Simpson rocked by Eagles reality check
Things got away from Dean Cox and the rest of the Eagles on Sunday. Pic: Getty Images

Coach Adam Simpson labelled last night's horror loss to North Melbourne as a "reality check" and flagged wielding the axe at selection in a bid to revive West Coast's ailing season.

The Eagles' hopes of playing in September took a massive blow as they slumped to a 38-point defeat, 12.10 (82) to 6.8 (44), to the Kangaroos at Patersons Stadium.

West Coast's sixth loss of the year left them in 11th spot and two wins outside the top eight ahead of a clash with Hawthorn at Launceston's Aurora Stadium off a six-day break.

The Eagles managed just three goals after quarter time, en route to their lowest score against North Melbourne in the club's 28-year history.

Only a goal after the siren from Matt Priddis prevented the Eagles from the embarrassment of the club's lowest total at its Subiaco home ground.

Simpson said the demoralising loss was difficult to explain.

"We didn't use the ball well and we didn't handle the conditions," he said. "It was probably a bit of a reality check for some of us, albeit we've been pleased with how we've been developing, we took a step backwards today."

West Coast won the inside-50 count for the second game in a row, but their six goals came from 52 entries.

"It's been something we've been working on since I walked through the door," Simpson said.

"There's skill errors and decision making, but then there's the basic turnovers … we want to improve and that's been the message from the beginning.

"It was an important game tonight, we know that, but there's a long way to go. There's 11 games left."

Luke Shuey played after doubts about his fitness during the build-up, but finished with just 18 touches. Simpson said the midfielder's poor run of form was not due to injury, and that underperforming players would come under selection scrutiny.

"If you don't deserve to play, you won't," he said. "I'm not giving games away.

"There were a lot of questions about Nic (Naitanui) early on in the year. I stuck by him in terms of his body. I knew where he was going, but if you're not performing, then we've got to look at you.

"The thing we've got at the moment is guys are performing in patches, just not in four quarters and quite often not when it counts."

Simpson said captain Darren Glass would return against the Hawks after being withdrawn from the side on Saturday because of a hip complaint.

Xavier Ellis was substituted out midway through the third quarter last night with a corked leg, but is a chance to be fit for the trip to Tasmania.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West