A cakewalk? More like another bloodbath.
You love to hate us, and when we win our 16th flag on Saturday, you’ll want to be us.
Last week was no fluke, these Pies are the real deal. Ask those Richmond fans playing at home, Mason Cox is no joke, and if you Eagles fans managed to read the Brownlow Medal count, take note, Steele Sidebottom is your biggest nightmare.
Okay, so you got one up on us in the Qualifier, so what? This week you’re on our turf, and things don’t look so good. You lot haven’t won a final at the G’ since 2006, and in case anyone’s counting, the last five inter-state clubs didn’t fare so well on Granny day in Melbourne.
Pies fans, this is what it’s all about. No one gave us a chance back in March, but the bookies sure have this week.
De Goey? Pendles? Big Coxy? Here’s a look at all the best plays on Sunday!
West Coast Eagles
Saturday 29 September, 2.30pm, MCG
Best Bet: Collingwood 1-39 @ $2.20
West Coast won the battle, we’re about to win the war.
Sure, we’ll give you some credit, your fourth quarter fight back in the Qualifier was huge, but surely Collingwood’s ability to lock down Josh Kennedy three week’s ago has you a little worried?
We both finished dead even in the inside fifty column last time out, a huge credit to tall’s Tyson Goldsack and Jeremy Howe down back. Don’t expect things to be quite as close this week though – Nathan Buckley’s decision to push Travis Varcoe forward last week paid off big time, in turn creating glorious opportunities for Cox and de Goey in the forward pocket.
The talking heads seem to think Coxy won’t factor in much on Sunday, but we beg to differ. The big fella didn’t crack the score-sheet during the Qualifier, instead playing the role of decoy to set de Goey up with a pair of goals alongside 11 handy disposals.
That’s only scratching the surface, though. Sidebottom, fresh off 41-disposals has the wherewithal to challenge Elliot Yeo in the midfield, and who could forget Levi Greenwood? Ten tackles to keep the Tigers entire forward line second-guessing last week was massive.
Your playmakers are well known, ours remain underrated. Expect this underdog story to end with us, on the podium, Cup in hand.
Total Disposals – Steele Sidebottom: Over 29.5 @ $2.00
Here’s the deal, Sidebottom finished just four votes off Tom Mitchell in the Brownlow all thanks to his disposal tallies.
We’re a realistic bunch, so asking for a repeat performance of last week’s 41-disposal outing against Richmond might be a bit much, but Sidebottom still managed 30 or more disposals in 13 of his 26 games this season.
West Coast, your best chance of stopping Sidebottom is Mark Hutchings. Again, credit, Hutchings did well in our Round 17 meeting, shame he couldn’t repeat it in the Qualifier though.
Sidebottom wound up with 27-disposals next to his name in Perth, and if the Eagles really want to turn this game into a battle of contested possession, you’d want to hope Steele isn’t involved.
Player Goals: Will Hoskin-Elliott 2+ Goals @ $4.00
Had his hands full with Daniel Rioli last week, so don’t read too much into Elliott’s quiet night against the Tigers.
The good news is our gun half-forward knows how to kick a bag against talented teams, booting three against Richmond in Round 19, four against Melbourne in Round 12 and six against the Dockers in Round 11.
West Coast, go ahead and focus on Cox and de Goey, you’re doing us a favor leaving Elliott wide open in the forward fifty on his first Grand Final day.
Norm Smith Medal: Adam Treloar @ $10.00
Sidebottom and Cox are pinching the headlines, but just you wait, this is the game that sees Treloar emerge in his prime and earn the respect he deserves.
Not only has the great man returned from a pair of hamstring injuries, he’s also been dealing with mental health issues all season. You wouldn’t know it judging by his numbers in the finals though – he’s cracked 72 disposals combined against West Coast, GWS and Richmond, and has been the linchpin for our Pies in the center of the ground.
The on-baller has been terrific all season, and he deserves this more than anyone. West Coast, watch Treloar fire up this week against Elliot Yeo in the middle of the ground, and while you’ve got time, take a geez at his game-winning goal against the reigning premiers last week.