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SAM Mitchell has made an immediate impact in his first outing in West Coast colours, playing a leading hand in his side’s 55-point thumping of Fremantle.
Mitchell made his presence felt from the opening bounce of the Eagles’ 16.11 (107) to 8.4 (52) victory, finishing with a brilliant 28-possession display.
He appears to have connected with Matt Priddis (27 touches), Luke Shuey (26) and Andrew Gaff (24), with the quartet starring at Wonthella Oval in Geraldton.
The 34-year-old had four possessions inside three minutes as the Eagles rattled on two early goals to get rolling.
“It was a good way to start. I got a couple of early touches and we kicked a couple of early goals. That took the pressure off and I just went and played after that. We did a few things well, we did a few things not so well,” Mitchell said.
“Some of the time I felt there was great chemistry and some of the time I felt we were on completely different pages. There were plenty of missed handballs or I was going left and they were handballing right or vice-versa.”
Drew Petrie, also on debut, collected 11 touches and shared ruck duties with Nathan Vardy.
West Coast continually chipped the ball to short lead-up targets as the disposal count finished a lopsided 414 to 214 in favour of the Eagles.
They went forward 25 times to the Dockers’ 11 in the first half and led 10.5 to 3.2 at the main break.
Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy had three of his four goals by then, making life difficult for prized Fremantle recruit and Western Bulldogs premiership defender Joel Hamling.
For the Dockers, Bradley Hill worked his way into the game and kicked two goals.
Hayden Ballantyne also booted two while Michael Walters looked the most dangerous forward but he wasted his chances.
It didn’t help Fremantle that its best ball winner, Lachie Neale, wasn’t playing.
New captain Nat Fyfe had the biggest impact, with 11 touches in the first half and 22 for the game.
Dockers coach Ross Lyon was philosophical but also declared his team needed to re-focus quickly and predicted some would lose their spots for the match with Collingwood next week.
“We will add a little bit next week,” Lyon said.
“(Aaron) Sandilands will come back in, (Lachie) Neale will come in.”