Scrappy Eagles lucky to beat Demons in AFL

It was the win that felt more like a loss to West Coast fans.

But coach Adam Simpson says there’s no point moping around following the Eagles’ uninspiring six-point AFL triumph over Melbourne on Saturday.

West Coast were meant to blow Melbourne out of the water at Domain Stadium, but the visitors tore up a script to take a six-point lead into the final change.

Goals to Andrew Gaff and Josh Hill early in the final quarter were enough for the Eagles to secure the 10.6 (66) to 8.12 (60) win, keeping them on track for a top-four finish.

West Coast now boast a 12-5 record following a five-match winning run.

But if their scrappy wins over Carlton and Melbourne during the past fortnight are anything to go by, West Coast are more like pretenders rather than premiership contenders.

The stats against Melbourne were particularly damning.

The Demons won the inside 50m count 66-37, contested possessions 160-143, and the tackle count 98-83.

And if Melbourne forward Jack Watts had kicked truly in the final quarter instead of hitting the post, the Demons could have walked away with a win.

Melbourne coach Paul Roos thought his team deserved to win the game, and Simpson agreed.

But Simpson said it was still important for his team to savour the result, before getting back down to business to fix their problems.

“We shouldn’t have won today, but we did,” Simpson said.

“We’ll take the win. We’ve got enjoy the win.

“We’ve got a heap of work to do. I’m a glass half full (type of person).

“We can’t afford to be moping around. We’ve probably qualified for finals now. And we’ve got five weeks to give it a good crack, so we’ll do that.

“Two wins in a row have been scrappy and probably ugly as people say, but they’ve been wins.

“It’s about getting it right at the right time of the year. But the clock’s ticking.”

Melbourne have now lost 17-straight games in Perth, with their last win at Domain Stadium coming in 2004.

But Roos said his team took a huge step forward in slippery conditions on Saturday, and he reckons they’ll turn tight losses into wins once they become more composed under pressure.

“It’s a frustrating game. We won in every category,” Roos said.

“We’d love to win the game no doubt. But sometimes you have to take a look away from the scoreboard on days like today, because really all the key stats we won.”

The Demons had two controversial free kicks paid against them in the final quarter for deliberate out of bounds.

Roos was measured in his response when asked about the incidents.

But it was clear to see the veteran coach wasn’t impressed.

“I’ll say it this way, I’m not going to miss the rules when I’m finished at the end of the year, because … anyway, enough said.”

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