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OUTSMARTED by William from West Perth

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Our correspondent William from West Perth was at the game. Here's his story as told to Whispering Jack

You could have been forgiven if you thought that the Melbourne bus had arrived at Patersons Stadium well into the time on period of the first quarter because, by the time the Dees started playing, the Eagles already had a score of 4.1.25.

When Melbourne did arrive the team was downright embarrassing. On the long Subiaco ground, they picked their tallest side for the year but they never really gave the big blokes a chance. You would have thought that they might have put in an effort to move the ball quickly in their direction to take full advantage of their height but instead they stumbled and fumbled and persisted in moving the ball sideways until they turned it over or gave away a stupid free kick.

With the West Coast Eagles still in the hunt for a finals place and percentage always likely to play a part in deciding their participation, it was unlikely that they were going to take this game easily. They outsmarted the visitors at every turn and were doing so even before the game started. As already mentioned, Melbourne had selected a top heavy side for this ground and that played into West Coast's hands. The decision to omit giant Nick Naitanui with 179cm running defender Adam Carter left another mismatch in favour of the home side that had its run and spread down pat on the night. As a result, they had no trouble dealing with their tired, slow, disjointed and out-of- form opponents. They pulled up in the end content with a 66 point win and a perfect lead up to the final round.

What can I say about Melbourne? Well, one thing it did well was that it furthered its case for a priority pick. On that performance, the odds on a favourable decision would have improved.

Playing his 150th game, Bernie Vince stood out like a beacon. He kicked the team's first goal late in the opening quarter with a great snap and never stopped working on his way to picking up 34 possessions. Daniel Cross did the job on Matt Priddis and the club's two most reliable players for the season, skipper Nathan Jones and another 2014 newcomer in Dom Tyson worked their butts off as did Rohan Bail. There were unfortunately however, too many who weren't up to it on the night.

They played without skill, thought or heart and once again, the match statistics said it all. They had more disposals, won the contested possessions, hit outs, stoppages and were close in the clearances but once again lost by more than 10 goals. What they lacked was the ingredient that makes the game exciting and is the icing on the cake that generates scores these days - plenty of running and spreading and smart play. These things add excitement to a game and enthusiasm to a team which is something the Eagles had plenty of and the Demons had none on the night.

Melbourne1.1.7 3.3.21 5.4.34 8.5.53

West Coast 6.1.37 9.5.59 16.9.105 18.11.119

Goals

Melbourne Fitzpatrick 2 Bail Dawes Howe Pedersen Tyson Vince

West Coast Kennedy LeCras 4 Darling 3 Hill 2 Cripps Gaff Lycett McGinnity Shuey

Best

Melbourne Vince N Jones Cross Tyson Howe Bail

West Coast LeCras Masten Gaff Shuey Hurn Mackenzie

Injuries

Melbourne Garland (knee)

West Coast Hutchings (thigh)

Changes

Melbourne Nil

West Coast Nick Naitanui replaced by Adam Carter in the selected side.

Reports

Melbourne Nil

West Coast Nil

Umpires Craig Fleer, Luke Farmer, Matthew Leppard

Official Attendance 35,083 at Patersons Stadium

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