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Freo, Eagles ride wave of confidence
Daniel Kerr, speaking to the media yesterday. Pic: Lee Griffith/WA News

West Coast star Daniel Kerr has declared the Eagles and Fremantle capable of defying history and ending the domination of top-four teams in AFL semifinals.

Both WA clubs travel interstate this weekend for semifinals against Collingwood and Adelaide respectively, and are full of confidence following outstanding displays in their elimination finals.

West Coast thrashed North Melbourne by 96 points at Patersons Stadium and Fremantle kicked the first seven goals against Geelong and stunningly ended the reigning premiers' 2012 campaign with a 16-point upset win at the MCG.

But to advance to the preliminary finals, both teams must first overcome one of the AFL's biggest hoodoos.

Since the current top-eight system began in 2000, just two of the 24 semifinals have been won by teams who finished outside the top four.

Player has opened the semifinal markets with West Coast and Fremantle as outsiders.

But Kerr said 2012 had been clearly more even than previous seasons and that left the door ajar for the WA teams to play in preliminary finals.

"It's been such an even year, I think the top six teams really could have finished in the top four," Kerr said.

"I think in previous years, the top four teams have stood out a lot more than this year.

"It's been a really even year and teams that are in the top four have been beaten by teams that are fifth and sixth.

"I think the reason we can go well is it's just such an even competition this year. I think Fremantle, who finished out of the four as well, the way they played against Geelong, if they continue that type of football, they're a massive chance also."

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon rarely had to worry about playing in semifinals while in charge of St Kilda, but the Saints fought back from a 61-point loss in the 2008 qualifying final to win by 34 points the next week against Collingwood.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has plenty of finals experience from his days at St Kilda. Pic: Getty Images

Fremantle have had only one loss since round 15, but that was against their opponents on Friday, Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, by 28 points last month. They also lost to the Crows in round 10, by 29 points at Patersons Stadium.

Fremantle were without Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands last month and Crows defender Daniel Talia closed down Matthew Pavlich. But Talia will miss the game because of a broken right arm.

Lyon said the Dockers were confident they could play well against Adelaide and build on the fantastic win over Geelong.

"We certainly need to learn some lessons because they (Adelaide) are a very good team and over the course of the year they have been a really well-performed team but we certainly come in with momentum and belief," Lyon said.

"History is a strong indicator but we see possibility for ourselves. Certainly it can be done and luckily we are not a group that is defined by the past.

"If we were all defined by the past we would have handed the cup to Geelong at the start of the year, but everyone has an opportunity in a new year and obviously for us another final."

The Dockers and Eagles must travel for the rest of the finals series, knowing any loss ends their season.

Kerr said travel wouldn't be a problem because the Eagles were accustomed to playing interstate.

He said the key to winning finals was to play well for every minute of the game.

"If we play the type of football that we aim to play and we play with the intensity that we know we can play with for four quarters, then I think we can definitely go all the way," Kerr said.

"But if we drop off for even 10 minutes in a game from now on, I don't think we will win."