Category: Claremont

WAFL Week 2 Finals preview: Lions and Bulldogs face off for grand final spot

SUBIACO Lions and South Fremantle Bulldogs will face off for a spot in the 2021 West Australian Football League (WAFL) Grand Final when they lock horns in the semi-final on the weekend. Just four teams remain in the race for the title, with the loser of the major semi-final to look horns with the winner of the minor semi-final next week. In that semi, Claremont hosts West Perth, with no turning back for the loser, which is going to be the case for both those sides from now on, after the Falcons knocked off Swan Districts last week, and Claremont fell to South Fremantle.

SUBIACO vs. SOUTH FREMANTLE
Saturday, September 18 @ 2:40pm
Leederville Oval

A grand final spot is on the line in a battle between the top two teams on the 2021 WAFL ladder. Subiaco finished the year with 14 wins and four losses, one more victory than South Fremantle (13-5). The pair have had two clashes this year with the results mixed, as South Fremantle toppled Subiaco by 18 points at home earlier in the year, before the Lions showed no mercy in a statement win in Round 16, knocking off the Bulldogs by 44 points at this venue. In that game, a six goals to one second half was the difference, as the Lions had 100 more disposals and 17 more inside 50s to really control play in their forward half.

Leigh Kitchen (33 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, 11 inside 50s and a goal) and Gregory Clark (32 disposals, four marks, five tackles) had the ball on a string for the Lions, as Harrison Marsh (28 disposals, six marks, four tackles, eight inside 50s and one goal) was also lively. Dominant goalkicker Ben Sokol slotted 2.3 from 17 touches and eight marks, with Michael Braut (three goals) and Nicholas Martin (two) the other multiple goalscorers. South Fremantle had a second half to forget, though the likes of Hayden Schloithe (29 disposals, four tackles and four inside 50s), Chad Pearson (25 disposals, five marks) and Tom Blechynden (23 disposals, five inside 50s) were consistent, and Blake Schlensog pulled down 12 marks – almost 20 per cent of his team’s total marks – to go with 18 disposals and a goal.

Subiaco will be well rested for the clash after a week off, with their last game coming on September 4, when they were pushed all the way by Peel Thunder, before getting up by four points. Since losing to West Perth by a goal back in round 20, South Fremantle have strung together three consecutive wins – including last week’s final – whilst Subiaco’s last loss was a shock 44-point defeat against a hungry East Fremantle outfit.

With Matt Parker back in the side for the Bulldogs after being on Richmond’s list throughout the second half of the WAFL season, the Bulldogs are better placed than in their last clash. They have also recalled a number of players for an extended bench, though the midfield battle will be key, with the likes of Schloithe, Nic Suban and Jake Florenca up against Marsh, Clark and Kitchen. It will also be a great opportunity once against for AFL Draft hopeful Jesse Motlop who dons the red and white for South Fremantle as they try and upset the minor premiers in the Bulldogs’ bid to go back-to-back.

CLAREMONT vs. WEST PERTH
Sunday, September 19 @ 2:10pm
Revo Fitness Stadium

There is no turning back for either Claremont or West Perth in their do-or-die semi-final. The Falcons booked their spot in the spot in the semi-finals with a four-point nail-biting win over Swan Districts last week. Trailing at every break, the Falcons kicked five goals to four in a high-scoring last term to win 14.6 (90) to 13.8 (86). Keegan Knott (four goals) and Tyler Keitel (three) were the key goalkickers, as Aaron Black (29 disposals), Trent Manzone (26) and Blake Wilhelm (26) continued their great form.

Claremont will be licking their wounds after coming so close to toppling the Bulldogs, going down by a single point in the qualifying final. The Tigers led by four goals at half-time, but a seven goals to three second half saw the Tigers run over the top of them and win by a heartbreaking one point. Jye Bolton continued his remarkable season with another 30 touches, as Jared Hardisty (26 and 16 tackles) and Bailey Rogers (18 disposals, six marks and two goals) were also impressive.

These sides have also split the results from their two clashes, with Claremont hopeful of repeating their Round 5 shellacking of the Falcons, running away 52-point winners at home. West Perth got the better of the Tigers at their home ground in Round 12 however, getting over the line by 14 points in a much closer affair at Provident Financial Oval. That day the Falcons had a plus-35 in disposals and eight more inside 50s (47-39) but were well beaten in the hitouts (43-21).

