West Coast players will be dripping with sweat when they enter the unknown this weekend – but coach Adam Simpson is confident his charges will be up for the challenge.
The Eagles will play an AFL match in Darwin for the first time on Saturday night when they take on Melbourne at TIO Stadium.
The expected humid and dewy conditions present a unique challenge for the Eagles, who are accustomed to the dry heat of Perth.
In contrast, Melbourne have played in Darwin five times since 2010, returning a 2-3 record over that period.
A forecast top of 30 degrees is predicted for Darwin on Saturday, with the minimum a balmy 18.
West Coast sit in second spot on the table following their barnstorming 9-3 start to the year, and Simpson is confident his team won’t wilt in the humidity.
“When it’s a night game and wet weather, we try to train at night and get the dewy conditions,” Simpson said.
“It’s probably more of a placebo effect really to get the guys adjusted to it a little bit.
“We’ll train up there tomorrow night, so we’ll get a good feel of the ground and humidity. We’ll adapt from there.”
Veteran Eagles defender Sam Butler returns from soreness, while key defenders Jeremy McGovern (corked thigh) and Will Schofield (glute) have also been cleared to play.
“They’ve trained all week. They’ll play,” Simpson said of Schofield and McGovern.
“Normally, we need to leave things to the last minute but, at the moment, we’re in reasonably good health, touch wood.”
Melbourne enter the match full of confidence following their upset 24-point win over Geelong.
But they face a tough task of ending their seven-match losing streak against the Eagles, which stretches back to 2010.