Prepare for grand final deja vu, Eagles
HAWTHORN triple premier Josh Gibson believes West Coast is in for a serious case of deja vu in Saturday's AFL grand final.
Gibson was part of the Hawthorn side that lost by five goals to the Eagles in the 2015 qualifying final in Perth, before tasting redemption in the Grand Final with a 46-point reversal that gave them the premiership cup.
No team who has beaten an opponent in the first week of finals and then faced them again in the grand final has ever won the premiership.
And Gibson believes that trend will continue when the Eagles take on the Pies on Saturday, even though their record in 2018 is perfect when twin towers Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling play together.
"They're 12-0 when these guys play together, but I do think they'll be 12-1 after the weekend, because there is a stat that says if you meet in the first week of finals and then you play each other again in the granny, the side that won that first one has never won the grand final," Gibson said on Monday.
"It happened to West Coast in 2015. They smashed the Hawks and then they got comfortable when they got to the big dance and we all know what happened."
Gibson, who is an AFL ambassador, said the Pies played the best footy he had seen this season when they beat Richmond in Friday night's preliminary final.
The retired star defender believes American Mason Cox - who dominated the Tigers - will be a handful for the Eagles.
"They were really good, led off the back of an American," he said.
"Who would have thought that you'd see USA getting chanted at a AFL prelim? We've ticked that box.
"He is 211cm, so I don't know how you don't chop his arms or punch him in the back of the head trying to hit the ball."
Gibson's tip in the big dance?
"Collingwood by 22 points, Steele Sidebottom to win the Norm Smith Medal."