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Match Preview: Round 19 v West Coast

Travis King, AFL.com.au  July 26, 2017 1:05 PM

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West Coast has been copping it from all angles since last Sunday's last-quarter meltdown against Collingwood cost them a crucial victory in the race for September.

The Eagles have slipped back outside the top eight and coach Adam Simpson is under pressure to find answers to the Eagles' ongoing issues around clearances and inability to close-out games. West Coast has been in every match – apart from horror losses to Hawthorn and Essendon – during final quarters but has only a 9-8 record to show for it.

The Lions come to town buoyed by their fourth win – a five-goal triumph over Carlton – but Chris Fagan's men have been weakened by star midfielder Dayne Zorko's one-match suspension. His absence will be a major blow for a young side which has lost its last six to West Coast and past seven times at Domain Stadium.

The long trip west will test the Lions, but they showed on Sunday against the Blues they have no issues with taking the game on and there's a strong chance they could spring an upset. 

WHERE AND WHEN: Domain Stadium, Sunday, July 30, 2.40pm AWST, 4.40pm AEST 

LAST FIVE TIMES

R13, 2016, West Coast 20.11 (131) d Brisbane Lions 12.10 (82) at the Gabba
R1, 2016, West Coast 26.10 (166) d Brisbane Lions 15.12 (102) at Domain Stadium
R4, 2015, West Coast 17.16 (118) d Brisbane Lions 9.11 (65) at the Gabba
R17, 2014, West Coast 11.10 (76) d Brisbane Lions 9.10 (64) at the Gabba
R7, 2013, West Coast 17.6 (108) d Brisbane Lions 12.10 (82) at the Gabba

THE FOUR POINTS

1. West Coast has won the last six matches against the Lions. The Lions' last triumph over the Eagles was in Round 10, 2012 by two points.

2. West Coast's final quarter fadeouts have become a major issue. Since the bye the Eagles have lost five of six fourth quarters with a negative 102-point differential.

3. The Lions have kicked 100 points in a game twice this season; the Eagles haven't kicked the century in 11 consecutive games.

4. Emerging Lions forward Eric Hipwood looks a star of the future and he is making a rapid rise up the AFL Player Ratings. This season, Hipwood has booted 28 goals and climbed 188 spots to 411th overall.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Tom Rockliff

Lions stalwart Tom Rockliff will play his 150th AFL match on Sunday against the Eagles. Rocky will come into the match full of confidence after keeping Carlton star Bryce Gibbs to just eight touches in a rare tagging role last weekend. With Zorko suspended, Rocky will need to produce a big performance if the Lions are to have any chance of upsetting their more fancied opponents.

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