Cox urges Eagles to learn from belting
Dean Cox looks to hand ball. Pic: Getty Images

Ruckman Dean Cox says West Coast cannot gloss over Saturday night's embarrassing hiding from Geelong by blaming the lack of key players and must be more competitive against top teams.

The Eagles lost by 75 points at Simonds Stadium and failed to score a goal after quarter time.

Their total of 4.8 (32) was the sixth lowest in the club's history.

It followed a terrible finish to last season when they scored 41 points against the Cats in round 21, 39 points against Collingwood in round 22 and 43 points against Adelaide in round 23.

The Eagles were without skipper Darren Glass, Luke Shuey, Mark LeCras, Matt Rosa, Chris Masten, Shannon Hurn and Beau Waters but Cox said the team had to accept those types of performances couldn't be tolerated.

"We can't just say 'let's forget about it'," Cox said.

"We just fell short in contested possessions but they smashed us on the outside.

"Football is an amazing game but it can be an eye opener at times. That's what we got.

"We've got to learn very quickly because we've got a good side again next week as well.

"The playing group took steps forward for the first part of the year but took one back.

"That's a challenge now. We've got to match it against the top-four sides and best sides in the competition at the minute."

Shuey will return from suspension for Saturday night's match against in-form Port Adelaide.

Rosa was a late withdrawal because of illness while Glass (hip) is tipped to return.

Coach Adam Simpson said Nic Naitanui had been substituted out of the match as a precaution.

The Power trounced Brisbane by 113 points on Saturday, made the finals last year and are renowned for their hard running. The game will be a huge test.

Geelong dominated the Eagles in space and ran rampant once they gained possession.

Cox, who was playing his club record-breaking 277th game, said the Eagles didn't do enough to stop Geelong from getting easy possessions.

"That was certainly one of the things we brought up - at times, our confusion or our ability to locate their loose men," Cox said.

"They're such an elite, skilful side that if you give them five metres, they'll hit that target and then cut you open.

"The players have to have a good think about this. Tonight we really got tested and fell short in a lot of areas. I think they had 100 more uncontested possessions than us."

The West Australian

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