Sport AFL Tall timber help Eagles down Saints

Tall timber help Eagles down Saints

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West Coast have strung together back-to-back victories for the first time since the first three weeks of the AFL season after outclassing St Kilda by 33 points at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The 15.13 (103) to 10.10 (70) victory kept the Eagles (6-7 win-loss record) in the finals hunt ahead of a crucial WA derby against high-flying Fremantle on Saturday.

After starting the season with three straight wins, West Coast went on to lose seven of their next eight games before recovering somewhat with wins last weekend against Gold Coast and now against the bottom-placed Saints.

Jack Billings continued to excel in his stand-out debut season, kicking three of the Saints’ first four goals as the home team took a surprise seven-point lead into the opening break on Sunday.

The Eagles wrested control of the match in the second quarter, with tall marking targets Jack Darling, Jeremy McGovern, Mitch Brown and Scott Lycett combining for all five of their goals.

West Coast led by 13 points at the long break.

The visitors extended that advantage to 27 at three-quarter time before cruising to the line to win by 33.

Midfielders Matt Priddis, Matt Rosa and Luke Shuey were among the Eagles’ best players, while St Kilda were well served by Billings, Jack Steven and the evergreen Lenny Hayes.

The Saints suffered a pre-match blow when star midfielder Leigh Montagna (gastro) was unable to take his place in the team,

He was replaced by Clint Jones.

St Kilda return to Etihad Stadium on Saturday for a clash with fellow strugglers Richmond.