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Duff and Quarters: No rest for West Coast’s stars as a win over North Melbourne could help a premiership

On this week’s episode of the Duff and Quarters podcast The West Australian’s chief footy writer Mark Duffield and The Sunday Times’ sports editor Glen Quartermain believe West Coast need to take their final fixture of the regular season seriously.

The Eagles currently sit fifth and can’t drift any lower before finals, but a win against the Roos coupled with a loss to either Richmond or Geelong would catapult the WA side into the top four and a double chance in the post-season.

Paddy Ryder of the Saints ans Nic Naitanui of the Eagles compete for the ball during the round 17 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the West Coast Eagles.
Camera IconPaddy Ryder of the Saints ans Nic Naitanui of the Eagles compete for the ball during the round 17 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the West Coast Eagles. Credit: Bradley Kanaris/via AFL Photos

The Eagles are currently in the midst of an injury crisis with Elliot Yeo, Luke Shuey, Jack Redden, Jeremy McGovern, Dom Sheed and Mark Hutchings all ruled out due to injuries and some have suggested resting veteran stars like Josh Kennedy and Nic Naitanui against the Roos.

Due to quarantine restrictions and scheduling issues, West Coast’s only chance of a home final would come if the side finishes fifth, but Duff and Quarters urge the side not to overlook the importance of a top-four finish and play with a full strength team on Thursday and pray for an upset.

“I’m not resting anyone, if there’s a possibility of fourth you have to go for it. You go for fourth,” Quartermain argued.

“You’ve gotta be so wary of anomaly results when teams are playing dead rubbers. In saying that needed people to check North Melbourne when they were playing Fremantle,” Duffield responded.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Jeremy McGovern of the Eagles falls over during the round 17 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the West Coast Eagles at The Gabba on September 10, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos)
Camera IconBRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 10: Jeremy McGovern of the Eagles falls over during the round 17 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the West Coast Eagles at The Gabba on September 10, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos) Credit: via AFL Photos

“But it can have the other effect, the pressure becomes released as a few players start playing for contracts, they relax and get into the game early and all of a sudden the players (Roos) think something good could happen.

“They’re not going to go in there unprepared, they have the Hawks loss (from 2019) from last year fresh in their mind after being knocked out of the top four just before finals.”

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