PLAY has resumed in the West Coast v Melbourne clash after lightning forced the game to be temporarily suspended on Monday night. 

The two sides were forced from Optus Stadium during the fourth quarter due to approaching severe weather in Perth, with the match temporarily suspended due to lightning.

The match was halted at approximately 8.22pm AWST, with both teams retreating to their changerooms until the situation was resolved.

Play stopped six minutes into the final term, with fans told to remain inside the stadium while the weather was monitored during a break that needed to last at least 20 minutes.

The League's rules relating to an incomplete match state that if play is unable to recommence within 30 minutes then the score at that point will stand.

Melbourne was in total control and led 69-36 when the match was halted.

Play resumed at 8.52pm AWST.

01:37 Mins
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Lightning halts play midway through fourth quarter

Lightning has stopped play during the final quarter as players had to vacate the field

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Melbourne earlier withdrew Tom McDonald from the clash after the key forward failed to come up from a back injury.

The Eagles have also made a late change, with premiership defender Liam Duggan replaced in the 22 by young midfielder Luke Edwards after experiencing knee soreness.

McDonald, who was substituted out of the Demons' 98-point thumping of Gold Coast last week after suffering a knock to his lower back, was replaced in the Demons' team by midfielder James Jordan.

The Demons had hoped McDonald would be able to prove his fitness for Monday night's high stakes clash but conceded during the week that his injury had damaged a disk and caused back spasms.

It is not yet clear if he will be available for the round 22 clash against Adelaide.

Jordan comes straight back into the team after initially being omitted this week. He has played 19 games in an excellent third season, having made his debut in round one.   

The Demons chose not to select key forward Sam Weideman, who was named as an emergency but was overlooked as a replacement for McDonald. 

For the Eagles, Luke Edwards has replaced Liam Duggan.

West Coast has a chance to respond to scathing criticism and shrug off some underwhelming form when it takes on Melbourne at Optus Stadium from 6.10pm AWST.

The Eagles are limping to the line and lost to lowly Collingwood last week to add salt to a gaping wound that seemingly gets wider by the week. The woeful display against the Pies, in which they were outscored 10 goals to one in the first half, raised more questions about whether this ageing squad was in freefall.

They have won just two games from their past six outings, including soul-destroying beltings from the Western Bulldogs and Sydney and an embarrassing boilover to the last-placed Kangaroos.

ALL THE STATS Follow it LIVE when the game begins

They are now in danger of dropping out of the eight entirely with games against Fremantle and Brisbane to come. And Melbourne is keen to dust off its own form concerns and, not only that, reclaim top spot on the ladder with a victory tonight.

02:20 Mins
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Match Previews R21: West Coast v Melbourne

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Eagles and Demons at Optus Stadium

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The door has suddenly opened for Melbourne after shock losses in this round to Geelong and the Western Bulldogs.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has made four unforced changes for the match, but the core group of the team's senior players have been given another chance to prove themselves.

Defender Josh Rotham, forward Zac Langdon, midfielder Xavier O'Neill and roaming attacker Jake Waterman were all axed.

MONDAY TEAMS Eagles axe four, big Dee named despite back issues

Premiership duo Nathan Vardy and Mark Hutchings earned recalls, along with defender Alex Witherden and utility Jackson Nelson.

The Demons made just one change, replacing suspended midfielder Jack Viney with Jake Melksham.

West Coast v Melbourne at Optus Stadium, 6.10pm AWST 

LATE CHANGES
West Coast: Liam Duggan replaced in selected side by Luke Edwards
Melbourne:
Tom McDonald replaced in selected side by James Jordon

MEDICAL SUBS
West Coast: Zac Langdon
Melbourne:
Aaron vandenBerg