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WA sides shine in AFL openers

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New West Coast coach Adam Simpson enjoyed a dream debut in the hot seat as his side cruised to a 65-point victory over the Western Bulldogs in Sunday’s AFL clash at Patersons Stadium.

Forward Mark LeCras booted five goals, while Dean Cox starred in the ruck in the 21.8 (134) to 11.3 (69) rout.

Eagles midfielder Sharrod Wellingham faces a nervous wait after he stuck out his leg to trip Bulldogs speedster Jason Johannisen in the third quarter.

But apart from that it was good news for the Eagles, whose firepower around the ground proved too much to handle for a Bulldogs side that had hoped to give the finals a shake this year.

Cox (23 possessions, 26 hit-outs), Andrew Gaff, Matt Rosa, LeCras, Jack Darling (four goals) and Matt Priddis were crucial in the win, while ruckman Nic Naitanui played out a full match in a sign that he’s finally overcome his groin injury.

Bulldogs defender Dale Morris held Josh Kennedy to just two goals, while Shaun Higgins (23 possessions, two goals) overcame a knee to the head from Naitanui to be one of his team’s best.

Veteran Robert Murphy kicked two goals, but the classy playmaker was relatively quiet in his 250-game milestone.

The Bulldogs’ handball-happy game plan proved to be their undoing, with the Eagles’ unrelenting pressure causing a glut of turnovers.

Former Bomber Stewart Crameri made a bright start to his time at the Bulldogs, opening his account with a stunning goal on the run from the boundary line early in the match.

But with the Eagles boasting tall timber Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling, Callum Sinclair and a resting ruckman in attack, Crameri spent large chunks of the first half in defence.

West Coast led by just 13 points at quarter time, but they broke the game wide open in the second term with a five-goal blitz.

The Eagles won most of the key statistics in the first half.

The inside-50m count (32-14), contested possessions (89-64), hit-outs (32-16), clearances (27-21) and marks (41-25) all heavily favoured West Coast, and the scoreboard reflected their dominance.

Former Eagles coach John Worsfold was given a standing ovation by the 36,752 crowd during a lap of honour at halftime.

The celebrations continued in the second half as the Eagles cruised to victory in impressive style, with the final inside-50m count reading 60-37.

After the two-week long opening round, Fremantle sit on top of the ladder.

The wrap

FREMANTLE 2.3 8.7 14.10 17.14 (116)

COLLINGWOOD 2.4 2.8 3.13 5.16 (46)

Goals: Fremantle: H Ballantyne 3 D Mundy 2 D Pearce 2 M Walters 2 R Crowley 2 M Barlow M Pavlich N Fyfe S Hill T Mzungu T Sheridan. Collingwood: B Macaffer C Young D Swan J Elliott S Pendlebury. Best: Fremantle: N Fyfe M Johnson M Barlow A Sandilands H Ballantyne S Hill L McPharlin D Pearce. Collingwood: D Beams T Langdon S Pendlebury. Injuries: Fremantle: Nil. Collingwood: T Goldsack (calf). Reports: Nil. Umpires: Mathew Nicholls, Dean Margetts, Brendan Hosking. Official Crowd: 37,571 at Etihad Stadium.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 4.1 7.1 9.5 15.9 (99)

SYDNEY 6.2 7.8 9.8 9.13 (67)

Goals: Greater Western Sydney: J Cameron 4 J Patton 3 A Kennedy C Ward D Smith L Whitfield S Coniglio S Frost T Greene T Scully. Sydney: B McGlynn 2 C Bird G Rohan H Cunningham L Franklin L Jetta S Reid T Mitchell. Best: Greater Western Sydney: C Ward P Davis J Cameron J Patton A Treloar S Mumford. Sydney: L Parker J Kennedy R Shaw T Mitchell N Malceski B McGlynn. Injuries: Greater Western Sydney: R Palmer (hamstring). Sydney: L Roberts-Thomson (groin) K Jack (back) replaced in the selected side by R O’Keefe. Reports: Nil. Umpires: Justin Schmitt, Troy Pannell, Craig Fleer. Official Crowd: 17,102 at Spotless Stadium.

