Eagles go top after downing GWS in Sydney
THE red-hot West Coast Eagles have remained unbeaten on their AFL travels with a 25-point win over Greater Western Sydney on Saturday.
The Eagles kicked five straight goals in the second quarter to take control of a game they won 12.14 (86) to 8.13 (61).
It was a seventh straight victory for West Coast, which moved to the top of the table above Richmond and improved its record to 7-1 and 3-0 outside Western Australia.
Missing Nic Naitanui, Luke Shuey and Jeremy McGovern, the Eagles underlined their depth with a strong performance against a Giants side that lost Phil Davis and Matt de Boer during the game.
The Eagles had the most potent forward at Spotless Stadium in Jack Darling, who kicked four goals - all in the first half.
West Coast led by 14 early on, but GWS kicked four straight goals either side of quarter-time to lead by 10.
The Eagles reasserted themselves, with Darling kicking three of five straight goals for the visitors, as they regained the lead before half-time and never relinquished their advantage.
The Giants' kicking efficiency, which was atrocious in their heavy loss to Geelong last week, was poor again.
On the odd occasion when did get a flow on and moved the ball quickly, they kicked some fine goals, but the Eagles pressure remained good throughout the contest.
Adversity increased for GWS as the game developed and at one stage in the third quarter they had just one player on the bench.
GWS lost de Boer at half-time with a hamstring injury.
In the third quarter the Giants' Phil Davis left the contest after he was accidentally elbowed by Darling in an aerial contest, and teammate Lachie Whitfied went off with what appeared to be a shin problem, but returned later in the term.
The Eagles had plenty of good performers with Tom Barrass, Will Schofield and Brad Sheppard strong down back.
Jack Redden gathered 13 clearances and Andrew Gaff and Elliot Yeo also got plenty of the ball.
In his 200th game, GWS co-captain Callan Ward collected 30 touches along with Whitfield, and Aidan Corr kept Josh Kennedy to two goals and seven touches.
The Eagles host Richmond next week.