Oliver Eastland is coming off a 44-hitout game last week and had 39 against the Falcons, as well as 22 disposals, four marks, three tackles and two inside 50s to be a monster at the stoppages. Rogers (17 disposals, five marks, six inside 50s and three goals) hit the scoreboard that day, with Alexander Manuel (two goals) also kicking multiple majors. Teenager Jacob Van Rooyen had six touches and four marks in the game, with Bolton (29 disposals, four marks and six inside 50s), Ben Edwards (25 disposal, three marks, six tackles and four inside 50s) and Hardisty (25 disposals, four tackles and three inside 50s) the other prominent Tigers ball-winners. Black was best on ground in the Falcons’ win amassing 34 disposals, nine marks, 12 tackles and six inside 50s, with Zac Guadagnin (27 disposals, nine marks) and Shane Nelson (25 disposals, three marks, three tackles and six inside 50s) also busy. Keitel slotted three goals from 12 touches and five marks, while Rudy Riddoch had 12 disposals, four marks and two goals.

Given how close Claremont came to South Fremantle last week, and the fact they are at home and how they performed against West Perth in their last outing at Revo Fitness Stadium, they have to be favourites. West Perth IS always a chance, and were able to win in a tight one last week, and their Round 12 victory over the Tigers will provide them with confidence to do the job again here.

Picture credit: WAFL

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Finals Week 1 – Claremont vs. East Perth

CLAREMONT will face off against WAFL Colts minor premier Swan Districts for the second time in three weeks, after downing East Perth by 41 points in week one of the 2021 finals series. The Tigers were inaccurate early on but found their groove and snared crucial goals at the end of the first two terms to restore leads. A five-goal third quarter then helped Claremont break the contest open, before running out comfortable victors with another four majors in the final stanza.

We highlight a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes with a particular focus on state representatives, before taking a look around the grounds and up the grades.

>> Player Focus: Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont 13.9 (87) def. East Perth 6.10 (46)

Claremont:

#17 Hugh Davies

His final stats of seven disposals and two marks hardly do justice to the role Davies played in defence, with the bottom-ager making several important plays on the last line. He looked composed in a series of crises, able to work things out across defensive 50 and apply ample pressure on East Perth’s forwards when the ball hit the deck. In the air, he rose for some timely spoils and was desperate enough to keep the play alive with little margin for error.

#22 Sam Gilbey

Another bottom-aged defender who hardly garnered massive stats (six disposals, two marks, one goal), Gilbey still managed to show glimpses of his massively promising skillset on Saturday. Both of his marks were lovely intercepts up the ground, which he used to move the ball on quickly heading inside attacking 50. On the first occasion, Gilbey showed off his impressive left-foot kick with a booming goal just before quarter time, seeing Claremont regain the lead. He competed well to turn the ball over and pressed a high line, before being used further afield in the final term and even shaving the post with another shot on goal.

#27 Angus Sheldrick

Arguably the best player afield, Sheldrick got to work early and put in an absolute shift out of Claremont’s engine room. While able to win the contested ball with his strength and grit, Sheldrick also displayed a phenomenal work-rate to get his legs pumping with some green ball and find possessions around the ground. He helped drive the Tigers forward and despite lacking a finishing touch at times, put the ball into dangerous spots. He was in the wars during term three with a head knock and big hit from Jye Amiss, but got back to work to finish with a game-high 24 disposals, 12 tackles, and five inside 50s to go with a first term goal.

#29 Jahmal Stretch

The crafty small forward is one who has the ability to light up any passage of play, and certainly did that with his 10 disposals, three marks and two goals. An early rush of blood saw him burn a teammate over the top when running into an open goal, but Stretch built into his best work by hitting the ball at speed and springing up for marks inside 50. His first goal came shortly after a set shot fell short, and he added another in term four with a quick snap which showcased his high level goal sense. With terrific pressure acts and sparks of individual brilliance, Stretch continues to be an eye-catching goalsneak.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen

He doesn’t need too many chances to make a real impact, and that is exactly what van Rooyen did during a three-goal third quarter. The strong-bodied key forward helped Claremont kick away with majors at the beginning, middle and end of term three after a relatively quiet first half. His fundamental strengths were solid throughout without much opportunity, but came to the fore during said period with a couple of strong pack marks and set shot conversions. While only earning a modest seven disposals, he made them count with four marks and those three majors to go with some imposing pressure acts.

#35 Luke Brown

Another bottom-ager who managed to show glimpses of potential, Brown finished up with a couple of really handy goals from his five touches. The 199cm ruck-forward first got his hands on the ball through sheer reach in the ruck, before booting those two majors in the second half. The first was a terrific bit of improvisation, as the bigman volleyed the ball home off a deep spillage. His second goal was also manufactured off a pack, as Brown gathered and quickly snapped the ball through to show great skill for a player of his size.

