West Coast forward Josh Kennedy suffered a new injury scare as his side's top-four aspirations hung in the balance last night following a 25-point loss to Hawthorn at the MCG.
Kennedy, the Eagles' leading goal kicker in 2011 and crucial to their premiership hopes, limped from the ground late in the match after his left ankle was caught up in a tangle of legs close to goal.
He was making only his second appearance at AFL level after injuring the ankle in the round-five win over Richmond at Etihad Stadium.
The Eagles said they expected Kennedy to be available for their first final, which will be determined tonight.
If Collingwood beat Essendon at the MCG, the Eagles will drop to fifth spot on the ladder and have a home final at Patersons Stadium next weekend, with a likelihood it could be a first-ever western derby final against Fremantle.
If the Bombers win, West Coast will front up against the Hawks again next weekend.
Regardless of their opponents, the Eagles would want to show more commitment and intensity than was on display in the first quarter last night as Hawthorn slammed on seven goals to one to set up a 14.11 (95) to 10.10 (70) win.
"There's areas we've learnt, great stuff, great stuff tonight to learn from and that will make us a little bit better," coach John Worsfold said.
"We have never said we're not in the mix, our boys have always said we're in the mix. We're excited about September footy, absolutely.
"We're confident regardless … we don't need to take anything out of tonight confidence-wise.
"There was never any doubt in our mind that we could match it with Hawthorn in terms of playing good footy against them.
"I think we're in a great position.
"We've finished the home-and-away season in pretty good shape going forward."
Gun Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin underlined his brilliance with four first-quarter goals.
But it was not all good news for the Hawks, who lost defender Brent Guerra to a hamstring injury in the final term.
Worsfold said his team was capable of going all the way in the finals from fifth position if it was pushed down the ladder by Collingwood.
He showed no emotion over a likely final against the Dockers.
"I'll call it our first final," he said. "I'm not going to embrace a final against any opposition any more than any other opposition."
As if on a mission to prove they were true premiership favourites a week before the finals, Hawthorn pounded West Coast in the opening term to set up what would be a winning ascendancy.
The Eagles could not spread with the hard-running, well-structured Hawks, who obliterated their rivals in the uncontested possession count of 60-49.
It helped them set up a 34-point lead at the first break as they limited West Coast to just one goal.Franklin made a great start to chase Matthew Pavlich's lead in the Coleman Medal by booting four goals in the quarter to move to 59, one behind. For the most part after that though, he was well held by Mitch Brown.
Is Dermott Brereton right to say Adam Goodes gets a "good run" with the AFL tribunal?Vote
Do you have a story for us to investigate?
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.