The Eagles go head to head with the Tigers this Thursday night in what will be a massive test for the Eagles looking to secure a place in the Grand Final.
Following on from Sunday’s win against the Giants, Adam Simpson will be hoping his side can continue their great run of form, as they move to their Queensland hub to fulfil the remaining premiership fixtures away from home.
The Eagles flew out on Monday to prepare for a heavy cram of fixtures, starting with a tough match-up against Richmond on Thursday night at the Metricon Stadium.
At the start of round 14, the Eagles sit just two points above Richmond in fourth place. A win for the West Coast on Thursday could secure them a spot in the Qualifying Finals, putting the Eagles 6 points clear of Richmond and could also take the Eagles to the top of the league.
But the West Coast will need to be on their toes to contain what will be a dangerous Tigers side on Thursday. The Tigers will want to undo some of the complacency they showed in their win against Essendon in the Dreamtime clash, particularly in front of goal, kicking 13 behinds, letting the Bombers back into the game on multiple occasions.
The Eagles also need to pay particular attention to shut down creative genius Dustin Martin who was on fire on Saturday night recording nine inside 50s.
But after winning 8 games on the bounce, the big question facing the Eagles is whether they can maintain this immense level of form away from home. Many Eagles fans will recall the dire hattrick of losses conceded in their run away from home at the start of the season and will be hoping for a better run in the upcoming camp.
Certainly, a win against the Tigers will fill the Eagles with confidence setting them up for a run at the premiership title and it seems like there is a good buzz about the upcoming away fixtures in the Eagles camp.
General manager of football Craig Vozzo confirmed, “the spirit in the group is really good. It is going to be a challenging period, but an exciting one. The opportunity ahead of us is great and the rewards if we can get it right are great as well.”
And with in-form players like Jeremy McGovern stepping up to win the ball back from Richmonds high striking duo Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt, the Eagles have a great chance at taking 4 points away from Richmond in the race to the Grand Final.
Unfortunately, the Eagles will be without big man Oscar Allen, who failed to recover from a knock to the hip in Sunday’s game against GWS, but will see the return of versatile midfielder Mark Hutchings, who will run out for the Eagles for the first time in 2020 following a long-term knee injury.
But the Eagles will see another debutant, Bailey Willams, take the field this week. The sixth debutant this year for the Eagles, the ruckman has impressed in pre-season matches and only narrowly missed out on getting his AFL career off to a start in round one.
As the team to beat in this year’s AFL competition, the Eagles face a huge task to overcome a hungry Tigers side challenging the Eagles for fourth place.
And even though the Eagles have a game in hand against the Tigers, the result of this match will have a massive impact on this year’s finals race.
We’re in for a thriller this Thursday night at the Metricon Stadium.