West Coast showed plenty of signs of early jitters as they took a long time to get settled in their do-or-die semi-final against Geelong.
All eyes were on the Eagles and how they would react following yesterday’s bombshell announcement that Willie Rioli had been provisionally banned for ‘urine substitution’ in a drug test.
And the early indications from the reigning premiers weren’t great.
There was Jeremy McGovern dropping a sitter that led to a Tom Atkins goal.
Jake Waterman got run down by Zach Tuohy to be caught holding the ball.
Atkins then chased down Chris Masten for a holding-the-ball call of his own after the Eagles veteran thought he had all the time in the world while preparing to have a ping at goal.
Moments later, a Masten kick that failed to find Hurn put the Eagles under all sorts of pressure deep in defence.
By the time West Coast finally got in position for their sole goal of the first term, even that came in nervy circumstances, with Jack Darling barely getting a boot to the ball after receiving a handpass in the square.
At the first change, the Eagles trailed by 25 points. Even with memories of last year’s grand final fresh in the mind – where they overcame a 17-point quarter-time deficit – it was not the start the visitors had envisaged.