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Eagles stun Hawks, soar into prelim

Highlights: West Coast v Hawthorn The Eagles and Hawks clash in the 2nd Qualifying Final
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 11: Josh Kennedy of the West Coast Eagles celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Hawthorn Hawks at Domain Stadium, Perth, Australia on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Luke Shuey and Josh Kennedy celebrate as the Eagles leapt into the preliminary final

WEST Coast has stormed into its first home preliminary final since 2005 with a stunning 32-point qualifying final win over Hawthorn at Domain Stadium on Friday night. 

The Eagles came in undermanned after losing Matt Priddis (thigh) before the match, but overwhelmed the reigning premiers with suffocating pressure to win 14.12 (96) to 9.10 (64), leaving the Hawks facing a preliminary final in Perth against minor premiers Fremantle or in Sydney against the Swans as they chase a third straight premiership.

Click here for full match coverage and statistics

"I'm really proud of the players," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said post-match.

"Obviously losing 'Pridda' (Matt Priddis) before the game was really difficult for him.

"And playing against the Hawks at almost full strength – I'm really proud of the players."

The Hawks will play the winner of Saturday night's elimination final between the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide in a semi-final next Friday night.

To add injury to insult for the Hawks, Jack Gunston was carried off in the last quarter after buckling awkwardly on his right leg. The Hawks' leading goalkicker this season will face a race against time to be ready for next Friday night. 

Six things we learned: West Coast v Hawthorn 

"I think it's an ankle," Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said post-match.

"But we'll get that scanned throughout the course of the week and see what the severity is.

"It didn't look great and he obviously couldn't come back onto the ground. But it was late in the game anyway so we weren't going to take the risk."

The Eagles suffered a huge blow prior to the game with Brownlow medallist Priddis ruled out, Patrick McGinnity replacing him in the selected side. Their injury woes didn't stop there, Jeremy McGovern missing most of the first term after leaving the ground clutching at his left shoulder, but he returned in the second term to play out the match.

"They'll be fine," Simpson said.

"But we've got a lot of sore players though, so we're going to need the break to recuperate."

The Hawks dominated the clearances (50-40) and the centre clearances (15-8) in Priddis' absence, but they were beaten emphatically in general play.

Top 5 plays: West Coast v Hawthorn 

Priddis now has two weeks to recover for the home preliminary final, as will fellow midfielder Chris Masten.

The Hawks could not get through the Eagles' pressure. They turned the ball over regularly and then got burnt on counter-attack. The Eagles had 50 inside 50s to 40, and took 17 marks inside 50 to 10.

Every West Coast player rated

"Just the little half chances that we had, especially throughout the course of the first half, fumbled balls, missed kicks, missed handballs, which was just so unlike us," Clarkson said.

"We'll back our boys in and go again.

Luke Shuey was outstanding with 25 disposals, 11 contested. Nic Naitanui monstered the Hawks' rucks, particularly after half-time with 40 hit-outs and 12 contested possessions.

Josh Kennedy kicked three goals, but could have finished with a bag after taking nine marks. Shannon Hurn was pivotal with 26 disposals off half-back.

 

Sam Mitchell played a lone hand for the Hawks with 35 disposals and 10 clearances. Luke Hodge finished with 29 disposals and a goal, 20 in the second half. Cyril Rioli (21 and a goal) was dangerous all night, while Jarryd Roughead and Shaun Burgoyne finished with two goals each.    

Every Hawthorn player rated

The Eagles set up the win with a stunning second term. They turned a one-point quarter-time deficit into a 32-point advantage at half-time, kicking 5.4 to one point in the quarter. They had 11 more possessions for the quarter, eight more contested possessions, 12 more marks and eight more inside 50s as Hawthorn didn't score after the six-minute mark.

WATCH: Eagles get down and dirty

Shuey collected 11 disposals for the quarter, eight contested, while Kennedy kicked three goals to all but end the fight at the halfway mark of the night.

 

The Hawks won the clearances by eight for the quarter and led the centre clearances 8-2 at half-time, but were placed under so much pressure with ball in hand that they kicked at 49 per cent for the quarter.    

The Eagles pressed on in the third term, with Naitanui taking over when David Hale was subbed out.

The final four goals of the quarter, two from Jamie Cripps, saw the Eagles lead by 50 points at three-quarter time before the Hawks salvaged some pride with a five-goal to two last quarter. 

Mark Hutchings stepped up in the absence of Matt Priddis and kicked the match-sealer. Picture: AFL Media

WEST COAST     2.2   7.6   12.11  14.12 (96)
HAWTHORN       2.3    2.4   4.9    9.10 (64)

GOALS
West Coast:
Kennedy 3, Hill 3, LeCras 2, Cripps 2, Yeo, Sheppard, Darling, Hutchings
Hawthorn: Roughead 2, Burgoyne 2, Gunston, Rioli, Hale, Smith, Hodge

BEST 
West Coast: LeCras, Hurn, Hutchings, Rosa, Yeo, Kennedy, Shuey, Naitanui
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Hodge, Rioli, Roughead, Lewis, Burgoyne, Shiels

INJURIES 
West Coast: Matt Priddis (thigh) replaced in selected side by Patrick McGinnity, Jeremy McGovern (left shoulder)
Hawthorn: Gunston (right ankle)

SUBSTITUTES
West Coast:
Will Schofield replaced by Patrick McGinnity in the final quarter
Hawthorn: David Hale replaced by Taylor Duryea in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Stevic, Meredith 

Official crowd: 42,663 at Domain Stadium