Others:

Claremont had a bunch of solid contributors on each line, starting with the likes of Talon Delacey (19 disposals, five inside 50s) and Kendyll Blurton (15 disposals, five tackles) in midfield. Arthur Jones was again productive on the wing with 17 touches and five inside 50s, while Campbell Rogers played a key hand down back. Speaking of, Sean Williams’ effort to keep leading goalkicker Jye Amiss scoreless was outstanding, as was Peter Coles’ three-goal haul at the other end. In the way of state squad members, Under 17 prospects Edward Allan (wing) and Will Bailey (forward/wing) had their moments, and top-age tall Eric Benning missed with a calf complaint.

East Perth:

#4 Ethan Regan

The West Coast NGA candidate started in midfield, with the East Perth coaches perhaps looking for him to make an early statement with his size and explosiveness. That did not quite eventuate, but Regan built into the game well from his usual high half-forward post. His kick penetration lead directly to goals on two occasions, as Regan linked East Perth from beyond the attacking arc into more dangerous positions.

#7 Jye Amiss

Having built a remarkable streak of kicking multiple goals in all of his previous WAFL Colts and state Under 19 outings, Amiss was finally shut-out on Saturday. The West Australian spearhead was hardly given an inch inside attacking 50 and did not always receive the best delivery in any case. Most of his work was done further afield, where he ventured on searching leads and showed some really nice moments of poise to hit targets on the way back to goal. He later showed signs of a confidence dip with a couple of dropped marks, perhaps the product of perceived pressure having been under the pump all game.

#9 Kade Dittmar

A strong figure in the East Perth midfield, Dittmar offered plenty of his usual power and contested ball winning prowess on Saturday. His physicality on the inside was evident, as he looked to bustle through tackles and apply some punishing ones of his own. While Dittmar gained a good amount of distance on his clearances, with eight of his 15 disposals sent inside 50, he tended to dump kick at times and couldn’t quite hit the target with a couple of attempts on goal. Still, his intent matched the finals atmosphere.

#11 James Tunstill

Tunstill was one who started the game brightly, producing some eye-catching moments in midfield and rotating forward to snare a first term goal. He was prominent at ground level, collecting the ball cleanly and finding ways to slip or spin to the outer where he could gain a bit more meterage. His goal came from a set shot after marking well overhead, converting the chance well from 40m. Tunstill finished up with 14 disposals and three inside 50s, marking a solid return after his promising opening.

#26 Kaden Harbour

Another who was productive in spurts, Harbour brought good intent and effort to the finals contest. He chased up loose balls and worked up the ground for his side, with one play seeing him break at pace with two running bounces before kicking inside 50. The small forward produced another great inside 50 foray in term three which was not finished off, and his closest attempt on goal hit the post with a snap from the pocket.

#34 Jedd Busslinger

Hardly overawed by the finals occasion as a bottom-ager, Busslinger saved his side’s blushes several times on the last line of defence. The 195cm prospect proved difficult to beat both aerially and at ground level, showing great composure to mop up under pressure and move the ball on cleanly. He was never rushed despite the heavy pressure at times, and proved his commitment with a goal-saving mark which saw him thud into the goal post. Busslinger was swung forward in term four, and finished with four marks from his nine disposals.

Others:

No East Perth player notched over 20 touches on Saturday, but speedy midfielder Jayden Peak was the closest with 18. His run-and-carry proved productive, as did the skills of wingman Oscar Armstrong (13 disposals), who kicked a fantastic long-range goal in term three. Kalani Brooks was another to step up in midfield with 16 disposals and five tackles, while state Under 17 squad member Jordyn Baker showed a bit with nine disposals up on the wing.

AROUND THE GROUNDS:

In the other colts final, East Fremantle advanced in Sunday’s knockout bout against West Perth, downing the Falcons by 29 points after trailing narrowly at the first break. The Sharks, bolstered by an array of quality state squad members, soon clicked into gear and manufactured nearly double the Falcons’ scoring shots (20-11).

It was unsurprising to see Josh Browne top the disposal charts once again, racking up a game-high 32 to go with six inside 50s and a goal. Fellow draft combine invitee Corey Warner and bottom-ager Jed Hagan supported him well, while Melbourne father-son candidate Taj Woewodin also found plenty of the ball. In-form tall Josh Cripps kicked a goal from 19 touches, and Jackson McManus – the nephew of Shaun – snagged a game-high three majors.

