ESSENDON coach Ben Rutten insists the Bombers are making progress in a disappointing season, despite becoming entrenched in the bottom four following a loss to West Coast on Friday night.

The Bombers coughed up an early lead at Optus Stadium to become only the second team to lose to the Eagles this season, wasting opportunities in attack and getting picked apart defensively.

One week after an energising win against St Kilda, Rutten said he had been left disappointed by the team's drop off in the second half and lack of consistency.

07:03 Mins
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Highlights: West Coast v Essendon

The Eagles and Bombers clash in round 15

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He said the 3-11 team would be better for the experience, however, and needed to stay the course, despite the real prospect of having its worst season since 2016.  

"We're clear as a club where we are at and where we are going and the path we are on," Rutten said on Friday night.

EAGLES v BOMBERS Full match coverage and stats

"We're making progress in some areas. The journey is not a linear one where we get better because we train hard. Seventeen teams are doing the same.

"Stick to the plan. These are experiences that our group needs to go through and we'll be better for it."

08:51 Mins
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Full post-match, R15: Bombers

Watch Essendon's press conference after round 15's match against West Coast

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Rutten said the Eagles' performance on Friday night had not been reflective of their season and the Bombers knew they were going to meet a tough opponent.

They could not lift to match the home team in the second half when West Coast went to another level.

"Their work around the contest started to pick up and they got dominance around the ball," the coach said.

"We didn't get as many opportunities as them and they were really effective going into 50. That's where we were disappointed.

Matt Guelfi and Peter Wright look dejected after Essendon's loss to West Coast in round 15, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"The second half we dropped off and the game doesn't let you get away with that."

Rutten defended key forward Peter Wright, who booted an inaccurate 4.4 and missed the opportunity to be a match-winner after a dominant aerial display. 

The coach was confident midfielder Darcy Parish (calf) would be available for next Saturday's clash against Sydney at the MCG, while Andrew McGrath (adductor) would be touch and go.

For West Coast, there was a sense of relief post-match after being rewarded for improved form with the club's first win at home this season.

"It's been a long time between drinks, so really happy we got a win," coach Adam Simpson said.

07:46 Mins
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Full post-match, R15: Eagles

Watch West Coast's press conference after round 15's match against Essendon

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"We've been working pretty hard for a few weeks now to try and get a little bit of system and identity … and we've got some players back as well. Talent helps everything.

"I think we've grown a little bit in the last two or three weeks, and to get a win at home with a crowd of 41,000 tonight, that was really pleasing. They turned up and we put on a good show."

Simpson conceded accurate kicking had kept the team in the contest in the first half, booting 6.0 to 2.5 in the second quarter, but supply and delivery to the forwards had been improved.

He paid tribute to the club's senior players, who stood up in the forward line, particularly five-goal star Josh Kennedy, who iced the match late.

02:19 Mins
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Kennedy's big night leads Eagles to incredible win

Josh Kennedy's bag of five goals led the way for the Eagles to end their longest losing streak in club history

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"We're going through a transition phase and a rebuild, but we've got some good senior players who are coming back to some form and availability, so we still think there's a pretty good side there underneath what we need to do with the draft and playing the kids," the coach said.

"Getting that balance is important, but the senior players played well tonight."

The Eagles travel to face Richmond at the MCG next Sunday with the 109-point loss from round seven still on their minds.

Superstar ruckman Nic Naitanui is likely to travel if he gets through his WAFL return unscathed on limited minutes.

"We’ll build him the best way we can … I think he will be not too far off," Simpson said.