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Kennedy boots seven as the Eagles put the Pies to the sword

The Pies have been miserly in defence this season, the previous highest score kicked against them was 66 points, by Greater Western Sydney in Round 4.

But a dominant Josh Kennedy (seven goals), Oscar Allen (three goals) and Jake Waterman (two goals) were too much for their defence to handle.

Solid as a rock: Nic Nat was influential around the ground for West Coast.

Solid as a rock: Nic Nat was influential around the ground for West Coast. Credit:Getty Images

After the Pies kicked three of the game’s first four goals, the Eagles booted 17 of the last 19 goals of the game, including 13 in a row, to blow the game apart.

Nic Naitanui nudged out Brodie Grundy in the highly-anticipated and important ruck battle that brought Andrew Gaff, Tim Kelly and Luke Shuey into the game.

The closeness of the stats of the two big men didn’t do justice to the impact the big Eagle had, especially at stoppages. And Allen’s support in the ruck in the first half was also important.

With Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and Jordan De Goey watching from the sidelines, there was too much for Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar to cover in the midfield.

Great starts

The Pies made the most of Jeremy McGovern’s absence from their forward line to win their seventh opening quarter for the season (they drew the first term against Essendon in Round 5).

Collingwood took four marks inside their attacking 50m in that opening term; three of them resulting in goals.

Will Hoskin-Elliott got the first of them within a minute of the opening bounce. But Darcy Cameron was the unlikely target that gave the Pies momentum.

Bright start: Darcy Cameron celebrates an early goal against the Eagles.

Bright start: Darcy Cameron celebrates an early goal against the Eagles.Credit:Getty Images

The big West Australian kicked his first and second AFL goals in the opening term.

The Pies went into the first break 14 points ahead, having led by 20 points after Cameron’s second goal.

But they managed just one goal in the second and fourth terms and didn’t kick a single major in the third.

Evergreen forward

Kennedy’s seven goals took his season’s tally to 18, just one behind Tom Papley who leads the Coleman Medal race.

The dual-Coleman medallist was able to back up the four goals that earned him the Glendinning Medal a week earlier in the Eagles win over Fremantle in the Derby.

The big Eagles is enjoying being back at Optus Stadium. He kicked just seven goals in five games in the Queensland hub.

It is the first time Kennedy has kicked four goals or more in consecutive weeks since Round 21 and Round 22 of the 2017 season, against GWS and Carlton respectively.

And it is the first time he has kicked seven goals since Round 19 of last season against North Melbourne.

Injury watch

The injury–ravaged Pies were dealt a cruel blow in the lead up to opening siren, losing captain Scott Pendlebury to a quad injury.

Already missing Jordan de Goey, Jeremy Howe and Steele Sidebottom (among others), Collingwood could ill afford to lose the class of Pendlebury in the midfield. He completed the warm up, but went down to the rooms just before the teams started to spread out to start the game.

The late swap for Atu Bosenavulagi must have been very close to the end of allowed time that a change could have taken place.

Earlier, a thumb injury forced the Eagles to replace McGovern with Josh Rotham.

WEST COAST 2.0 7.2 13.2 18.3 (111)
COLLINGWOOD 4.2 5.3 5.6 6.9 (45)

GOALSWest Coast: Kennedy 7, Allen 3, Waterman 2, Gaff, Cripps, Darling, Ryan, Naitanui, Kelly.
Collingwood: Hoskin-Elliott 2, Cameron 2, Daicos, Elliott

BESTWest Coast: Kennedy, Allen, Kelly, Naitanui, Gaff, Shuey.
Collingwood: Moore, Hoskin-Elliott, Stephenson, Adams, Cameron, Crisp.

INJURIESWest Coast: McGovern (thumb) replaced by Josh Rotham.
Collingwood: Pendlebury (quad) replaced by Bosenavulagi.

CROWD: 24,824 at Optus Stadium.

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