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‘Finals-like intensity’ for West Coast’s showdown with Richmond

West Coast entered their attacking 50m zone 63 times against Adelaide and kicked only 11 goals.

The last time they had that many chances to kick goals and didn’t was in last year’s Grand Final against Collingwood.

Forward thinking: Josh Kennedy will aim to be on target against Richmond in round 22.

Forward thinking: Josh Kennedy will aim to be on target against Richmond in round 22.Credit:AAP

Against the Pies, they booted 11.13 to win by five points, including Dom Sheed’s memorable kick in the dying stages.

The result was decided a little earlier against the Crows, but again they managed a slightly better 13.12 in a 10-point victory.

Like they did against the Pies, the Eagles responded against Adelaide and Simpson was thrilled with the way they lifted after being challenged by the Crows in the second term.

After West Cost threatened to tear the game apart in the early stages, Adelaide were able to wrestle back momentum in the second quarter on the back of dominant performances from Matt Crouch and Rory Sloane.

Dogged: Matt Crouch helped keep the Crows in the contest.

Dogged: Matt Crouch helped keep the Crows in the contest.Credit:AAP

The Crows managed to stay in the game despite losing Sloane to a head injury early in the third quarter.

“I was a bit frustrated, the fact that supply didn’t turn into efficiency in the front half,” Simpson said. “The second quarter we got beaten around the ball.

“We had a good talk at half-time about what to do about that. Losing Sloane was important for them, but I thought our mids elevated to a level that we can’t sustain all of the time.

“We’d love them to, but they do go to a level that is pretty ruthless.”

As the Crow flies: Eagle Jeremy McGovern attempts to take down Lachlan Murphy.

As the Crow flies: Eagle Jeremy McGovern attempts to take down Lachlan Murphy.Credit:AAP

Next weekend the top four teams play one another, with results likely to shape the final four. Brisbane also hosts Geelong at the Gabba on Saturday.

If the Eagles can beat Richmond, they will jump ahead of the loser of the Lions-Cats games in to at least second position. They then have to beat Hawthorn in Perth in Round 23 to stay there and earn two home games in September.

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“We think next week is going to be – it’s an exciting round, I can’t wait. I think everyone involved in AFL can’t wait until next week,” Simpson said.

“I think we are still fighting for a top four spot. Across the board, whether it is top two, top four or top eight, the season is alive; so it’s really good for footy this week.

“It felt like a final today. it really did.

“But it’s probably the biggest test in AFL, Richmond at the MCG.

“So we have seven days to get that right and hopefully no injuries, which I think we might have got through and the WAFL had a really good win yesterday.

“We hit the ground running – we can take them on.”

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