Kennedy stars as Eagles crush Dockers

Justin Chadwick
AAP
Kennedy stars as Eagles crush Dockers

West Coast forward Josh Kennedy booted six goals as the Eagles rebounded from a week of scathing criticism to post a 41-point thumping of Fremantle in Saturday night's western AFL derby at Domain Stadium.

The Eagles were labelled mummy's boys who lacked a ruthless edge in the wake of last week's 50-point loss to Hawthorn at the MCG.

But West Coast regained their mojo against the Dockers, with Kennedy awarded the Ross Glendinning medal in the 16.7 (103) to 9.8 (62) win in front of 40,836 fans.

West Coast had the game virtually sewn up by halftime after racing to a 45-point lead.

Compounding his side's misery, Dockers skipper Nathan Fyfe faces a nervous wait after catching Elliot Yeo with a stray elbow early in the final quarter.

Fyfe was facing the opposite direction and trying to shake free of Yeo when he caught the Eagle with his right elbow.

Yeo stayed down after the hit before slowly regaining his composure.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon claimed he didn't see the incident himself, and he wasn't overly worried about it.

"All I know is Nathan is a ball player who cops a lot of attention," Lyon said.

"Sometimes players stay down to milk free kicks."

Fremantle veteran Aaron Sandilands dominated the ruck taps, but it wasn't equating to a win in the clearance battle as West Coast's midfield took control.

Jeremy McGovern was almost impassable in the opening half. The Eagles defender took nine marks - seven of them intercepts - to foil Fremantle's forward thrusts time and again.

Yeo (32 disposals, 14 marks) was also crucial in defence throughout the match, while Matt Priddis, Luke Shuey, Sam Mitchell and Andrew Gaff racked up big numbers in the midfield.

"It was a good response after a disappointing week," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.

"We thought Fremantle was a difficult challenge; they'd won three in a row.

"They were up and about. To start the way we did was really pleasing.

"That we lowered our colours in the second half, it was a pretty equal second half. But it probably leaves us with more questions than answers of where we are at at the moment."

West Coast's fourth successive derby win helps entrench them in the league's top eight with a 4-2 record, while Fremantle are 3-3.

A mini scuffle broke out after Eagles youngster Liam Duggan booted the second goal of the match, but that was about as much fight as Fremantle showed in the opening half.

West Coast scored from nine of their 11 entries into forward 50 the opening quarter as Hill, Kennedy and Darling booted two goals apiece to give the Eagles a commanding 36-point lead.

Even debutant Kurt Mutimer provided some flair when he sold a dummy to Brownlow medallist Fyfe with his first possession in the AFL ranks.

Eagles ruckman Nathan Vardy suffered an injury scare when he hyper-extended his right elbow in a marking contest with Fyfe.

But the former Cat was able to return to the field after having his elbow strapped.