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Eagles could play two finals at their Adelaide home away from home


West Coast coach Adam Simpson has ruled out the prospect of basing his team in Adelaide for an extra week if they are able to knock off the Power in Saturday night’s AFL elimination final.

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It’s possible the Eagles will have to play in Adelaide two weeks in a row if they are able to beat the Power.

The winner of Saturday night’s match at Adelaide Oval will take on the loser of Thursday’s Adelaide-GWS clash.

If the Crows lose their qualifying final against GWS, they will host either the Eagles or Power in a semi-final next week.

It’s common in other sports around the world for teams to stay interstate if they have a series of games on the road.

But Simpson said his team would definitely return to Perth this weekend – even if they are scheduled to play in Adelaide again the following week.

“If we get over the line this week, we’ll come back,” Simpson said.

“It’s only two and a half hours (of flying). It’s not a big flight. The boys have been doing it all season.

“It’s just outside your routine (not to fly back home).

“We haven’t done it before, so we won’t be doing it next week if we do have a win.”

West Coast have an excellent record at Adelaide Oval – winning five of their six matches there, including all three fixtures against Port.

But they were lucky to beat Port Adelaide there in round seven, when the Power dominated the inside-50m count 68-39, yet still lost by 10 points.

“Yes, I’m aware of that issue,” Simpson said when the inside-50m count was brought up.

“You can’t live off rebounding from your back 50 and conceding 70 inside 50s and hanging these blokes out to dry.

“We’re not anticipating a victory if that happens again.”

But Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley reckons his side doesn’t have home-ground advantage against West Coast, given the venue has been such a happy hunting ground for the Eagles.

Asked about the impact of Port’s home-ground advantage on Saturday night, Hinkley replied: “We haven’t got one, have we?”

“We’re playing West Coast, who have five of six over at Adelaide Oval – maybe they have got the home-ground advantage,” he mused.

“We will have a home crowd advantage, there’s no doubt about that.

“We have been in big games, in finals, where we have played interstate – it doesn’t matter too much when you start playing.”

The Eagles trumped Port in a round seven meeting in Adelaide, only for Port to turn the tables and win in Perth in a round 16 re-match.

“We played some really dominant football against them not that long back over in WA,” Hinkley said.

“And we played a pretty strong game against them at Adelaide Oval where we dominated large parts of the game but they were able to hit the scoreboard easier than we were.

“So we have got some confidence that we can play our best and take them to a point where they don’t want to be, and hopefully for us we can do that again on Saturday night.”


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