GOLD COAST 5.4 6.7 7.13 12.15 (87)

RICHMOND 3.1 5.6 6.7 10.9 (69)

Goals: Gold Coast: D Stanley 2 G Ablett 2 S Day 2 T Lynch 2 B Matera D Prestia D Swallow J O’Meara. Richmond: T Vickery 2 B Deledio B Griffiths D Martin J Riewoldt N Vlastuin R Petterd S Edwards T Cotchin. Best: Gold Coast: G Ablett D Prestia D Swallow C Cameron T Lynch J O’Meara. Richmond: T Cotchin B Deledio T Vickery M Thomas D Martin B Houli. Injuries: Gold Coast: C Dixon (concussion) J Martin (shoulder). Richmond: Nil. Reports: Nil. Umpires: Ben Ryan, Simon Meredith, Ray Chamberlain. Venue: Metricon Stadium.

PORT ADELAIDE 1.0 7.5 11.7 18.12 (120)

CARLTON 4.4 8.8 11.13 12.15 (87)

Goals: Port Adelaide: J Westhoff 5 R Gray 4 H Hartlett 2 J Schulz 2 O Wines 2 Brad Ebert J Butcher J Polec. Carlton: B Gibbs 2 D Ellard 2 E Curnow 2 J Waite 2 A Everitt C Yarran D Thomas J Garlett. Best: Port Adelaide: O Wines J Westhoff J Polec J Hombsch K Cornes R Gray. Carlton: E Curnow M Murphy B Gibbs R Warnock. Injuries: Port Adelaide: D Cassisi (calf). Carlton: Nil. Reports: Port Adelaide: Nil. Carlton: A Walker (Carlton) in the fourth quarter for alleged rough conduct against A Monfries (Port Adelaide). Umpires: Brett Rosebury, Luke Farmer, Nicholas Foot. Official Crowd: 24,640 at Etihad Stadium.

GEELONG 6.0 11.3 12.7 18.11 (119)

ADELAIDE 5.3 9.5 11.8 12.9 (81)

Goals: Geelong: J Bartel 4 M Brown 3 J Selwood 2 C Enright D Simpson H McIntosh J Caddy J Murdoch M Duncan M Stokes S Johnson T Hawkins. Adelaide: L Johnston 3 E Betts 2 P Dangerfield 2 B Smith M Grigg M Jaensch S Jacobs S McKernan. Best: Geelong: J Selwood M Stokes J Kelly J Caddy S Johnson C Guthrie J Bartel. Adelaide: S Jacobs M Wright P Dangerfield S Kerridge M Jaensch. Injuries: Geelong: J Caddy (cut face) G Horlin-Smith replaced in selected side by D Simpson. Adelaide: Nil. Reports: Geelong: Nil. Adelaide: L Johnston (Adelaide) for high contact on S Johnson (Geelong) in the second quarter. Umpires: Matt Stevic, Shane Stewart, Matthew Leppard. Official Crowd: 23,622 at Simonds Stadium.

ESSENDON 4.1 8.5 11.8 15.9 (99)

NORTH MELBOURNE 3.0 5.3 8.5 9.6 (60)

Goals: Essendon: P Chapman 4 B Goddard 3 J Daniher 2 J Watson 2 K Hardingham 2 B Howlett P Ryder. North Melbourne: L Thomas 4 A Black B Harvey B McKenzie N Dal Santo S Wright. Best: Essendon: J Watson P Chapman B Howlett B Goddard C Hooker P Ryder. North Melbourne: L Thomas B Cunnington J MacMillan. Injuries: Essendon: P Chapman (cramp). North Melbourne: T Goldstein (shoulder), B Cunnington (head knock). Reports: Nil. Umpires: Jeff Dalgleish, Jacob Mollison, Andrew Mitchell. Official Crowd: 42,332 at Etihad Stadium.

