West Coast have done their best to shoot themselves in the boot before kicking clear for a big 31-point AFL win over Collingwood.
The Eagles’ wayward 11.21 (87) to 7.14 (56) win under the Etihad Stadium roof on Saturday was their first against the Magpies in Melbourne since round eight, 2003.
Collingwood suffered a major blow midway through the first term when key forward Travis Cloke was forced out of the game with a calf muscle injury.
But the win was also costly for the Eagles, who consolidated second spot.
Their in-form key defender Jeremy McGovern suffered a hamstring injury in the third term that looks serious.
It was Collingwood’s fourth-straight loss and if Adelaide win Sunday’s Showdown, the ‘Pies will drop out of the top eight.
Typical of the horrendous goalkicking, a score review was needed to confirm the key moment of the last quarter.
Collingwood were pressing and only 12 points down when Eagles forward Mark LeCras had a set shot at close range.
The goal umpire thought it had shaved the point post but it was ruled a goal after the video review.
That was the first of the Eagles’ three goals to close out the match.
Last year’s Brownlow Medallist Matt Priddis and LeCras, who kicked three goals, starred for the Eagles.
While the Eagles’ bad kicking kept Collingwood in the game, the Magpies fluffed several chances in the second half that cruelled their chances of stealing the win.
Collingwood kicked five behinds in the last term.
Midway through the third term the Eagles had 10 more scoring shots, yet only led by 15 points.
Inevitably, the Magpies rallied a late goal and only trailed by seven points at the last change.
But Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui, who took control of the ruck in the second half, marked and goaled in the first minute of the last quarter to give his team a crucial break.
Collingwood ruckman Jarrod Witts was reported at the start of the last quarter for tripping Priddis.