West Coast will lick their wounds and learn their lessons from a brave three-point AFL defeat to Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.
Coach John Worsfold believes his side will take much away from a narrow loss in a game they could have conceivably won had it lasted another few minutes.
In a match of several momentum swings, the Eagles eventually fell 12.13 (85) to 12.10 (82) after fighting back from 27 points down late in the third quarter.
While West Coast slip off the top of the ladder with the defeat, Worsfold believes his side is better than the one which surprised in reaching last season's finals, with more growth to come.
And his players will benefit greatly from what surely was a finals preview against another likely top four side.
"We're a better team than we were this time last year," Worsfold said.
"We are stronger as a group. (But) we have to get better. We want to be one of the elite teams in the competition and to do that, we still think we've got to improve.
"Margins in games mean nothing if you're not learning from it and improving for your next game, and every game after that."
The Eagles now have a 9-3 win-loss record - though they have lost two of their past three narrowly.
Eagles forward Quinten Lynch played his 200th AFL match, booting two goals and playing well.
He too believes the Eagles can walk away proud, though they need to learn from the defeat.
"You don't play footy to win by 100 points every week. You play footy for the tough contests, to enjoy them, to learn from them, and get better from them," Lynch said.
West Coast's next match is at home to winless Gold Coast next weekend.