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Sport Eagles power past Hawks for AFL road win

10:05  09 may  2021
10:05  09 may  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Midfield aces Dom Sheed, Tim Kelly, and Andrew Gaff have powered West Coast to their first win away from Perth this AFL season.

a man holding a football ball on a field: West Coast have posted their first win on the road of the AFL season, beating Hawthorn at the MCG. © James Ross/AAP PHOTOS West Coast have posted their first win on the road of the AFL season, beating Hawthorn at the MCG.

In a dour scrap at the MCG, the Eagles had too much class for struggling Hawthorn to prevail by 38 points in front of just 15,277 fans on Mother's Day.

The small crowd sat through an early snoozefest, with neither team scoring a goal until four minutes into the second quarter - the first goal-less first term in normal length games since round four, 2012.

West Coast blew the game open with seven goals to two in the second quarter to set-up the 14.14 (98) to 8.12 (60) victory.

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However, the Eagles were rocked late when star veteran Josh Kennedy finished the match on the bench with ice on his right calf.

West Coast's biggest win against the Hawks at the MCG could have been even larger as they dominated inside-50s 63-35.

The win - their first in four attempts in Victoria this year - will be of sweet relief to Eagles coach Adam Simpson.

The 2018 premiership coach labelled his team "weak" and "embarrassing" in their 97-point thrashing at the hands of the Cats in Geelong two weeks ago.

Flag hero Sheed and former Cats onballer Kelly set the tone, taking full advantage of ruckman Nic Naitanui's slick tap work.

Joined by Gaff, the trio were shining lights during the largely uneventful round-eight contest.

Brendon Ah Chee provided a spark up forward for the Eagles, slotting the game's first two goals and finished with a career-high of four majors.

Champion Hawks midfielder Tom Mitchell was up to his normal tricks with 41 possessions while teammates Jarman Impey and James Worpel also battled hard.

West Coast moved to a 5-3 record ahead on next Sunday's match against Adelaide at Optus Stadium, while the 17th-placed Hawks host winless North Melbourne in Launceston on Saturday.

AFL backs Rioli to return as twin blockbusters fixtured for Perth .
The question of Willie or won't he was made clearer by the AFL as West Coast and Fremantle were given a double dose of good news after the latest fixture announcement by the league.AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said on Friday the league would not stand in the way of Willie Rioli's return to action after the Eagle's guilty plea for drug possession in Darwin on Wednesday.

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