‘This is ridiculous’: Star’s leaps stun
The West Coast Eagles have flexed their premiership muscles with a dominant 12.9 (81) to 7.7 (49) win over Hawthorn at Optus Stadium.
Since returning from Queensland, where the side had an unhappy start to the season restart, the Eagles have extended its winning streak to seven games on the back of a stellar effort.
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The hapless Hawks put in a valiant effort against the rampaging Eagles, but a slow start meant West Coast had the run of the play especially early in the game.
The Hawks were kept scoreless in the first quarter for the second time in 14 years, as the Eagles scored 28 unanswered points before Hawthorn got on the board.
It wasn't as though Hawthorn weren't getting any opportunities either with 15 inside 50s in the first quarter without a score.
"This has just been a domination in the air, in the forward 50 and the defensive 50," Gerard Healy said as the Eagles opened up a 43 point lead in the third quarter.
Similarly, former Collingwood 313-gamer and coach Tony Shaw vaulted the Eagles into premiership favouritism.
"I think West Coast Eagles and Geelong should be equal favourites for the premiership, just the way they go about their football," Shaw told 3AW.
One of the great elements of the victory was Liam Ryan's three goals, having taken three brilliant marks to set up the goals.
WATCH THE FIRST TWO GOALS IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE AND THE THIRD BELOW
Shaw was also blown away by Ryan's performance.
"Liam Ryan is a matchup nightmare for any opposition coach because he can jump on your head, he does it at ground level," he said. "Enormous talent."
Josh Kennedy, who also kicked three goals, said he was happy for Ryan's performance but said he didn't want to be under a leap.
"When he first rocked up, he promised me that he'd never take a hangar on my head," Kennedy said.
"He can fly, as long as I'm not there."
On the other side, Hawthorn was again disappointing in the 32-point loss.
Herald Sun writer Michael Randall was highly critical of the Hawks performance.
"This is some embarrassing footy from Hawthorn. It's not even a talent thing. It's real basic stuff that shouldn't happen. Wingard chip intercept, Hardwick handball intercept, Glass 50m protected area. Both Conors are sadly nowhere near the level," Randall tweeted.
But senior writer for the AFL Record and SEN Ashley Browne said it was "Probably the best Hawthorn loss of the year if there is such a thing".
It was another tough loss for the Hawks, with James Sicily going helped from the ground inside the final three minutes when his knee appearing to bend the wrong way in an awkward bump gone wrong.
However, he was walking unassisted in the Hawks sheds.
The Hawks are back in action next Saturday with the top of the ladder Port Adelaide, while the Eagles play the Giants on Sunday afternoon.
Originally published as 'This is ridiculous': Star's leaps stun
This is ridiculous from Liam Ryan. Three monster grabs. Three goals. What a steal at pick 26 in the 2017 draft. There aren't too many on that draft list you'd take before him. One of the most exciting forwards in the competition. #AFLEaglesHawks— Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) August 16, 2020
Couple of great grabs by Liam Ryan. Career high is 4 goals in a game, already got 2. Could be a big afternoon ahead if he keeps catching them like that.— Adam Papalia (@adampaps) August 16, 2020