HAWTHORN 3.3 7.6 13.8 21.13 (139)

BRISBANE LIONS 2.4 3.8 8.13 13.13 (91)

Goals: Hawthorn: J Roughead 5 L Breust 5 I Smith 2 J Gunston 2 L Shiels 2 B McEvoy J Lewis M Suckling S Mitchell T O’Brien. Brisbane Lions: J Brown 4 T Rockliff 3 T West 3 S Mayes 2 J Green. Best: Hawthorn: B Hill G Birchall L Breust I Smith J Gibson. Brisbane Lions: D Zorko B Moloney M Leuenberger J Brown T Rockliff. Injuries: Nil. Reports: Nil. Umpires: Chris Donlon, Sam Hay, Shane McInerney. Official Crowd: 12,430 at Aurora Stadium.

ST KILDA 1.3 4.5 8.6 10.8 (68)

MELBOURNE 2.2 2.10 4.11 6.15 (51)

Goals: St Kilda: N Riewoldt 3 R Stanley 2 D Armitage E Templeton J Geary J Gwilt J Saunders. Melbourne: S Byrnes 2 B Vince D Terlich D Tyson J Toumpas. Best: St Kilda: C Jones N Riewoldt L Dunstan F Ray T Curren S Dempster. Melbourne: N Jones D Tyson J Watts B Vince J Grimes. Injuries: St Kilda: J Webster (groin). Melbourne: J Fitzpatrick (concussion) T McDonald (corcked thighs). Reports: Nil. Umpires: Scott Jeffery, Chris Kamolins, Heath Ryan. Official Crowd: 31,657 at Etihad Stadium.

WEST COAST 4.2 9.4 13.6 21.8 (134)

WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.1 3.1 5.3 11.3 (69)

Goals: West Coast: M LeCras 5 J Darling 4 J Cripps 2 J Kennedy 2 L Shuey 2 A Gaff C Masten M Priddis M Rosa S Selwood S Wellingham. Western Bulldogs: J Macrae 2 L Hunter 2 R Murphy 2 S Crameri 2 S Higgins 2 M Boyd. Best: West Coast: D Cox M LeCras E MacKenzie J Darling M Rosa S Wellingham. Western Bulldogs: D Morris J Macrae S Higgins M Boyd L Hunter. Injuries: West Coast: C Sinclair (eye). Western Bulldogs: S Crameri (groin) S Higgins (head). Reports: Nil. Umpires: Stuart Wenn, Robert Findlay, Jason Armstrong. Official Crowd: 36,752 at Patersons Stadium.

LADDER AFTER ROUND

P W L D For Agst PC Pts

Fremantle  1 1 – – 116 46 252.2 4

West Coast 1 1 – – 134 69 194.2 4

Essendon   1 1 – – 99 60 165.0 4

Hawthorn  1 1 – – 139 91 152.8 4

G W S         1 1 – – 99 67 147.8 4

Geelong     1 1 – – 119 81 146.9 4

Port Adel  1 1 – – 120 87 137.9 4

St Kilda     1 1 – – 68 51 133.3 4

Gold Coast 1 1 – – 87 69 126.1 4

Richmond  1 – 1 – 69 87 79.3 –

Melbourne 1 – 1 – 51 68 75.0 –

Carlton       1 – 1 – 87 120 72.5 –

Adelaide     1 – 1 – 81 119 68.1 –

Sydney        1 – 1 – 67 99 67.7 –

Brisbane Lions 1 – 1 – 91 139 65.5 –

North Melbourne 1 – 1 – 60 99 60.6 –

Western Bulldogs 1 – 1 – 69 134 51.5 –

Collingwood 1 – 1 – 46 116 39.7 –

LEADING GOALKICKERS 5: M LeCras (West Coast) 5, J Roughead (Hawthorn) 5, L Breust (Hawthorn) 5, J Westhoff (Pt Adel) 5 4: R Gray (Pt Adel) 4, J Cameron (GWS) 4, L Thomas (Nth Melb) 4, J Darling (West Coast) 4, J Brown (Brisbane) 4, P Chapman (Essendon) 4, J Bartel (Geelong) 4

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