Eagle’s Darling likely back for Bombers

Forward Jack Darling will be a welcome return for West Coast next week against Essendon.

Having missed every AFL game this season due to a stress fracture in his foot, Darling pulled up well from a WAFL game at the weekend, Eagles coach Adam Simpson told reporters on Sunday.

“He’s strongly in the mix if he’s not sore,” Simpson said of Darling’s chances to be a part of Saturday’s clash with the Bombers.

“All reports are that he’s pulled up really well and he’s right to go and we’ll see how he trains.”

Despite an injury-depleted lineup West Coast are travelling well for the season but Sunday’s 10-point loss to North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena brought an end to a six-game winning streak.

The Eagles couldn’t hold a seven-point half-time lead in Hobart, with the Kangaroos winning 13.7 (85) to 10.15 (75).

“The game seesawed all day and when the crunch was really there we probably didn’t take our opportunities,” Simpson told reporters after the game.

The result takes to 7-3 the Eagles’ win-loss record for the season.

“We’ll take it for sure,” Simpson said of the tally.

“We think we’re in a good space to have a good result in the second half in the year but I’m still disappointed about today.

“I thought there were still opportunities where we could have won the game.

“I don’t know if we deserved to win, I think the Kangas deserved to win, but we had our chances.”

Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis was a standout for the Eagles on Sunday, finishing with 32 disposals and four clearances, while ruckman Nic Naitanui won 30 hitouts, but was inaccurate in front of goal and finished with 0.4.

Simpson said he is looking forward to the return from injury over coming weeks of key players.

“A lot of our list is getting back: we had five or six players come back for their first game at the weekend so we’re starting to get some numbers back which is really pleasing.”

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