Simpson targets list as Eagles slide
Simpson targets list as Eagles slide

West Coast coach Adam Simpson says he is getting a far better understanding of the capabilities of his players after they today lost their seventh game from the last eight matches.

The Eagles lost to Hawthorn 19.9 (123) to 12.7 (79) at Aurora Stadium as Hawks star Jarryd Roughead dominated with 8.2.

West Coast are now 4-7 and slipping away from the top eight. Simpson lamented the number of fundamental errors made during the match but said he would focus on week to week instead of thinking about the ladder.

He said the new coaching group was starting to learn what the players were capable of as the year progressed.

"We've got some work to do with our list and our players," Simpson said.

"We're still assessing it at the moment. We're finding out a lot about our players.

"The last quarter was a challenge. We won the last quarter. We could have flown the white flag. I'm pleased that we had the resolve to stand up there.

"We'll continue to look at the list and challenge our players. We'll make those assessments as the year goes on."

Hawthorn's tall forwards had a day to remember. Jack Gunston kicked three goals and debutant ruckman Luke Lowden booted three majors too.

Simpson said it was the first time his defenders had been beaten so badly.

"Roughy touched us up today," he said.

"Part of it was our defenders not doing the basics and part of it was the supply. It's the first time it's happened to our key tall defenders - albeit I think they only took seven or eight marks inside 50. It was more those full ground transitions that hurt us."

Jeremy McGovern's performance stood out for the Eagles. He took 10 marks - four of which were contested - and kicked two goals in just his second game.

Andrew Gaff was also prominent with three goals and 25 disposals. Simpson said the coaches needed to find a way to fit McGovern into the team.

"I think we've got to. We've got Josh Kennedy coming back at some stage in the next week or two so we've got to find the balance," he said.

"He's footy smart and he's a natural footballer. It was really pleasing for him to take 10 marks and have an impact. He's got presence, so that was pleasing."

The West Australian

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