2018 WAFL Colts Grand Final preview
THIS Sunday it will be Subiaco taking on Swan Districts in the 2018 WAFL Colts Grand Final at Optus Stadium. Both sides have had sensational seasons, with Subiaco taking out the minor premiership and Swan Districts finishing third. The Lions will be looking to win their first WAFL Colts premiership since 1989, while the Swans will be looking to win their seventh Colts premiership and first since they went back-to-back in 2007 and 2008.
In the four matches they have played each other this year, Subiaco has won all of them by an average 35 points.
In their first encounter in round three, the Lions cruised to a 36-point victory on the back of brilliant performances by the 2018 Jack Clarke Medallist Liam Hickmott (27 possessions and seven tackles) and the 2018 WAFl Colts Leading Goalkicker Jack Mayo (14 possessions and five goals). For the Swans the likes of Graydon Wilson (18 possessions and 10 tackles), and Jackson Beck (17 possessions and nine marks) fought admirably.
In round 12 the Swans sent a scare through the Subiaco line-up when they got within two goals. Ultimately though the Lions prevailed by 21 points, with Jake McKinnon (28 possessions and 13 tackles) leading the way. Livewire forward Jarrod Cameron led the way for the Swans with 26 possessions, six marks, six tackles and five inside 50s.
Then in their final home-and-away encounter in round 18 Kyle Stainsby (26 possessions and 10 tackles), Liam Hickmott (35 possessions and 6 tackles) and Zane Shellabear-Healey (24 possessions and two goals) helped guide the Lions to a 38-point victory. However the likes of Kade Wallrodt (24 possessions and seven marks), Sebastian Bright (15 possessions and 14 tackles) and Joseph Hinder (25 possessions and five marks) never trailed off for the Swans,
In the Second Semi-Final, Subiaco defeated Swan Districts by 46 points on the back of brilliant performances by Luke Foley (22 possessions, five marks, five tackles, three inside 50s and two goals) and Nathan French (25 possessions, five inside 50s and three goals), as well as a host of others. For the Swans Mitchell Bain (24 possessions and six tackles), Wallrodt (15 possessions and four goals) tried hard.
Both Subiaco and Swan Districts rank highly in a number of key categories.
In terms of possessions the Swans rank number one in the competition with a total 6067 possessions at an average of 243 per game, with the likes of Riley Garcia (25 per game), Mitchell Bain (23), Graydon Wilson (20) and Jackson Beck (19 leading the way. While on the other hand, the Lions rank number two in the competition with 6043 at 241 per game. Tristan Hobley (27) and Liam Hickmott (26) rank one and two in the comp while Luke Foley (25), Wil Hickmott (22) and Zane Shellabear-Healey (20) are also prolific ball-winners.
While in terms of firepower inside 50 the Lions are number one after booting 217 goals across the season. Jack Mayo took out the WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Award after booting 48 goals from 19 games, while Jordan Faraone (21) goals) and Nathan French (15) have also proven to be dangerous in the forward half for the Lions. For the Swans, Atem Deng led the way with 22 goals with Patrick Farrant (19) also finishing in the top 10 of the competition.
But both sides have also showcased they are excellent two way running teams with Swan Districts ranking number one for tackles and Lions ranking third. The Swans have the number one tackler in the competition in Sebastian Bright (153 tackles), while for the Lions Liam Hickmott (144) and Jake McKinnon (128) are ranked two and three in the competition.
The big-bodied midfielder is one of the premier draft prospects this year and is shaping up as a big-game player already in his career. He is tough around the stoppages, has elite skills and has the ability to run all day. He can also drift forward where he uses his marking prowess to be a key focal point.
The Jack Clarke Medallist is one of the best clearance players in the competition due to his clean hands, footy nous and elite skill. He ranked second in the competition for possessions (484 at an average of 26 per game) and for tackles (144 at eight per game). His contested and clearance work is similar to that of North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington.
The runner-up in the Jack Clarke Medal, Hobley is one of the best outside midfielders in this year’s competition and it isn’t hard to see why. His dazzling skills, incredible vision and sound decision-making make him a threat for opposition teams when he’s on the outside. He ranked first in the competition for possessions (505 at 27 per game), second for marks (100 at five per game) and was in the top 20 for tackles (68 at four per game).
The Carine junior took out the WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Award after booting 48 goals from just 19 games. He is strong in one-on-one contests, powerful on the lead, is agile, has a great shot for goal and possesses an excellent field kick. He has also shown versatility in his ability to play in the ruck as well as in defence when required.
The reigning Newton Screaigh Medallist provides excellent run out of defensive half for the Lions and is often a catalyst for their attacking forays. His ability to either weave his way through congestion or break tackles and then spot a team-mate further up the field makes him one of the most damaging players in the competition.
The High Wycombe junior is a bonafide midfield star and it isn’t hard to see why. He is tough around the stoppages, he’s got pace to burst away from opponents and has penetrating skills to carve the opposition’s defence to ribbons. He ranks third at Swan Districts for possessions (315 at 23 per game), second for total tackles (78), and sixth for marks (56).
The West Coast Eagles’ Academy member is always dangerous inside the forward 50 due to his blistering speed, dazzling skills and incredible footy nous. Like his older brother Charlie, Cameron also thrives on defensive pressure and expect him to make the Subiaco defenders nervous.
Despite only playing 10 games this year, Germs won the fifth-most hit-outs by any ruckman in this year’s WAFL Colts competition (354 at 35 per game). His ability to control the ruck contests and palm the ball to his midfielders is first class.
The Western Australia State Under 18s Academy member will have his hands full when he lines up on Subiaco’s gun key forward Jack Mayo. But Pasini is more than up to the task. A no-nonsense defender, Pasini has proven this year he can shut down any key forward due to his determination, physicality and aggression in the contest.
The Centrals product is one of the best attacking half-back flankers due to his explosive pace and reliable kicking skills. More often than not, Wilson will tuck the ball under his arm, take on the opposition defenders and then lace out a teammate further up the field.