Hard-nosed Eagles eye off bigger prize

Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis has declared West Coast’s destiny is in their hands – but only if they maintain their hard-nosed approach.

The fifth-placed Eagles put in their most physical display of the AFL season in Sunday’s 32-point win over North Melbourne in Perth.

West Coast players held their ground in several spot fires around the ground, and the team’s tackle count of 77 was also significantly up on their season average of 68.

Priddis tallied 12 tackles in another strong display.

The win was West Coast’s first triumph over a top-eight side this season.

More importantly, they are just one win adrift of second spot heading into winnable games against Carlton (MCG), Melbourne (home), Collingwood (MCG), and Fremantle.

Priddis was proud of his team’s ability to stand up to the Kangaroos in a spiteful match.

“Sometimes games do get a little bit heated. It meant a lot to the boys,” Priddis said.

“We wanted to make sure that we played some really good footy, and getting on the front foot sometimes really helps.

“If we want to achieve something this year, we need everyone playing their part.

“So when it’s your turn, you’ve just got to go. That’s how we’re going to have some success hopefully at the end of the year.”

Priddis rated the performance as the best team effort of the season, and said the result was a good building block to bigger and better things.

“Our destiny is in our own hands, so we’ve got to make sure we win our games, and from there we’ll finish where we deserve,” he said.

Competition for spots within the side was also helping drive players to greater heights, according to Priddis.

Former Lion Jack Redden is pushing hard for a recall after starring in the WAFL over the past fortnight.

Redden tallied 34 disposals for East Perth on Saturday, while Liam Duggan, Eric Mackenzie, and Dom Sheed are also vying for a call-up.

“There’s at least five guys at East Perth that are really pushing for selection, and that’s a really healthy position,” Priddis said.

“That’s how great sides build.

“Our midfield is an area that’s got a big determining factor on how we perform. Having heat on for positions, it’s great.”

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