Merrett stars as Bombers beat Eagles by 50 points

·3-min read
James Worsfold/AAP PHOTOS

Essendon coach Brad Scott says he is proud of his team's ability to avoid complacency during their 50-point win over West Coast, but he won't be watching the replay for fun.

Kyle Langford booted three goals and captain Zach Merrett racked up 32 disposals and five clearances to lead the Bombers to a 14.12 (96) to 6.10 (46) win in Saturday night's AFL clash at Optus Stadium.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson entered the match under intense pressure following last week's 116-point loss to Hawthorn.

The Eagles showed far more fight in front of 39,269 fans, and the 33-point margin at three-quarter time would have been far less had West Coast kicked straight.

Essendon pulled away in a scrappy final quarter, ensuring there would be no repeat of last year's shock 10-point loss to injury-hit West Coast in Perth.

"I said to the players, I would have been more concerned today if we came out thinking that we were going to try and kick 150 points and walk over a side that's struggling, just mainly due to injury," Scott said.

"I mean, the Bombers came over here last year in similar circumstances around a similar time of year and, under the players' own admission, thought it was going to happen.

"There was a message today that we'll get what we deserve.

"And if we think it's just going to happen, we'll get embarrassed. And so for that part of it, I was really pleased.

"I thought it was a professional performance, but certainly not one that we will be watching the replay for fun."

Essendon's season was on the skids after losing four matches in a row, but wins over Richmond and West Coast over the past fortnight have lifted the Bombers (6-5) back into the top eight.

West Coast's ninth loss in a row was an equal club record and marked the third time in the space of two years the Eagles have lost nine in a row.

Oscar Allen, standing in as West Coast captain for the first time, put in a solid case to become the club's next full-time skipper with four goals and seven marks from 12 disposals.

Veteran Elliot Yeo made a strong return from a groin injury with 24 disposals and five clearances, while Tim Kelly tallied seven clearances and 29 possessions.

Essendon won the clearance battle 12-3 in the opening term, but two goals to Allen ensured West Coast trailed by just 10 points at the first break.

The Eagles won the clearance battle in the second term, but Essendon were harder at the contest.

A goal after the halftime siren to Jake Stringer extended Essendon's lead to 24 points, and two goals in the space of a minute to Langford late in the third broke West Coast's spirits.

"It was probably the minimum we wanted tonight," Simpson said of his team's performance.

"We obviously didn't win and the score blew out, but we won the inside 50s, and we were brave for the footy to a point where we got hurt on the turnover.

"But probably (we got) a little bit more of the identity we're trying to chase, without being anywhere near satisfied."