SCG holds no fears for AFL Eagles

West Coast coach Adam Simpson insists ground size doesn’t matter as his team attempts to snap their four-game winless record away from home.

The Eagles haven’t won on the road since round 16 last year, when they beat Collingwood by 31 points at Etihad Stadium.

Since then, they have drawn with Gold Coast in Carrara, lost to the Crows at Adelaide Oval, and suffered two heavy defeats to Hawthorn at the MCG.

West Coast face a stiff task to break that run when they take on Sydney at the SCG on Saturday.

The ability of West Coast’s game plan to hold up on wider grounds has come under question following their recent thrashings at the MCG, which is 19m wider than Domain Stadium.

The SCG is 14m wider than West Coast’s home ground, and also 20m shorter.

Simpson said he isn’t too fazed about the different dimensions, but said it was important to get his players accustomed to it.

“We’ve tried a couple of things … with trying to train across the ground, and doing the width of the oval across the ground,” Simpson told Perth radio station 6PR.

“Players are blown away by the width of some of these grounds.

“But in order of things we worry about, the size of the ground is not right up there.

“It’s something we need to plan for, but it’s not high on the agenda.”

The Eagles have lost their past six matches at the SCG, with their last win at the venue coming in 1999.

Their last match there was back in 2010.

West Coast are 3-1 following last week’s demolition of Richmond, while Sydney (3-1) will be aiming to bounce back from their loss to Adelaide.

The Eagles are set to be boosted by the return of Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis, who was a late withdrawal last week because of a groin injury.

But ruckman Scott Lycett will miss after accepting a one-week ban for punching Ty Vickery.

“He got what he deserved in the end. It was unnecessary,” Simpson said of Lycett’s hit.

“We’ll accept it and move on, and he won’t do it again.”

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