West Coast have suffered a shock loss to Port Adelaide in their final NAB Cup match in Alice Springs tonight.
The Eagles lost after only playing patches of good football and allowing Port Adelaide to take control in the second term.
Having struggled against Collingwood last week, the Eagles will enter round one having not played consistent football for several weeks.
Port took control during the second term with five unanswered goals. Hamish Hartlett, Travis Boak, Ollie Wines and Chad Wingard ran riot and West Coast couldn’t respond.
The Power broke clear to a seemingly match winning 34 point lead during the third term before the Eagles found their mojo and stormed back.
Jack Darling kicked a major to signal his intent, then Shannon Hurn kicked a supergoal before Josh Hill booted two goals in two minutes.
But Port steadied and held off a late surge to win 1.13.5 (92) to 1.11.11 (86).
Former Eagle Brad Ebert produced a match saving tackle on Andrew Gaff as the wingman prepared to snap a goal from close range which would have made the margin one point.
Earlier West Coast forward Josh Kennedy dominated the first term. Kennedy kicked three first quarter goals and missed a shot for his fourth which forced Port Adelaide to move Alipate Carlile off him. Kennedy then kicked the team’s only goal of the second term before adding a fifth late in the match.
The anticipated extreme conditions didn’t eventuate but it was still warm enough for both teams to be given an extra three interchange players.
West Coast then lost midfielder Chris Masten in the warm up when he complained of tightness and the club decided not to take any risks.
The Eagles didn’t have any travelling emergencies so went into the game with one less player than Port Adelaide.
Sandover medallist Kane Mitchell’s quest for an upgrade to the Port Adelaide senior list suffered a setback as he struggled, barely touched the ball and had no impact.PORT ADELAIDE 0.3.0 0.8.2 1.10.3 1.13.5 (92)
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