kade Chandler faces scrutiny over tackle as dominant Melbourne Demons too good for West Coast Eagles


Eagles coach Adam Simpson gave an encouraging post-match report on Foley’s condition.

“He looked all right, early days and we’ve got to do the right things by him,” Simpson said. “He walked off the ground, he’s a little bit rattled, but it’s OK.”

Ryan is in hot water after electing to bump instead of tackle, and making head-high contact on Jake Bowey, who, fortunately, was able to play out the game. If the high-flying forward is not rubbed out by the MRO, he would still need to overcome a hamstring issue which saw him subbed out.

Simpson said Eagles captain Luke Shuey would return, while Andrew Gaff was “half a chance” to face Greater Western Sydney – but they are running low on numbers with 11 of their best 22 out.

“If you’re available to play, you’re playing at the moment,” Simpson said.

The margin hovered around the 40-50-point region for much of the game before the Demons piled on seven goals in the final term to eclipse the club’s previous highest winning margin over the Eagles of 70 points, set in the final round of the 2000 season in their surge to the grand final.

Goodwin was pleased with the Dees’ performance despite the scoreboard not getting as ugly as some had feared before the game. Remarkably, the TAB had set the line at 71.5 points.

Ed Langdon on the move for the Demons.Credit:AFL Photos

It is the fourth time the Demons have been 9-0. On the previous three occasions – 1955, 1956 and 2021 – they were premiers that year.

The Dees’ midfield was well on top, with Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver among the best, limiting the Eagles to just 35 entries inside 50.

“To West Coast’s credit I thought they really stepped up,” Goodwin said. “It was a real battle in the end, we were able to break them late.

“The way we play, we don’t try and win by lots all the time. We just try and play the same way all the time consistently and things in our game are in check. It looked like a Melbourne game by the end.”

Tim Kelly was the Eagles’ best with a game-high 32 touches, while 2021 mid-season rookie selection Connor West shone with 29 disposals.

Despite another big loss, Simpson could not fault the Eagles’ effort. The club is last on the ladder with a percentage of just 49.9.

“Even though we got blown away late, we had some little wins through the day,” Simpson said.

McGOVERN STUNNED

The introduction of 50-metre penalties for breaches of the so called east-west rule was designed to encourage teams to play on. Often, teams can pay a big price for having a player in the protected zone, even if they do not impact play. So, you can understand the bemusement of Eagles fans when Christian Petracca was in Jeremy McGovern’s protected zone but was not penalised. That turned to frustration when McGovern, under pressure from the Demons star, was pinged for a deliberate out of bounds. To rub salt into the wounds, Petracca converted when it should have been the Eagles launching a forward thrust.

JACKSON’S BRAIN FADE

There’s a reason why you cannot trust ruckmen – and it was on show in the first quarter. Luke Jackson’s signature may be eagerly sought but he had a moment he’d rather forget. For reasons known only to the Demons’ grand final star, Jackson kept in play a behind-bound shot from Tim Kelly, then placed Jayden Hunt under enormous pressure on the last line. His dump kick was marked by Eagles ruckman Callum Jamieson, who completely fluffed his set shot.

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MELBOURNE 6.5 7.9 9.12 16.16 (112)
WEST COAST 1.0 1.3 3.4 5.8 (38)

GOALS
Melbourne: McDonald 4, Pickett 3, Fritsch 3, Petracca 2, Brown 2, Spargo, Neal-Bullen.
West Coast: McGovern, Cripps, Darling, Williams, Waterman.
BEST
Melbourne: Petracca, Oliver, Viney, Pickett, May, Langdon.
West Coast: Kelly, McGovern, West, Barrass.
UMPIRES Donlon, Dore, Heffernan.
CROWD 27,488 at Optus Stadium.

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