Naitanui stars as Eagles scrape previous Cats

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Tim Kelly sizzled in opposition to his former membership but it surely was Nic Naitanui who shone the brightest to assist West Coast put up a nine-point comeback victory in opposition to Geelong at Optus Stadium.

The Eagles trailed by 21 factors early within the third quarter of Saturday evening’s match however booted 5 of the ultimate six objectives to safe the 11.7 (73) to 10.4 (64) win in entrance of 26,211 followers.

Spearhead Josh Kennedy booted two very important objectives within the pulsating last quarter to complete with 4 for the match, whereas Kelly tallied 23 disposals and 5 clearances in his first match in opposition to the Cats since leaving on the finish of final yr.

Dom Sheed was additionally distinctive with two objectives and 6 clearances from his 24 disposals.

But it surely was Naitanui who had the largest affect on the match, regardless of tallying simply 9 disposals and failing to take a mark.

A good portion of Naitanui’s 34 hit-outs fell within the lap of his midfield troops, resulting in a number of essential objectives.

His bullocking work at floor degree was additionally very important in serving to flip the midfield battle West Coast’s manner within the second half.

“Nic was particular. His type all yr has been top notch,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson mentioned.

“He is gotten higher each week. He delivered tonight however he is been delivering for a very long time.”

Star Geelong midfielder Patrick Dangerfield tallied seven clearances and a purpose from 18 disposals, whereas Mitch Duncan, Tom Stewart and Cam Guthrie picked up loads of possessions.

“I believed our guys with some difficulties actually stood up,” Geelong coach Chris Scott mentioned.

“It is at all times bitterly disappointing while you lose a recreation like that, however I feel within the fullness of time we’ll come away extra constructive than unfavorable round our efficiency.”

The outcome strikes West Coast into fourth spot with a 6-Three report, whereas Geelong (5-4) are sixth.

West Coast booted the primary purpose of the match inside 12 seconds courtesy of a terrific ruck faucet from Naitanui and a mark from Kennedy within the sq..

The Cats threatened to interrupt away within the second time period because the lead grew to 22 factors, however a late purpose to Sheed ensured the harm wasn’t too nice.

Geelong have been pressured to defend grimly for lengthy durations of the second half as West Coast launched wave after wave of assault.

The Cats have been clinging to a two-point lead early within the last quarter when the purpose assessment system took centre stage.

Geelong’s Sam Simpson celebrated a purpose regardless of his kick coming off his knee.

Replays have been inconclusive as as to whether the ball touched his boot after coming off his knee, which means the purpose umpire’s authentic resolution of a purpose stood.

A centimetre-perfect Naitanui ruck faucet a short while later helped Kennedy rating his third purpose, and the Eagles have been in entrance when Jack Darling kicked actually on the 12-minute mark.

The sealer did not come till the ultimate minute when Kennedy kicked his fourth.

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