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Eagles coach Adam Simpson says Crows game 'like a final'

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Adam Simpson, Senior Coach of the Eagles talks with his assistants during the 2019 AFL round 21 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Adelaide Crows at Optus Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Adam Simpson, Senior Coach of the Eagles talks with his assistants during the 2019 AFL round 21 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Adelaide Crows at Optus Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)

Adam Simpsons has hailed the Crows’ efforts at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Adelaide went down by 10 points despite a surge late in the fourth quarter after trailing by 27 points midway through the third term.

Two goals to Darcy Fogarty and one to Eddie Betts early in the fourth quarter closed the gap before West Coast fired back.

Speaking at the post-match conference, Simpson said the Eagles expected a tough fight from a finals contender.

“It felt like a final today, it really did,” Simpson said.

“I thought what Adelaide brought, we weren’t surprised at all. 

“A very mature side, a lot on the line. They strategise well, they’re coached well.

“Adelaide were playing for a spot in the finals so we knew exactly what was coming. 

“They played with tremendous spirit and threw the absolute kitchen sink at us.”

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Defensively, Adelaide played a sound game as West Coast maintained an attacking presence through the full four quarters.

West Coast led the inside-50 count 63-41 and 63 per cent of the game was played in the Eagle’s forward half.

However, only one point separated the teams at half-time and Simpson conceded the Crows denied his side the freedom to score.

“I don’t think in my time we’ve had that much supply - some of the numbers we showed our players were really good - and not get rewarded for it,” Simpson said.

“I think it’s credit to Adelaide’s defence and the way they set-up.”

He acknowledged Rory Sloane’s third-quarter injury helped them regain control ahead of a decisive four-goal burst.

“Second quarter we got beaten around the ball, we had a good discussion at half-time about what to do with that,” Simpson said.

“Losing Sloane was important to them.”