Gerard Whateley: West Coast coach Adam Simpson ‘sensed upset’ in last term, headed to the bench

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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VideoAFL: West Coast had their finals hopes were dented after North Melbourne produced a stunning upset at Optus Stadium to register their third victory of the season.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson went on the record last week with a clear message — Judge us on Monday night.

After a “deplorable” loss to Sydney in Geelong in round 16, West Coast were expected to halt their AFL ladder freefall with a win over last-placed North Melbourne in front of loyal home fans.

Instead, the Eagles dished up another shocking performance and were beaten by the Roos by 10 points.

Down by nine points at three-quarter time, AFL commentator Gerard Whateley says an “uncharcteristic move” by Simpson exposed his concern.

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“The Eagles are without alibi after a reprehensible performance against the Swans, the response was everything,” he said on his Whateley program.

“Adam Simpson sensed it in the last quarter; he was down on the bench.

“(It was) an uncharacteristic move that spoke of the urgency and the concern.

“(But) I’m not sure that his players felt it.”

VideoAFL: West Coast Eagles coach Adam Simpson has addressed the media following his side's shock loss to the Kangaroos.

Simpson was on ground level for the last term, despite the wet conditions, and watched on as his charges kicked the first four goals of the term to hit the lead.

But from the 10-minute mark of the final term, the match belonged to a side that had won just five games in two seasons.

“The West Coast Eagles are a shell of themselves,” AFL expert Garry Lyon said.

“They thought they’d done enough the Eagles.

Adam Simpson addressed the players at three quarter time before coaching from the bench.
Camera IconAdam Simpson addressed the players at three quarter time before coaching from the bench. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

“Again, this is this entitlement… they underestimated the spirit (Kangaroos coach) David Noble has been able to inject in this group.”

Whateley said the latest West Coast loss could derail their entire 2021 campaign.

“Now West Coast hold the last place in the eight and it is increasing tenuous,” Whateley lamented.

“A team that should be in the tussle for the top four is barely scraping into the finals.”

North Melbourne had only recorded three wins in the past 13 meetings between the two sides heading into Monday’s clash.

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