West Coast have celebrated Nic Naitanui’s long-awaited AFL return with an exhilarating six-point win over Hawthorn at a chilly and moist MCG.
Brad Sheppard kicked a crucial level to degree the scores late in on Saturday afternoon’s frantic ultimate time period and Jamie Cripps booted the winner with simply over a minute left to seal a gutsy 11.11 (77) to 9.17 (71) win in entrance of 31,895 followers.
The Hawks had been courageous, erasing a game-high 21-point deficit to steer by eight late within the final quarter, however Jack Darling bagged his fifth purpose in an attention grabbing show to arrange the gorgeous ultimate minutes.
In his first AFL sport since rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in spherical 17 final 12 months, Naitanui moved properly and completed with six possessions and 41 hitouts.
Luke Shuey (39 possessions) and Andrew Gaff (34) had been sometimes busy on the ball, with Shannon Hurn vital down again.
Jaeger O’Meara starred for the Hawks with 36 touches, Jarman Impey was influential throughout half-back and James Frawley saved Josh Kennedy goalless.
The slippery ball didn’t seem to trouble Darling within the opening time period, the massive Eagles’ ahead booting all three of his aspect’s objectives as they edged to a two-point lead on the first break.
O’Meara was busy from the outset and continued to rack up possessions however West Coast put a niche on the Hawks, kicking the one three objectives of the second quarter in a 10-minute burst that prolonged their benefit to 20 factors at halftime.
The Eagles had been a participant down within the second half after Mark Hutchings injured a hamstring and his exit coincided with a Hawks resurgence.
James Worpel was instrumental with 11 disposals and a purpose in a 3rd quarter throughout which Hawthorn had twice as many inside 50s because the guests.
Debutant Oliver Hanrahan gave the Hawks the lead along with his first AFL purpose, his aspect up by 5 factors heading into the ultimate time period.
West Coast snatched again the lead with the primary two objectives, however Ricky Henderson and Daniel Howe answered earlier than Adam Simpson’s males willed themselves to a well-known win.