West Coast have earned a major percentage boost to help shore up their place in the top four after annihilating Gold Coast by 126 points at Patersons Stadium this afternoon.
The hosts were electric in the opening term in piling on six goals within the match’s first 14 minutes.
They threatened an embarrassing blowout and achieved it despite a lacklustre second term, waltzing to their 18th successive win in Perth – 25.16 (166) to 5.10 (40).
Chris Masten relished being thrown into the centre square, finishing with 33 classy disposals to vie for best afield honours with Luke Shuey.
Scott Selwood’s role in limiting the influence of Gold Coast’s only star Gary Ablett while also hurting the Suns on the rebound was another of significance.
Veteran Dean Cox also issued another timely reminder that he is still the club’s dominant big man ahead of Nic Naitanui.
The Eagles shared the scoring with 11 individual goal kickers, but no major earned greater applause than debutant Murray Newman’s first from a set shot late in the third quarter.
Quinten Lynch finished with four goals and Shuey and Jack Darling three apiece.
Lynch avoided what could have been a serious injury when Joel Wilkinson dived head first into his shin on the stroke of three-quarter time, coming close to trapping the spearhead’s ankle under his body.
Newman was substituted into the game midway through the third term to replace Andrew Gaff and was lively.
The Swan Districts product had three shots on goal for the quarter, nailing the final attempt, and did not look out of his depth at the next level.
West Coast looked like they were partaking in a training drill rather than an actual game in the opening five minutes.
The first goal came in just 37 seconds.
It was a perfect passage of play with a Naitanui tap run onto by Selwood and ending in a contested mark and conversion by Cox.
The Eagles added another two goals in the blink of an eye.
It took a superb effort from Matt Shaw to get Gold Coast into the game.
He pick-pocketed Matt Rosa on the wing, took three bounces and then nailed the goal on the run in a superb solo effort.
His brilliance didn’t help.
The hosts slotted another five goals from that point, with Lynch nailing two of them.
They would have led by more at quarter time if not for a drop off in their own intensity and a clever snap from Liam Patrick nearing the first break.
West Coast led by six goals heading into the second term and proceeded to soon frustrate their fans after a buoyant start.
Their disposal efficiency fell away badly, with two separate turnovers resulting in Gold Coast goals to Harley Bennell and Charlie Dixon.
Only a goal after the siren from Josh Hill guaranteed the Eagles won the quarter, taking a 39-point buffer into half time.
That drop off was gone from the restart.
Patrick McGinnity slotted a great running goal from 40m out and started another run that would yield six goals to one for West Coast for the term.The final quarter offered little of interest outside of the final margin and two contested marks and subsequent goals from Naitanui in the space of two minutes.
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