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West Coast Eagles off the mark with win over GWS, Essendon and Sydney stay unbeaten with Sunday wins

Jake Waterman kicked a career-high four goals in West Coast's timely win. (Getty Images: Paul Kane)

Jake Waterman has kicked a career-high four goals as West Coast overcame a week of criticism to post a 19-point AFL win over GWS at Perth Stadium.

The Eagles broke Sunday's game wide open with an eight-goal blitz in the second term, with Waterman and Jamie Cripps kicking three apiece during the onslaught in front of 44,649 fans.

The 14.16 (100) to 11.15 (81) victory was just the tonic for West Coast after the team and coach Adam Simpson were widely panned for last week's five-point loss to North Melbourne, which continued on from their two-win season in 2022.

Earlier, Sydney took Hawthorn apart in an 81-point win and Essendon ran over the top of Gold Coast late in an entertaining clash.

Waterman, who missed selection in round one, finished with 4.2, eight marks and eight hit-outs from 16 disposals in the best performance of his 74-match career.

Cripps (3.2 from 17 disposals), Tim Kelly (32 possessions, one goal), Jamaine Jones (27 disposals, 11 inside 50s), Samo Petrevski-Seton (four score assists) and Jeremy McGovern (21 disposals, seven marks) also played crucial roles.

GWS captain Toby Greene was influential with 4.2 and three score assists, while key forward Jesse Hogan took eight marks but was wasteful in front of goals with 3.4.

Giants utility Jacob Wehr suffered a game-ending AC joint injury in the second quarter after being flattened by Liam Duggan in a powerful shoulder-to-shoulder bump.

Wehr immediately grabbed at his right shoulder and cut a despondent figure on the bench after being subbed out of the game.

It came just a week after Wehr was flattened by Adelaide forward Shane McAdam, who received a three-match ban for the hit.

Greene kicked two goals in the opening term, both from point-blank range, but Hogan was wasteful with 0.3 as the Giants took a seven-point lead into quarter time.

Finn Callaghan suffered an injury scare when he damaged his left shoulder after running into Shannon Hurn, but he was able to return in the second term.

Cripps and Waterman tore the game open in the second term as the Eagles piled on eight goals to two, marking the first time they had kicked eight goals in a quarter since round 16 of 2019 against Fremantle.

Noah Long was the provider for Cripps' first two goals.

And Cripps soon had three to his name when he got on the end of a brilliant ruck tap by Jack Darling and snapped through the goal from a tight angle.

Waterman stepped up to the plate with three of his own as the lead swelled to 36 points.

A late goal to Hogan irked Simpson, who vented his frustration by ditching a water bottle in the coaches' box.

The margin swelled to 45 points in the third term, but two goals to Hogan reduced the gap back to 30 at the final change.

The last quarter was an arm wrestle until the Giants kicked a couple of late junk goals, with West Coast securing just their second win from their past 15 games at Perth Stadium.

Bombers outlast Suns for impressive win

Kyle Langford's career-best haul of five goals has helped Essendon keep their unbeaten start to life under Brad Scott alive with a 28-point win over Gold Coast.

Langford starred as the Bombers broke a tight contest open in the final quarter to post a 16.12 (108) 11.14 (80) victory at Docklands Stadium on Sunday.

Kyle Langford kicked a bag as the Bombers ran away from the Suns late. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

It gave Scott a perfect 2-0 record since taking the coaching reins and left Gold Coast winless after two rounds.

But there was a sour note for Essendon when impressive defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher was helped off the field with a right ankle injury during the final term.

The Bombers' injury-hit forward line was already missing Peter Wright and Jake Stringer, and took another blow when Sam Weideman withdrew before the bounce with a toe issue.

Langford was employed as a makeshift forward and relished the responsibility, kicking majors in each quarter and leading all goal-kickers on the ground.

He finished with 5.2 from 14 disposals and took seven marks.

Dylan Shiel (27 disposals, two goals) was also influential despite being crunched in a Matt Rowell tackle, as Darcy Parish (30 disposals, 11 clearances) and Zach Merrett (31, four) gave the Bombers drive through the midfield.

Jye Menzie and substitute Matt Guelfi kicked two goals apiece and Carlton discard Will Setterfield also impressed with 28 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances in his second game for Essendon.

Levi Casboult and Ben King kicked two goals each for Gold Coast, with the latter well held by Zerk-Thatcher for most of the game.

Suns captain Touk Miller (31 disposals) and fellow midfielder Lachie Weller (24), in his first game back from a long-term knee injury, were the visitors' major ball-winners.

Gold Coast led for most of the first quarter but two brilliant Shiel snaps gave the Bombers a narrow two-point advantage at quarter-time.

It remained tight, with neither side leading by more than 14 points until the final quarter.

The Suns kicked the first three goals of a see-sawing third period but coughed up the next three as the lead changed hands four times for the term.

Fittingly, the two sides turned for home all tied up.

Essendon finished full of running, much to the delight of most in the crowd of 32,915.

Swans demolish Hawks in SCG blitz

A red-hot Sydney have outclassed Hawthorn to secure a commanding 81-point triumph as a pair of emerging key forwards made the most of being the focal points in attack.

The Swans took the Hawks apart for their second big win of the year. (Getty Images: Matt King)

The Swans were too powerful and polished for the young Hawks and all but cruised to their 17.16 (118) to 4.13 (37) victory as Logan McDonald and Joel Amartey enjoyed breakout performances at the SCG on Sunday.

The highly touted McDonald has been earmarked as Lance Franklin's successor since being taken with the number four pick at the 2020 draft, and made the most of his star teammate's absence due to suspension to finish with a career-high five goals.

The talented 20-year-old was able to hit the scoreboard in a variety of ways while having as much impact roaming outside the forward 50.

Amartey lit up the first half in just his 14th AFL match after coming in for Franklin, and had a career-high four goals to halftime that could have been more if not for a couple of easy misses.

The 23-year-old was quieter in the third term in his return from being sidelined with hamstring issues, and was substituted out at the last break.

Small forward Tom Papley was typically busy and finished with two majors, while also taking an early mark of the year contender when sitting on teammate Chad Warner's shoulders to pull down a soaring grab.

Co-captains Callum Mills (28 disposals, two goals) and Luke Parker (27, one) controlled the midfield, while Errol Gulden (28) and Oli Florent (25) stood out with their pace and clever kicking.

The Hawks battled hard around the stoppages and more than matched the Swans at clearances with 35-27, but the hosts proved to be far more organised with ball in hand.

Will Day again impressed in a more central role for the Hawks with 26 touches and seven clearances, while revitalised on-baller James Worpel (22, 6) took charge at the coalface and Dylan Moore (23) was a threat in attack and around the ball.

Skipper James Sicily was a rock in defence on a difficult day for the Hawks with 25 disposals, while the visitors can take something from notching the last two goals.

The Swans are likely to face a tougher test when they meet Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday, while the Hawks can chase a breakthrough victory against North Melbourne in Launceston on Saturday.


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