Big Man Dominance

Big Man Dominance

West Coast v Geelong

Friday 8:30

Patersons Stadium, Perth

I now officially hate the Geelong Football Club. The Cats always seem to find a way to defeat (my team) the Hawks. Last week I witnessed yet another close loss for my beloved Hawks with a long bomb after the siren by Hawkins to win the game for the Cats.

On what looked to be a great night in Perth, I was in my home town of Mornington watching the game on my TV. I was looking forward to watching a great game of football. The team that faces defeat will face a tough task of staying in the top eight with the league very close at the moment. I was paying close attention to the two big men for the Eagles, Cox and Naitanui. If they could dominate the inexperienced Orren Stephenson in the ruck, West Coast would have the upper hand in the game.

The game started at a cracking pace with plenty of early scoring. Stevie J  was making his mark  with plenty of early touches and clearances and a brilliant first half of football. Cox kicked the first of his 3 goals for the night and the first of the game. The ball movement was very slick and fast and resulted with plenty of scoring opportunities for the forwards. Daniel Kerr is having a blinder and is providing the Eagles plenty of run and carry. The other storey of the night was the Selwood brothers, with Joel playing for the Cats and Adam and Scott playing in the opposite colours. At one point in the game, Adam collided into his brother Joel who reacted by nudging Adam to the ground.

With 5 minutes to play in the first quarter, Tom Hawkins (the one who won the Cats the game the week before) was stretchered from the ground after smacking his head on the ground after falling heavily from a big pack. He was subbed out of the game (and ended up being a huge loss for the Cats). Cox and Naitanui is keeping the Eagles in the game with their ruck dominance but still the Eagles trailed at half time.

The third quarter was played at a slower pace as Stevie J fell out of the game. This allowed the Eagles to take control and close the margin at 3 quarter time to just a point. We were in for a cracking finish.

The game immediately sped up as the Eagles started to chip away. Cox, Naitanui, Kerr and Gaff were on fire for West Coast. Matt Priddis stepped up after Steve Johnson had beaten him in their battle for most of the night. All night the umpires were giving lots of deliberate out of bounds on the full’s. Cox was on fire for the Eagles in the ruck while Naitanui was getting the job done up forward. Just as it seemed the Eagles were home, the Cats came home strong with their trio of Selwood, Johnson and Bartel stepping up. With just 8 seconds left the margin sat at 5 points. Stephenson had to win this tap and give his midfielders first use of the ball (something he has struggled to do all night). Ball was bounced and Naitanui tapped it to himself and took off on a run till the final siren sounded. What a game!

So the Eagles go into their pretty difficult run with confidence that they would probably hold onto their finals hopes while Geelong (despite knocking off the Hawks) still had to hold onto theirs. Cox and Naitanui won the game for the Eagles with Cox finishing with 23 possessions, 45 hitouts and 3 goals while Naitanui had 18 possessions, 22 hitouts and 2 goals. Kerr also was a standout for the Eagles with 29 possessions in the middle.

Right from the start I knew that if the West Coast big men could dominate the inexperienced ruck of Geelong, the Eagles would finish on top and that’s exactly what happened.

West Coast 16.6.102 def Geelong 15.7.97


D.Cox (West Coast) 3

D.Kerr (West Coast) 2

S.Johnson (Geelong) 1


  1. Cody – I can understand why Hawks supporters would be getting quite sick of the Cats, however in the 70s and 80s it was the Hawks who tormented my Geelong youth. It just happens to be our turn at the moment.

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