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They make you pay: beaten coach Simpson rues opportunities lost

Highlights: 2015 AFL Grand Final The Hawks and Eagles clash in Saturday's decider
(I don't know) whether it was that we got overawed or that they were just too good and we didn't take our chances
Adam Simpson

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WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson was torn after watching his side lose to Hawthorn in the Grand Final.

On one hand, he wanted to acknowledge the giant steps taken this year by the Eagles, who came all the way from ninth in 2014 to a spot in the decider.

But there was no sugarcoating what happened at the MCG on Saturday when the Eagles were thumped by 46 points - a margin which, if anything, flattered the losing team.

A few minutes either side of half-time aside, the Hawks dominated a match in which several of West Coast's biggest guns including 2014 Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis, Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy and ruck star Nic Naitanui failed to fire a shot.

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"(I don't know) whether it was that we got overawed or that they were just too good and we didn't take our chances," said Simpson, a former Hawthorn assistant coach now in his second year in the top job with the Eagles.

"I must admit there was a moment there in the third quarter where we really started to get some momentum but they make you pay."

The Eagles spurned two golden chances in the third term when they had all the momentum and closed to within 25 points.

West Coast was running into goal with a four-on-two advantage when Luke Shuey turned a kick over, when he had players either side of him.

Minutes later, Jack Darling dropped a mark all by himself in the forward 50 and the Hawks took the ball the length of the ground to kick a goal.

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"You hate to blame two people for that, they're the moments you need to take," Simpson said.

"We are going to go through this together. It's a really tight group and we're hopeful that there is more success to come.

"But there are no guarantees that you can get there every year.

"We will improve. We need to improve, but we let an opportunity slip today."

Simpson was also left to rue his side's inaccuracy after the Eagles managed just eight goals from 21 scoring shots.

"(Inaccuracy) killed us. I think we were second in the comp last year for accuracy. We missed some gettable goals today."

In search of a role model for what West Coast should aspire to, Simpson said they needed look no further than Hawthorn, who claimed a third straight flag for the first time in its history and a fourth in eight years under the stewardship of master coach Alastair Clarkson.

"We had a bad day but it's also a reflection of what Alastair has built up over the last 10 years," Simpson said.

"Now they are in that mode of finals and Grand Finals on a yearly basis, they've got the week down pat.

"That's the challenge for every club, to get into that space where you are consistently playing in prelims and Grand Finals and their players can draw on that experience."

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Just three members of Saturday's West Coast team - Sam Butler, Xavier Ellis and Sharrod Wellingham - had played in a Grand Final before, a stark contrast to a Hawthorn outfit where James Frawley and Ryan Schoenmakers were the only first-time flag winners.

The only likely departure of note is midfielder Scott Selwood, an emergency on Saturday, who is expected to join older brother Joel at Geelong.

- with Dinny Navaratnam