassed 20 touches and 6 tackles in another sensational display of speed and ruthless attack at the football.

His stats were also stopped with 7 centre clearances, as the match up was all but over in the 3rd Quarter when Fyfe did his hamstring and the Dockers will have to do without him for at least a fortnight as a result.

Tucker Provides Hope

This season so far Darcy Tucker averages around 18-19 possession a game and 4 Marks per game.

I like the look of this defender turned utility, as he has been in the side for give years and his performance in the centre zone and around half forward was enough for a pass mark.

His intensity and positioning when marking should be judged more positively as he can play a lot better then some football judges perceive.

His numbers were evident with 20 Touches against the Suns and 4 Good Marks.

Next week both sides will look for overdue success as the Eagles take on the Sydney Swans on Saturday following the postponement of their clash with Richmond.

The Dockers will also look to achieve their first win over the Adelaide Crows on Sunday Afternoon in a battle of the winless cellar dwellers.

About the author

Paul Persic

Paul Persic

Paul Persic is a respected writer and podcaster and a member of the WA Daily Sports team. Paul hosts Talking Motorsport every Monday 7pm on 91.3 SportFM as well as Full Time with Pauly and Darce, on Front Row Screens, Sunday's from 5pm. In addition to his radio ventures, Paul can also be found presenting 'Paul Persic Presents', a feature series available on Facebook.

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