No excuses for Eagles after AFL loss

Eagles players were bitterly disappointed after their Round-1 defeat to Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.
Eagles players were bitterly disappointed after their Round-1 defeat to Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.

West Coast players may want to get in a few runs of last year's grand final DVD because the video review of their 2019 AFL season opener is going to be a less pleasurable viewing experience.

The Eagles were thumped by 44 points at the Gabba on Saturday as Chris Fagan's resurgent Lions mauled the defending premiers.

The 15.12 (102) to 8.10 (58) defeat looked unlikely after the Eagles withstood an early Brisbane barrage to open up a 27-point quarter-time lead.

From there, however, it was all one way traffic as West Coast booted just two more goals in an underwhelming start to their premiership defence.

"We've got tremendous confidence in our players and our ability but we didn't produce our best tonight and we weren't good enough tonight, no excuses," coach Adam Simpson said.

"We'll look at the positives as much as the negatives but we're not going to stick our head in the sand. We're not just going to park up and move on.

"When it really mattered, we didn't stand up."

The Eagles headed east with grand final-winning forward trio Willie Rioli, Josh Kennedy and Jamie Cripps all absent through injury.

Simpson believes Kennedy is a good chance to face GWS in Perth next Saturday but was more circumspect on the fitness of his other two attackers.

"Jamie Cripps, maybe? Probably not," Simpson said.

"Rioli will be a 50-50 ... we've got some players coming back but that doesn't take away from what Brisbane did to us tonight and how disappointed we were, particularly in the second half."

Australian Associated Press