Jamie Cripps’ 200th game ends in disaster as Sydney smash West Coast by 63 points

Staff reporterGeraldton Guardian
West Coast’s Jamie Cripps leads the team off after the loss to Sydney in his 200th game.
Camera IconWest Coast’s Jamie Cripps leads the team off after the loss to Sydney in his 200th game. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

West Coast are still licking their wounds from a 63-point mauling from the Sydney Swans at Optus Stadium on Friday night, which is not how returning Mid West star Jamie Cripps wanted to mark his 200th AFL game.

Cripps, who was returning for his first game of 2022 after pre-season surgery, led the team on and off the field for his milestone game, but it was far from a celebration after the Swans overran the Eagles from the start, winning 18.13 (121) to 9.4 (58).

Northampton’s Cripps ended up with one goal and 11 disposals.

He was one of six inclusions in the team, which prompted criticism that too many underdone players were rushed back into the team before they were match fit.

Other inclusions were captain Luke Shuey, Elliott Yeo and Tim Kelly.

“We don’t really have a choice (to bring them all back). They’re three of our best players. So we need to get them going,” said West Coast coach Adam Simpson.

“You can’t point the finger at those three. I think we’ve got to take the whole 22 plus the coaches on this one. We’ll own it together. We’ve got their backs. We know that they’re good players.

“We’ve got our captain coming back, you’ve got Elliot Yeo — two-time All-Australian, best and fairest winner — and Tim Kelly and Jamie Cripps.

“So they’re very good players. But the synergy’s not there obviously. But that’s not a reason for the first quarter in particular.”

The Eagles’ two other Mid West players — Liam Ryan and Josh Kennedy — kicked three goals and two goals respectively.

West Coast great Peter Sumich called on the club to start having tough conversations with veterans Kennedy, Shuey and premiership skipper Shannon Hurn about their playing futures.

“They’re not going to win a premiership this year and if you’re not going to win it this year, you’ve got to make some hard decisions,” Sumich told SportFM.

In Carlton’s three-point win against Port Adelaide on Sunday, Geraldton’s Jack Martin made his presence felt, kicking two goals and amassing 17 possessions.

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