West Coast had a week to ponder what to do for key defenders but it wasn’t a concern against Carlton, with Josh Kennedy putting his old side to the sword on Friday with 10 goals in a 69-point AFL victory.
Kennedy kicked 10 goals as West Coast secured their first win of the season, beating the Blues 20.11 (131) to 9.8 (62) at Domain Stadium to open round two.
The Eagles lost key defender Mitch Brown to a season-ending knee injury in last Saturday night’s loss to the Western Bulldogs and that was on top of reigning fairest and best Eric Mackenzie also gone for the season.
That had left West Coast with the headache of who could help Jeremy McGovern in the key defensive posts, but it didn’t matter against Carlton, with Kennedy putting on a show up forward up against the side from which he had once been reluctantly traded.
Kennedy was shifted to the Eagles from the Blues as part of the Chris Judd trade and, while Judd was at his vintage best early on Friday night in likely his last game in Perth against the Eagles, it was Kennedy who proved the match-winner.
He kicked his second goal at the 13-minute mark of the second quarter to put West Coast back in front and went on to boot six straight goals in the game either side of halftime.
While Levi Casboult continued to fluff opportunities at one end, Kennedy couldn’t miss and proved too good for Michael Jamison and Sam Rowe with Simon White off with a knee injury.
Liam Jones finally kicked Carlton’s first goal in almost two quarters just before time-on in the third term, but then Kennedy again marked and goaled for his eighth.
Lachie Henderson was forced to go back to play on Kennedy, but it made little difference as he kicked his ninth coming up to three-quarter time to give him six in the term alone.
He added a 10th in the final quarter with Mark LeCras also kicking four for the match, with Matt Priddis racking up 31 possessions, Andrew Gaff 28, Chris Masten 25, Brad Sheppard 25, Luke Shuey 24 and Dom Sheed 23.
Judd was outstanding with 12 disposals in the first quarter with Carlton leading by 12 points at quarter-time, but he had just seven touches the rest of the night after Matt Rosa went on to him and the Blues kicked just three more goals.
Despite 26 disposals from Bryce Gibbs, 25 from Sam Docherty and Zac Tuohy, 22 from Andrejs Everitt and from captain Marc Murphy, and 21 from Kade Simpson, it was a second straight disappointing showing from Carlton to open the season.