Stars shine as Eagles thrash Lions

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Stars shine as Eagles thrash Lions

Matt Priddis, Josh Kennedy and Nic Naitanui have led West Coast to a 64-point round one AFL victory over the Brisbane Lions at Domain Stadium.

Coming off a grand final appearance in 2015, the Eagles weren’t expected to be troubled by the lowly Lions and cruised to the 26.10 (166) to 15.12 (102) victory.

Brownlow Medallist Priddis had a field day with 29 first half possessions and 43 for the day to go with 12 clearances.

Naitanui was a powerful force in the ruck opposed to Stefan Martin with 22 touches, six marks and 46 hit outs.

Josh Kennedy dominated up forward with Brisbane sorely missing an ill Daniel Merrett.

Kennedy kicked eight goals from 25 possessions and 16 marks.

Josh Hill and Jamie Cripps both kicked three goals apiece for the Eagles.

Eric Mackenzie returned from a knee reconstruction to be outstanding down back while Andrew Gaff also had 33 possessions, Luke Shuey 30 and former Lion Jack Redden 25.

Allen Christensen and Lewis Taylor kicked three goals each for Brisbane while No.2 draft pick Josh Schache kicked two on debut as did former Cat Josh Walker.

The recently re-signed Daniel Rich was terrific with his left-foot kicking a highlight. He had 23 possessions, two goals and 11 tackles.

Tom Bell, Ryan Bastinac and Tom Rockliff worked hard for Brisbane while Mitch Robinson had a mixed day, appearing to injure a calf late and also getting reported for rough conduct in the second quarter.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan might be happy with the more attacking style and 41 goals kicked, but Eagles coach Adam Simpson not so much.

“It was a weird game and Gil’s got his request. High-scoring footy was at its best,” Simpson said.

“I’m not entirely happy with the defence. We conceded 100-odd points from 43 entries and that’s not good enough.”

Lions coach Justin Leppitsch was happy with his team’s approach but wants an improvement in turnovers.

“I thought our style of play was much better,” Leppitsch said.

“We actually won scores from stoppages well but the difference in the score was from turnovers.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit but at least we are playing with a bit of flair and we’ll continue that.”

Injuries: West Coast: Nil. Brisbane: M Robinson (calf), D Merrett (ill) replaced in selected side by C Beams.

Reports: Brisbane: M Robinson (Brisbane) for rough conduct on X Ellis (West Coast) in the second quarter.

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