Despite having a lot of experience out injured, the Eagles have comfortably beaten Fremantle by 59 points for their 11th successive Western Derby win.
Earlier, Carlton beat Essendon at the MCG, and Bayley Fritsch, Kysaiah Pickett and Ben Brown helped Melbourne to the top of the AFL ladder with a victory over the winless Kangaroos in Hobart.
Look back at all of Sunday’s action below.
Injury-hit Eagles easily handle Fremantle in empty Perth Stadium
It was a case of no fans, no problem for West Coast in the derby against the Dockers, as the Eagles continued their record run of victories over their local rivals.
With West Coast coming off a 97-point thumping from Geelong and missing key players from the backs (Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass and Jeremy McGovern), midfield (Luke Shuey and Elliott Yeo), and the forward line (Liam Ryan), it seemed the 52nd edition would be a prime chance for Fremantle to snap their losing streak in the derby.
But after a tight opening half, the Eagles kicked away in the last two quarters, booting nine goals to two and running away with a 20.12 (132) to 11.7 (73) win.
The game was played in an empty stadium after West Australian Premier Mark McGowan’s morning announcement that a security guard tested positive for the virus while working at Perth’s Pan Pacific Hotel, along with two of his housemates.
Both teams settled into the contest in the cavernous expanses of Perth Stadium, separated by two points at quarter-time and 13 at the long break.
Tim Kelly stepped up to fill the absence of Shuey and Yeo in the middle, collecting a career-high 42 disposals with a game-high 14 clearances.
Josh Kennedy kicked four goals, and Jake Waterman and Jack Darling booted three goals each, while Andrew Gaff (35 disposals) and Dom Sheed (30) also racked up big numbers through the midfield.
But it was Kelly who was the biggest star of the lot, with the former Cat dominating throughout the match to win Glendinning-Allan medal as best afield.
Andrew Brayshaw (32 disposals), David Mundy (29 touches) and Nat Fyfe (27 possessions) battled hard for the Dockers, but ultimately were part of a losing midfield unit.
The two teams combined for a derby-record 20 goals in the first half as both went on all-out attack to make the most of the injury-hit defences.
Fremantle defender Heath Chapman dislocated his right shoulder in the opening minutes of the match, and he appeared to dislocate it again later in the first quarter but bravely battled on.
The Dockers were dealt a further blow when Ethan Hughes injured his right shoulder early in the second term while dishing out a bump on Brad Sheppard.
Hughes attempted to play on, but was clearly in pain and was subbed out a short time later.
In between the injuries it was goals galore.
Matt Taberner and Kennedy had three to their name by half-time, with the accuracy of both sides also a highlight.
West Coast entered the break with a 13-point lead, and they broke the game open in the third quarter when Jamaine Jones, Jamie Cripps, and Nathan Vardy all kicked goals in a three-minute blitz.
And when Waterman and Jarrod Brander also kicked truly, the Eagles headed for home with a dominant 39-point lead, with the Dockers failing to score another goal.
Carlton takes down Bombers
Carlton eased pressure on coach David Teague by holding off fierce rivals Essendon by 16 points in a pulsating AFL contest at the MCG.
The Blues’ defensive set-up was a mess in the first half as the Bombers burst out to a 21-point lead midway through the second quarter.
But facing the prospect of slumping to 2-5 for the season, Carlton’s attacking prowess suddenly came to life while clicking with their back six.
Patrick Cripps’s stunning goal midway through the final quarter took the the Blues’ lead out to 26 points, before they hung on to win 19.19 (123) to 16.11 (107).
Picked as a team to rise up the ladder this year, a defeat to their old foe would have been disastrous to Carlton’s hopes of playing finals for the first time since 2013.
Star midfielder Sam Walsh (33 possessions, one goal) will almost certainly poll three Brownlow votes for his output, while Blues forward Harry McKay slammed through four second-half goals after being held to just five possessions during a quiet first half.
Carlton veteran Eddie Betts rediscovered form with three goals after being limited to 2.8 in his previous four games this season.
Former Essendon flyer Adam Saad was booed every time he went near the ball after his off-season move to the Blues.
Saad’s classy 21-disposal performance, which included his first goal for Carlton, gave Bombers fans plenty to be vocal about.
There was plenty of spice in the match, with a mini-melee breaking out after Carlton second-gamer Matt Owies slotted his third goal midway through the third quarter.
Essendon looked irresistible early, led by three first-quarter goals from Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, to take a 14-point advantage into the first change.
Prime movers Zach Merrett, Jake Stringer and Andrew McGrath were typically industrious, but it was the encouraging performances of young guns Archie Perkins and Harrison Jones (three goals) that Bombers supporters would have liked the most.
Essendon will travel to battle Greater Western Sydney on Saturday while the Blues have a daunting challenge against the rebounding Western Bulldogs at Docklands Stadium next Sunday.
Brown helps keep Melbourne perfect despite scare from North
Melbourne has survived a scare from the winless Kangaroos to go to the top of the AFL ladder, with former North Melbourne star Ben Brown playing a pivotal role in his club debut.
The Demons snared the 16.7 (103) to 11.7 (73) win on the back of six goals from Bayley Fritsch and a three-goal effort from Kysaiah Pickett.
It takes their winning streak to seven to start the season, and moves them ahead of the Bulldogs for first place.
Brown, who joined Melbourne in the off-season after booting 130 goals in seven seasons with North, kicked two majors against his old team, but ended the game in the sheds after being opened up by a nasty head clash with Josh Walker in the final quarter.
Last-placed North shot out of the gates against their more-fancied opponents, with Tom Campbell and Shaun Atley potting goals in the opening few minutes, and they sustained Melbourne’s first fightback to take a five-point lead into quarter-time.
Brown toed home his first goal in the second quarter, but it came in the midst of a five-goal period for the Roos, who led 59-40 at half-time.
Melbourne’s comeback properly began after the long break, kicking six majors to one, including Brown’s second giving them a lead they never relinquished midway through the third term.
Ben Cunnington kicked North’s only goal of the last quarter, but James Jordon, Clayton Oliver, Fritsch and Pickett slotted to see the Demons home.
The only dampener on the win for Melbourne was a suspected torn ACL for Adam Tomlinson in the first quarter.