Four-time All Australian defender Jeremy McGovern was impassable across half-back and back to his best form in the West Coast Eagles’ thrilling win over Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The North Albany product helped deny the fast-finishing Giants in the final term, taking five intercept marks.
McGovern’s dominant defensive performance had TV commentator and Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton questioning whether anyone had read the game better in the history of the VFL/AFL.
McGovern was adjudged best afield by the Eagles, despite star ruckman Nic Naitanui having a blistering first half.
The key defender finished with 10 marks, nine of which came in the second half, from 18 possessions.
Of those possessions, 11 were intercepts, and he ended the game with eight intercept marks.
Speaking after their eighth straight win, Eagles coach Adam Simpson said McGovern was a joy to watch. “He’s a good player — a great player,” he said.
“For him to do what he did today was great for us and that’s why we really value him.
“And he’s a great leader.
“His body’s in good condition, he’s worked really hard on that and he’s getting rewarded for it.”
The Eagles vice-captain will also take some beating for Mark of the Year after sitting on Giants forward Harry Himmelberg’s shoulder in the second quarter.
Four-time Hawthorn premiership player Jordan Lewis marvelled at what McGovern was doing. “You just scratch your head at times,” he said.
“Why don’t sides put more time into him?”
The Eagles fly to Queensland today for their second stint in a hub.