Josh Kennedy: West Coast Eagles win highlights importance of Luke Shuey and Nic Naitanui


Luke Shuey celebrates the win over GWS after one of the best games of his career. Picture: Getty Images
Luke Shuey celebrates the win over GWS after one of the best games of his career. Picture: Getty Images

THERE were some big moments in sport in the last couple of weeks with the Olympics, but that goal from Nic Naitanui was still one of the great highlights.

Some people don’t really understand what Nic brings to our team, but they got a glimpse of it in the last few seconds when he snapped that amazing left foot goal.

He does that stuff so often in games.

Not only is his ruck work so important to us, but it’s his follow-up work.

He regularly competes in the ruck and then gets the ball when it hits the ground.

In that instance, it just happened near the goals as the clock was running down with just seconds remaining.

It was an amazing finish and certainly made the trip home a lot more fun.

There were plenty of other players who had a big impact on the game as well, particularly Luke Shuey, who has had a great year.

He had 38 touches and was very damaging.

But there were moments in the game where everyone had an impact and that’s what we need to play at our best.

We need everyone contributing and when we get that level of output anything is possible.

Having clinched a spot in the finals by beating Fremantle a couple of weeks ago, we know we need to keep winning to push as high up the ladder as possible.

To win that game against GWS at Sydney Olympic Park was pretty important.

We have never lost to GWS, but as a young, emerging team they are getting better every year and this one went right down to the wire.

It was satisfying to be able to put a ‘W’ alongside that game – the first of three games against teams that were sitting in the top four after 20 rounds.

Now we turn our attention to the Friday night game against Hawthorn at Domain Stadium.

It’s going to be a tough game against the top team in the competition that has won the last three premierships, but we’re really looking forward to the challenge.

Playing against the best and measuring ourselves against them is something that inspires us all.

It will also be our last home game of the season, unless we happen to earn a final in Perth, so it will be good to acknowledge our fans and rack up another big win.