THE character of the West Coast Eagles is something we take great pride in and that filters through in the attitude that when one man goes down, another steps up.
While for three weeks after the bye we did not produce our best football, it was usually a bad quarter here or there that was costly.
So coming up against a quality team like GWS on Sunday was going to be an important assignment. The Giants had won four games in a row and they boast one of the best midfield units in the game.
Like us, they were missing a few key players up forward, with Jeremy Cameron, Toby Greene and Jon Patton all absent, so the midfield battle was even more important than normal.
But our guys really stepped up.
With Nic Naitanui setting the standard around the stoppages with 41 hit outs – not to mention a couple of big hangs – we got first use of the ball and that set us up for a win.
Andrew Gaff, Jack Redden, Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo all got plenty of ball and created opportunities for a forward line that was led by Jamie Cripps. He was comfortably the most experienced player in our forward half and helped direct our structures as well as kick important goals.
Hopefully, we get a few senior players back next weekend because the challenges keep coming.
We face Collingwood at the MCG next Sunday in another big game. The reason you play is to be involved in matches like this, so we are really looking forward to the opportunity of taking them on at the home of footy.
Collingwood have won seven games in a row and are playing as well as anyone, so this is a good chance to see where we sit.
While we are in third position, we know we still have to win at least two more games to guarantee a place in the top eight. If we can win this one it will go a long way towards putting us in a position to play finals.
This is our second game of the season at the G and like Jack Darling, Tom Barrass and Mark LeCras, I’ll be doing everything I can to be out there.