Gone … in seven seconds

WEST COAST 8.3 11.5 17.11 25.16 (166) GOLD COAST 2.3 4.8 5.9 5.10 (40) GOALS West Coast: Lynch 4, Darling 3, Shuey 3, Hams 2, Cox 2, Hill 2, Newman 2, Naitanui 2, Gaff, Kerr, McGinnity, Hurn, Selwood. Gold Coast: Dixon, Ablett, Bennell, Patrick, Shaw. BEST West Coast: Shuey, Gaff, Naitanui, Masten, Cox. Gold Coast: Bennell, Stanley, Ablett. CROWD 34,592, at Patersons Stadium.
Nanjing Night Net

THIS had all the signs of a massacre, from the start. The umpire bounced the ball, Nic Naitanui jumped over Zac Smith and executed what was more work of art than ruck knock, straight from his palm into the hands of Scott Selwood.

Selwood took one bounce, ran his full measure, kicked low, straight and hard at full forward and Dean Cox outpointed Steven May to take a contested mark.

Seven seconds gone and the Eagles had their first shot at goal.

Two minutes in they had their second – Ashton Hams able to stroll past two Suns defenders into an open goal mouth.

Gary Ablett didn’t win the Suns’ first official possession until the four-minute mark of the opening term. And he had to kick hurriedly from deep in defence – turning the ball over to Andrew Gaff who marked and kicked West Coast’s third goal.

Four minutes gone, three goals on the board, Gold Coast team possession count: one.

West Coast’s 10th win of the season, its 17th in a row at Patersons Stadium and Gold Coast’s 20th loss on the trot, started and finished as a massacre. In between there was a lull for a quarter and a half to stop the eventual scoreline: 25.16 (166) to 5.10 (40) being even more one-sided than it was.

As it was the Eagles had a field day. Luke Shuey had more than 30 touches and kicked three goals, Chris Masten matched him touch for touch, ditto Daniel Kerr and Matt Priddis. Jack Darling and Quinten Lynch kicked three each and coach John Worsfold was happy to sub his best player to three-quarter-time, Gaff, well before the last change. We shudder to think what might have happened had the Suns not temporarily drawn a line in the sand halfway through the first term.

Thirteen minutes in, with his team trailing by five goals, Suns coach Guy McKenna departed from his first-quarter strategy of playing one-on-one and put a player behind the ball, and from then until half-time the Suns held their own.

Outscored two goals to one in the second half of the first quarter, the Suns almost won the second term. Only a late Josh Hill goal put the Eagles further in front at the main break than they had been at the first.

The threatened massacre, delayed by Gold Coast’s effort and West Coast’s apathy, finally happened in the third term, when the Eagles went on a six-goal-to-one rampage that blew the lead out to 74 points at the final change.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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