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Monday, May 21, 2018

David King says West Coast Eagles still have to prove they can win at the MCG

Pump the brakes.
Not everyone has been won over by West Coast – at least not yet.
The Eagles sit a game clear on top of the ladder after yesterday’s 47-point thrashing of reigning premiers Richmond at Optus Stadium.
But former North Melbourne champion David King isn’t convinced of the premiership credentials of a side coached by his flag-winning Kangaroos teammate Adam Simpson.
“I still haven’t got them as a top-two (side),” King told SEN.
“I still think Richmond are the best team in the comp.
“Ultimately it’s going to come down to winning at the MCG.
“That’s not a negative on West Coast – this is just that Richmond are so good at the MCG.
“They defend the MCG better than anyone else.”
West Coast have long been derided for their poor record at the MCG.
Before this season, they had lost 18 of their last 23 matches at the home of football.
Simpson doesn’t buy into the record – and nor does his revamped team, which won its only appearance at the MCG this year, against Carlton in round five.
The Eagles play there once more during the home-and-away season, when they take Collingwood in round 17.
“I do think this new ground, the dimensions of this new ground at Optus Stadium in Perth, allows for less variance when they come (to Melbourne),” King said.
“That Subiaco ground was just a strange shape that when you come to the MCG things are so different and they (West Coast) only probably play there twice a year.
“It sounds stupid to worry about the size of a ground, but it does affect the way you defend and the way you move the ball.”
King acknowledged West Coast was among the top handful of teams in the competition, but said Richmond was still his flag fancy.
“They (West Coast) have got assets, they’ve got talls, but so too have Geelong and so too have the Sydney Swans,” King said.
“Melbourne are looming large and I know they haven’t really beaten anyone yet, but it’s the way they’re doing it and those assets that they’ve got.
“Gawn’s as good as Naitanui at the moment.
“Look at who’s got the best assets because that’s something that’s very difficult to take away.
“If you still want a premier, you’re still sitting with the Tigers right now.”