If a week is a long time in politics, a month is an eternity in football.
On June 27, West Coast slumped to a 48-point thrashing at the hands of Port Adelaide, its third straight loss, and questions were being asked about the club’s approach to being in the Gold Coast hub.
They had failed to kick more than six goals in a game for three straight weeks and had won just one quarter of football in that time.
Since then, they have surged to AFL premiership favouritism and fourth spot on the ladder, winning four straight matches by an average of 40 points.
On Sunday, they booted the highest score by any side this season, kicking 111 points, and kept Collingwood to its second-lowest score of the year.
“We were really concerned after the three losses we had. The identity of our side was a little bit off,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said after the win.
“I really thought our players really took ownership. Our leadership, from the older guys to the guys coming through, really stepped up.
“I don’t know where we’re at in terms of the competition, but I feel like we’ve caught up a little bit, more than anything.
“It goes from being crisis to flag favourites.”
Big guns hit stride with friendly run ahead
The Eagles have restricted sides to six goals or less in their last four outings, with their midfield, led by Tim Kelly and Nic Naitanui, beginning to gel.
Adding to what can only be a buoyant mood for West Coast is the resurgent form of Josh Kennedy.
The veteran spearhead kicked four goals against Fremantle a week ago, and followed that effort up with seven majors against the Magpies.
With the limited view of how the AFL season will play out, it’s hard to see any immediate hurdles awaiting the Eagles.
They will play at least three more games at Perth Stadium, against Geelong, Carlton and a struggling Hawthorn, and could be in Perth for even longer depending on the situation on the east coast.
Indeed, West Coast will likely continue to improve.
Kennedy’s fellow key forward, Jack Darling, has kicked goals in each of his past four matches but appears a little off his best, while defender Jeremy McGovern will return at some point from a thumb injury
The Eagles are the bookies’ favourite, and it’s hard to argue against that, especially if WA snags the grand final.