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Jetta hurt as sloppy Eagles shade Suns

Football

Prized West Coast recruit Lewis Jetta is in doubt for the start of the AFL season after injuring his right leg in Thursday’s three-point AFL pre-season cup win over Gold Coast in Joondalup.

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Jetta made a scintillating start to the match, tallying eight disposals in the first term before limping off early in the second quarter.

Eagles defender Mitch Brown will also be assessed after injuring his hand.

West Coast trailed 51-22 in the third term, but unleashed a blistering finish to the match to win 0.7.13 (55) to 1.6.7 (52).

Defender Jeremy McGovern was the hero, switching to attack to kick the winning goal with less than a minute remaining.

Although the injuries were a blow to the Eagles, one piece of good news was the successful return of defender Eric Mackenzie, who made it through his first match back from a knee reconstruction.

Numerous senior Eagles players were making their first appearance of the pre-season, and the rust was clear to see.

Sloppy turnovers were the feature of the day as the Eagles struggled to cope with the strong breeze until finding their groove in the final quarter.

So strong was the breeze, Gold Coast’s Trent McKenzie kicked the ball past the centre square from a torpedo kick-in.

The Eagles were well served by Mark LeCras, Andrew Gaff and McGovern, while McKenzie and Mitch Hallahan stood out for the Suns.

Gold Coast forward Brandon Matera could be in strife after crashing into Eagles ruckman Scott Lycett in a marking contest.

West Coast fielded close to a full-strength side, with only Chris Masten, Dom Sheed, Sharrod Wellingham and Luke Shuey missing from their best side.

Gold Coast were missing a host of their stars.

Skipper Gary Ablett, David Swallow, Jaega O’Meara and Dion Prestia were all injured, while Matt Rosa, Nick Malceski, Michael Rischitelli and Tom Lynch were rested.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson confirmed Jetta had hurt his calf, but he said the injury was probably only minor.

“Lewis has got a tight calf. He’s never done one before. It looked like it was a grade one,” Simpson said.

“Let’s just wait and see what the scan says. I’m not panicking yet. It’s a long year.”

Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade was proud of the effort his young group showed.

“For three-and-a-half quarters, I was really thrilled with what we were able to produce,” Eade said.

“I thought our pressure was really good. The effort from the younger guys was terrific.”

AAP

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