West Coast will host Hawthorn in an AFL qualifying final on Friday after locking up second spot with a record 95-point win over St Kilda at Domain Stadium.
But the win has come at a big cost, with midfielder Chris Masten set to miss the start of the finals after injuring his right hamstring.
The Eagles entered Saturday night’s match knowing a loss would drop them from second to fourth – a situation that would pit them into a derby final against arch rivals Fremantle.
But that scenario never appeared likely as West Coast unleashed their attacking might to set up the 18.17 (125) to 4.6 (30) win.
It was West Coast’s biggest win over St Kilda, eclipsing the 92-point victory achieved in 2001.
Masten was subbed out eight minutes into the second quarter after injuring his hamstring.
The 26-year-old had only just returned from a two-week suspension for biting, and he appears a long shot to be fit to take on the Hawks in Perth.
Defender Jeremy McGovern made it through the match, but he was troubled at times by his left shoulder that he injured last week.
Eagles midfielder Matt Priddis enhanced his chances of winning back-to-back Brownlow medals with another standout performance.
Priddis tallied 35 disposals and nine clearances, while Andrew Gaff (36 possessions) and Mark LeCras (four goals) were also key contributors.
Ruckman Nic Naitanui battled with Priddis for best-on-ground honours.
Naitanui kicked three goals and took a spectacular pack mark in the final quarter.
Forward Josh Kennedy was held goalless in the first half.
But the former Blue rubber-stamped his name on the Coleman Medal with three goals in the second half, taking his season tally to 75.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson gave his players a clip following last week’s 57-point loss to Adelaide.
The tough love worked a treat as West Coast slammed through four unanswered goals inside the opening 10 minutes to put the Saints on the back foot.
St Kilda managed to keep West Coast goalless for the next 35 minutes.
But the Saints’ inability to score regularly themselves came back to haunt them, with the Eagles piling on the goals in the second half to run away with the easy win.
West Coast are hopeful Will Schofield will be able to return from a hamstring injury next week.
Hawthorn are sweating on the fitness of Isaac Smith, who injured his knee in Saturday’s win over Carlton.
St Kilda, who have posted six wins and a draw this season, are likely to finish the season in 13th spot.
It’s a step in the right direction compared to last year, when the Saints finished last after managing just four victories.
However, their finish to the year was disappointing, with last week’s 97-point loss to Sydney followed up by their meek performance against West Coast.