1. There's a new premiership favourite in town
Many experts believed the winner of Friday night's qualifying final would become the outright flag favourite and – after West Coast's statement against Hawthorn – it's nearly impossible to argue. The Eagles were simply irresistible. Their mix of hardness, skill, tactical organisation and fanatical pressure with a dynamic forward line was reminiscent of the reigning back-to-back premiers in their prime. Not having to leave Perth before a potential Grand Final appearance is a huge bonus for Adam Simpson's men, while the week's rest will be invaluable for injured Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis, a sore Jeremy McGovern and Chris Masten. Crownbet has shortened the Eagles to $2.75 (from $4) for the flag, while the Hawks have drifted to $4 (from $2.65). 

Click here for full match coverage and statistics 

2. West Coast's firepower can take them all the way
It shouldn't come as a surprise, given the Eagles were only one of two teams (with Hawthorn) to average more than 100 points a game this season, but if there were any doubts West Coast could deliver in a big final, they've been erased. The Hawks' flexible defence is as well-equipped as any to deal with their opponents' range of talls and smalls, but Josh Kennedy exposed Brian Lake and Mark LeCras' smarts were invaluable, while fleet-footed Jamie Cripps and Josh Hill became more dangerous as the match wore on. Throw in Jack Darling and the resting ruckman and the mix becomes a headache for any defence. 

3. The Hawks don't need hit-outs to control clearances
When Hawthorn flew west and got the points in round 19, the absence of Nic Naitanui (and his sidekick Callum Sinclair) seemed a major factor, with the Hawks winning the clearance count by 13 and outscoring West Coast by 20 from stoppages. 'Nic Nat' has been talked about as the likely difference if this Eagles outfit is going to secure the club's fourth flag – and he was superb against the Hawks – but the visitors still had the better of clearances by sharking his taps. West Coast won hit-outs 59-46 – with 40 to Naitanui - however the Hawks were +10 for clearances, led by Sam Mitchell's 10.

4. The Eagles engine room can burn off the best
All season it's been their undersized and undermanned defence that has stood up under the most trying circumstances, but without Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis it seemed a monumental task for West Coast's midfield to get on top. However, on the big stage, Mark Hutchings produced a career-best game, Scott Selwood put an injury-plagued campaign behind him to be a bull at the contest, Elliott Yeo showed he is one of the AFL's brightest young stars and Dom Sheed proved he deserved his third placing in the Rising Star. Although Luke Shuey, Andrew Gaff and Priddis are the prime movers, the Eagles showed their on-ball division bats as deep as any side.

5. Don't tag Sam Mitchell at your peril
Adam Simpson said in the build-up that West Coast wouldn't have a run-with player sit on Sam Mitchell. The Eagles got away with it, but if the Hawks' midfield general had some more support, it might have been a different story. Mitchell was in everything early and, for the opening quarter at least, had some help from a fresh Cyril Rioli. But the tide started to turn after the first break and the soon-to-be 33-year-old was almost one-out trying to hold back the rampant Eagles on their home deck. While Luke Hodge, Jordan Lewis and Shaun Burgoyne lifted late, Mitchell was clearly his side's best and finished up with 35 touches, 10 clearances and four inside 50s.

6. Brian Lake's up-and-down audition clouds his future
The out-of-contract veteran is playing for his career, and early on he put his best foot forward by taking some strong intercept marks and saving a certain goal to Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy with a fingertip spoil in the goalsquare. Worryingly, though, Kennedy began to get on top as he worked the 33-year-old up the ground and tried to catch him out on the way back. It was tough for the big Hawk, with the supply coming in thick and fast, and he was sent to full-forward in the second half.