Eagles coach Adam Simpson says their toughest challenge is still to come as the AFL flag favourites prepare for a second round of hub life.
West Coast posted their eighth win on the trot on Sunday with a 12-point triumph over Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium.
The result kept West Coast (9-3) in fourth spot, giving them a perfect platform to launch a run at the premiership.
But Simpson is well aware that the Eagles’ dream run of six straight games in Perth is now over, meaning they’ll need to find a way to thrive on the road if they want to stay in the hunt for the ultimate success.
West Coast’s first Gold Coast hub experience started off disastrously with big losses to the Suns, Brisbane and Port Adelaide.
The Eagles recovered to post wins over lowly Sydney and Adelaide but how they fare in their next hub stay remains a burning question.
Their hub campaign begins with a tough clash with Richmond at Metricon Stadium on Thursday night, followed by games in quick succession against Essendon, the Western Bulldogs, and St Kilda.
There’s a chance West Coast’s final game of the regular season – against North Melbourne – could be played in Perth.
Simpson feels his team is much better placed going into this stage of the season but he knows it will take plenty of hard work to keep the wins rolling.
“I think we’ve probably established a strong identity with how we’re playing (while we’ve been in Perth),” Simpson said.
“We’re a different side (now). We’ve evolved throughout the season.
“I feel like we lost our way early up in Queensland.
“We reviewed a few things, worked on a couple of things from a leadership point of view and then we carried it out on the field.
“But we’ve got a big block coming up.
“We’ve got the Tigers in four days. Our little compressed season is in front of us, whereas a lot of clubs have sort of gone through that.
“Our real test is what’s in front of us… We’re not getting ahead of ourselves.”
The Eagles are yet to be told which hub hotel they will be staying at but Simpson believes it will be somewhere on the Gold Coast.