West Coast coach Adam Simpson says it would be absolutely ridiculous to call Sunday's match against Richmond a grand final preview, labelling such comments as laughable.
The Eagles were widely tipped to finish near the lower rungs of the ladder this year, with AFL great Robert Walls even tipping them to win the wooden spoon.
But West Coast have defied the gloomy predictions to be second on the ladder with a 7-1 record, and only percentage separates them from first-placed Richmond.
West Coast's away win over GWS last week without key quartet Nic Naitanui, Jeremy McGovern, Luke Shuey, and Lewis Jetta has fuelled talk they are the real deal.
But Simpson gave a gruff reply when asked about the growing sentiment that Sunday's match at Optus Stadium could be a grand final sneak peek.
"That's ridiculous. That's absolutely ridiculous to talk about grand finals in round nine," Simpson said.
"And where we've come from and where we're at, I find that laughable.
"We were (tipped to finish) bottom of the ladder at the start of the season, and now we're talking about a premiership game.
"It's white noise, and it's got absolutely nothing to do with what we're doing."
Richmond's trip to Perth will represent a major test of their premiership defence.
Simpson was keeping tight-lipped on how he would try to contain Tigers star Dustin Martin, with Mark Hutchings, Elliot Yeo, and Jack Redden all tagging options.
Richmond are sweating on the fitness of ruckman Toby Nankervis, who is battling a wrist injury.
If he is ruled out of the match, it would leave Richmond's ruck division vulnerable against powerful West Coast duo Naitanui and Scott Lycett.
Naitanui returns after serving his one-match ban for a crunching tackle on Port's Karl Amon.
Simpson said Naitanui had been working on his tackling technique, but he's urging the 201cm ruckman to maintain his aggression.
"He's got to try his best not to get reported," Simpson said.
"I just hope it doesn't affect the way he plays or goes about it, because we don't want him to change that aggression or attack on the ball or the man with the ball.
"It's just about trying to get that technique perfect, and his room for error is a lot less than most."