SHARROD Wellingham's career at West Coast has started without a glitch, with the Eagles cruising to a 24-point win over rivals Fremantle in the NAB Cup.
In his first game since crossing to the club at the end of last year, the Collingwood premiership midfielder had eight disposals in the 1.4.7 (40) to 0.2.4 (16) win at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
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The Eagles capitalised on their dominance in the first half, holding a 21-point lead at the break.
Fremantle were set to be held scoreless in the first half until forward Hayden Ballantyne got on the end of a pass in the 18th minute to kick his side's first goal.
West Coast's intensity continued to be the main difference between the sides, a point reflected in the statistics. They finished leading the contested possessions tally 52-40, and also laid more tackles and won more clearances at the stoppages.
Super Selwood leads Cats past Eagles
Running defender Shannon Hurn was a standout, collecting 11 disposals and banging home a supergoal from inside the centre square to set the Eagles on their way in the first half.
Scott Selwood was prominent with 10 disposals while veteran Andrew Embley had eight touches.
With a number of key tall players missing, including Dean Cox, Josh Kennedy and Nic Naitanui, it was an opportunity for Eagles' back-up options to impress and Jeremy McGovern took the chance.
The 195cm rookie was lively, booting a goal in the first half. He kicked another in the second half from a tough angle before a video review saw it overturned.
Fremantle was served well by Paul Duffield (nine disposals), but lacked the spark and run it had shown in its win over Geelong.
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Young midfielder Jayden Pitt showed some encouraging signs with six disposals and Stephen Hill (seven disposals, three tackles) was sharp as the game wore on.
WHAT THE COACHES SAID
West Coast coach John Worsfold:
"It was a good intense hit-out to practice things against full-on opposition. Our skill level was not too bad. We missed a few easy shots at goal in the first quarter … and [we were] a little bit scrappy as well. Overall pretty good."
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon
: "I thought Stephen Hill looked really up and about. [He] was probably our standout when he got the ball and he competed really well. Other than that I thought everyone else was pretty even."
Because he doesn't have the style of some of his contemporaries, AFL Fantasy
coaches often overlook the scoring ability of Eagles midfielder Matt Priddis
(MID, $482,500). But it's time coaches took notice. As if his 93-point average last year wasn't enough evidence, Priddis picked up 51 AFL Fantasy points against Fremantle in an excellent outing.
1.2.6 1.4.7 (40)
0.1.0 0.2.4 (16)
Priddis 2, Masten, McGovern
Hurn, Selwood, Priddis, Wellingham, Masten, Embley, McGovern
: Walters, Duffield, Hill, McPharlin, Pitt
Official crowd: 21,935 at Patersons Stadium