Simpson hails special Kennedy
Star man Josh Kennedy. Pic: Sharon Smith/WA News

Adam Simpson labelled spearhead Josh Kennedy's career-best haul yesterday as "special", but West Coast's history-making win at Patersons Stadium was soured by the report of Mark LeCras.

Kennedy paid tribute to his mother, who was sitting in the stands, while celebrating his 11-goal performance in the 111-point thrashing of Greater Western Sydney as the Eagles posted the second-highest score in the club's 27-year history.

But the 30.8 (188) to 12.5 (77) victory could come at a significant cost, with the club bracing for the possibility of facing a crucial part of its fixture without LeCras, who was booked for rough conduct for his head-high bump on Will Hoskin-Elliott.

LeCras was just six minutes into his return to football after a month out with a broken arm when he leapt off the ground and floored the Giants youngster with an ill-timed bump.

It took some of the shine off Kennedy's heroics, the forward booting 11.0 to bury the club's goal-kicking problems from the previous month.

The haul bettered Kennedy's previous best of 10 against the Western Bulldogs in round nine, 2011.

Simpson compared the performance with the best from the game's biggest names, including Sydney star Lance Franklin.

"I've been fortunate enough to be watching Buddy at his best and obviously Wayne Carey, but anyone who can kick multiple goals like that in one game is a special effort," he said.

West Coast were able to banish their mental demons surrounding conversion courtesy of a third term where they kicked 10 straight to overwhelm the young Giants.

It was the first time West Coast had booted 30 goals in a match and the club's second biggest score behind the 29.18 (192) amassed against Brisbane in round three, 1988.

The win lifted them back into the top eight ahead of a tough run of matches against Collingwood (away), North Melbourne (home) and Hawthorn (away) that Simpson admitted was probably season-defining.

"We haven't taken a big scalp," he said. "It was great to win today. It was just good to get some confidence with our players and our coaches."

All four of West Coast's losses this year have come without LeCras, who showed his immense value with four goals yesterday.

A classification of reckless conduct, high contact and medium impact for his bump would result in a four-match ban that could be cut to three games with an early guilty plea.

The one saving grace is that Hoskin-Elliott recovered from the hit to play out the match.

Simpson said players needed to try and tackle rather than bump.

"I do know he's a fair player," Simpson said of LeCras.

"He's never been reported before and sometimes I think with his arm he's probably thinking he should bump rather than tackle. There's some things there where I can see why he did it."

The incident will heighten scrutiny on the AFL match review panel as it rules today on six indiscriminate bumps from the round's five matches, including an incident involving Fremantle's Paul Duffield.

The West Australian

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