West Coast spearhead Josh Kennedy says the playing group was “pretty emotional” in the wake of Willie Rioli’s provisional ban, but is confident of a focused effort against Geelong tonight.
Rioli was provisionally suspended after he allegedly provided a ‘urine substitution’ during a drug test on August 20, shaking the Eagles’ preparation for their semi-final clash with the Cats.
Kennedy told 7SPORT pre-game the club had rallied to support Rioli, but had to quickly shift their focus to the cut-throat clash.
“We got him close to family, because his health and wellbeing is the first thing we need to address,” Kennedy said.
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“There’s a bit of stuff going on, but we’ve kind of had to park that for today, because it’s very important what we’ve got on tonight.
“We’ll deal with that tomorrow.”
Walking onto the MCG barefoot ahead of the clash with the Cats, Kennedy said he was confient the playing group was settled.
“We addressed it all yesterday, and it was pretty emotional for the group,” he said.
“But we’ve kind of had to park that… we’ll deal with it tomorrow.”
The Eagles lost their favourites tag with bookmakers in the wake of yesterday’s news, with Geelong listed at $1.80 compared to the reigning premiers’ $2.