Weagles Web ready for North’s forwards

The Weagles’ Web versus the Kangaroo monsters.

It sounds like a horror movie, but the Eagles are hoping the battle has a happy ending when they take on North Melbourne in Saturday night’s preliminary final at Domain Stadium.

Pagan’s Paddock was the in-thing of the 1990s, while Clarko’s Cluster helped Hawthorn win the flag in 2008.

Now, it’s West Coast’s web that is the talk of the competition.

Under second-year coach Adam Simpson, the Eagles have developed a masterful spatial defensive system that has been likened to a spider’s web.

The zoning system guards space and invites risky kicks from the opposition, with the web of Eagles players closing in once this occurs.

West Coast will need their web to work its magic if they are to nullify Kangaroos spearheads Ben Brown, Drew Petrie, and Jarrad Waite on Saturday night.

Eagles defender Will Schofield couldn’t help but chuckle when asked about the web.

“I guess we’ll keep playing how we keep playing, and we’ll let the Weagles’ Web just float around in the intraweb,” he said.

But Schofield is well aware that the Eagles’ undersized defence is built on teamwork rather than individual brilliance, especially once Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown went down with season-ending injuries.

“When Eric was in the team, he was getting the best player most weeks,” Schofield said.

“We just don’t have that luxury of having such a good player like Eric in the team at the moment. Just playing team footy and looking after each other (is the key for us).

“The Kangaroos have big marking forwards and they are all individually really good.

“We’ll be up against it for sure. And we’ll play our way though and take it up to them hopefully.”

Jeremy McGovern looms as a key for the Eagles this week.

The 23-year-old has become one of the best intercept markers in the league, but he has also become renowned for his knack of being hurt by various knocks and niggles.

“Yeah I’ve heard plasticine man thrown around a little bit,” Schofield said with a smile.

“He seems fine to me. He was a bit sore the last game (with a shoulder injury) but a week off does wonders.

“I think he’s been able to look after his body and I think he’s been feeling pretty good.”

Schofield has come of age as a key defender this year, with his ability to fill the void left by Mackenzie and Brown proving crucial to the club’s surge into premiership favouritism.

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