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Absent forwards no excuse for misfiring mids: Simmo

Full post-match: Eagles Watch West Coast's press conference after round one's match against Brisbane
It was the midfield and a little bit of our backline that didn’t perform at their best
Adam Simpson

WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson has laid the blame on the Eagles' midfield following their 44-point drubbing by Brisbane on Saturday.

The Lions' midfield adapted best to the humid and slippery conditions at the Gabba, with a string of six goals in the first quarter the only bright spot for the visitors.

It was a horror show for the Eagles after quarter-time, with the Lions' engine room smothering West Coast's midfield and helping restrict the Eagles to a mere two goals after the first break.

HEADLINE Full match coverage and stats

Dom Sheed was a lone hand for the Eagles, registering a game high 38 disposals to go along with his seven marks and a goal.

 

Simpson said his team were beaten around the ball for most of the night.

"We had a good period of 10 minutes in the first quarter," Simpson said.

"We started the second… a couple of goals out of the middle and then I just thought we got beat around the ball for most of the night.

"The numbers will tell you we well and truly did. When it really mattered we didn’t compete long enough."

He said a depleted forward line missing Josh Kennedy, Willie Rioli and Jamie Cripps was no excuse.

 

"They've (Eagles forwards) been doing it all pre-season so the excuse of they haven’t played together too much… they’ve played together enough," he said.

"Once again the kids that got opportunities, that's great, but it was the midfield and a little bit of our backline that didn’t perform at their best."

Simpson said the limited ability to use runners was the reason why he coached from the bench from about halfway through the second quarter.

WATCH Adam Simpson's full post match media conference

He said the rule made it 'a little bit' more difficult to stop momentum.

"Coaching from the bench – I think 'Fages' might have done the same thing at stages as well – it's a bit easier to talk to your players and convey messages," Simpson said. 

"We're still working through that. I'm not sure I'll do it all the time.

"It felt like it was the right thing to do today."

Simpson said he thought injured forward Josh Kennedy would be available for next week's clash against Greater Western Sydney, with Rioli a 50/50 chance.