Worsfold impressed by midfielders

Sportal August 26, 2012, 9:55 am
Scott Selwood

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West Coast coach John Worsfold has commended the efforts of his midfield group after a dominant display against Collingwood on Saturday night.

Nic Naitanui and Dean Cox won the hit outs 60-12 and the Eagles converted that into a clearance differential of 25.

Worsfold said that dominance was the most pleasing aspect of the match.

"We obviously had a ruck advantage but our mids were on the top of their game," he said.

"Our ruckmen have been pretty dominant in other games and we haven't been as dominant in terms of clearances.

"It was a credit to the boys, they've been working at all the areas."

Cameron Wood was forced to play as the lone ruckman for Collingwood, who were without Darren Jolly (soreness).

The in-form Dayne Beams led Collingwood's midfield trio with 31 disposals along with Scott Pendlebury (30) and Dane Swan (26).

However, their influence on the game was nullified as they went into a shootout with the Eagles' midfield.

Daniel Kerr had it 36 times, Matt Priddis (29), Gaff (27) and Shuey (27).

Priddis said it was an important performance to show what the Eagles midfield was capable of.

"I think obviously just winning the clearance numbers (was good) but the improvement, going on the last three or four weeks (we've) probably been a little bit disappointing," Priddis said.

"I'm not sure of the numbers but we're pretty lucky obviously Dean and Nic are fantastic at what they do and they bring their strengths to our team and it's what we love them for.

"Obviously stoppages are a big part of footy now and (there was) encouraging signs tonight and we need to carry it on for the remainder of the year."

Josh Kennedy made a successful return from an ankle injury with eight possessions, four marks and a goal.

"He's a very talented key forward and we rate him extremely highly," Worsfold said.

"It was a tough call to play him and not Lynch tonight, but they're a little bit different ... so in terms of having to chose one or the other we thought Kennedy was the one that fit what we were looking for.

"I've got no doubt we will look at playing the four talls again because it tests the opposition."

Midfielder Matt Rosa is believed to have fractured his collarbone in a fourth-term collision with Will Schofield and Chris Dawes.

Rosa was making his return from a jaw injury, which had kept him sidelined for three weeks.

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