West Coast coach Adam Simpson isn’t obsessing over his team’s declining away form, but admits they must start winning interstate if they want to be a frontline AFL contender this season.
The 39-point loss to Sydney on Saturday means the Eagles have failed to win any of their past five road games stretching back to last season.
The Eagles road record since a 31-point win over Collingwood in round 16 of 2015 makes for grim reading and poses questions over their ability to sustain a title tilt.
A draw at Carrara against Gold Coast has been been followed by four crushing losses, starting with a 57-point blowout by the Crows in Adelaide.
Then there were two 46-point losses at the MCG against Hawthorn in the 2015 grand final and in round two this season.
A quarter-time lead against Sydney promised more, but the Eagles kicked just three second half goals, all of them coming in a four-minute burst in the third quarter.
“I thought (in round two against) Hawthorn we barely even showed up, today was a tougher for longer day and we weren’t,” Simpson said.
“So there’s different thoughts going through my mind today, but if we’re going to be successful, we’ve got to win interstate, that’s reality.”
It was the Eagles first SCG game in six years, but Simpson dismissed the suggestion his side struggled to adjust to different shaped away grounds.
“To say that’s the reason why you cant win (away), that’s a stretch,” Simpson said.
“We played a team that beat us because of the contest in critical moments, not because of the ground size.”
He wasn’t planning any overhaul of their away game preparations.
“I’d be really disappointed if halfway through the third quarter we fell away because of what we did yesterday, or on the plane.” Simpson said.
“I think we’re jumping at shadows to say it’s something to do with our preparation.”