A pair of promising bottom-agers fared well for the Falcons, as Kane Bevan notched 31 disposals and six marks, while defender Griff Julian clunked eight grabs among his 23 touches. Luke Michael matched the latter’s marking feats, and Lochlan Paton got his hands dirty with 12 tackles to go with 18 disposals.

There was not as much action to speak of in a draft sense up the grades, but classy midfielder Matthew Johnson caught the eye with a team-high 23 disposals, nine marks and one goal in Subiaco’s finals win over West Perth. At League level, Jesse Motlop bagged a goal from 11 touches as South Fremantle held on in a one-point thriller against Claremont.

Featured Image: The 2021 WA Under 19s squad huddles before facing SA | Credit: WAFL via Twitter

WAFL Colts Player Focus: Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)

WEST AUSTRALIAN midfielder Angus Sheldrick has impressed across multiple levels throughout his 2021 campaign. Most of his appearances have come for Christ Church in the PSA, but Sheldrick has taken the step up to WAFL Colts and state representative level in his stride, consistently finishing amongst his sides’ highest accumulating players while providing high work-rate and pressure around the ground. 

The 179cm inside midfielder put in an arguably best on ground display against East Perth in the recent start to the 2021 WAFL Colts finals series, winning plenty of ball for Claremont as the Tigers brought home a four-point victory.

POCKET PROFILE

Angus Sheldrick
Claremont/Western Australia

DOB: 7/11/2003 (17-years-old)
Height/Weight: 179cm/88kg

Position: Inside Midfielder
Strengths: Contested work, strength, work-rate

2021 Averages:
WAFL Colts (7 games)

26.7 disposals | 3.9 marks | 4.7 tackles | 6.3 inside 50s | 0.6 goals (4 total)

2021 WAFL Colts Finals Week 1 | Claremont 12.9 (87) def. East Perth 6.10 (46)

#27 Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)

Stats: 24 disposals (14 kicks, 10 handballs), 5 marks, 12 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal

Q1:

Starting the game in the midfield, Sheldrick wouldn’t move from the role for the quarter as his constant work rate and pressure around the contest set the tone for Claremont around the ground. Sheldrick made an early impact with his tackling, causing a stoppage around the forward 50 before getting involved in the handball chain that Claremont would start from the clearance, where he managed to find teammates even when in traffic. His ability to find teammates wasn’t limited to his handballing either – he took the opportunities he had by foot to put the ball to the advantage of teammates inside 50. Unfortunately at times his teammates didn’t react quick enough and couldn’t take full advantage of it.

Claremont had difficulties with it conversion on goal, kicking five straight points to start the game before Sheldrick put the Tigers’ first goal through. With a stoppage inside 50, Sheldrick positioned well to get a backwards handball from his teammate, then tucking the ball under his arm and getting around a couple of opponents to snap it straight through.

Sheldrick’s positioning around the ground was arguably his biggest strength in the first quarter. Whether it was getting onto the end of some handball chains, holding up an opponent after they won the ball at a stoppage, or coming into a contest so he was at the front of a marking pack, he was largely unmatched in that regard throughout, so much so East Perth started giving him some extra attention around stoppages. 

Q2:

Whilst not accumulating as much of the ball in the second quarter, Sheldrick maintained his defensive and pressure work around the ground and in stoppages, keeping East Perth’s major ball winners honest and on their toes. He won a couple of clearances through sheer work-rate and ferocity at the contest, bumping opponents out of the way to get the ball and feed it off by hand to well-positioned teammates, typically looking to move the ball into the corridor.

Something that stood out more about Sheldrick’s game as the quarter went on was his defensive focus in all aspects of the game. In open play he’d work back hard to create a stoppage with his tackling or pressure, and around stoppages he’d often set up on the defensive side to stop opponents running straight through into their attacking 50.

Q3:

Somewhat limited in how much he could impact due to getting a cut on his head that took some time to bandage up, Sheldrick still made the most of his opportunities in the third term and made sure his presence was felt. The theme of Sheldrick’s quarter was courage, putting himself into some uncomfortable situations and coming out on top. The most impressive example of this came late in the third, as the Royals looked to be getting a certain goal as they streamed forward, but Sheldrick put himself in front of a leading Jye Amiss, holding the mark as Amiss knocked a bit of wind out of him. Sheldrick got straight back to his feet and ran the ball out of defensive 50 before kicking into the middle. 

Sheldrick continued to work defensively and apply pressure around the midfield, frustrating opposition players and copping heavy contact that should have seen him rewarded with some more free kicks.

Q4:

Sheldrick played a big role in securing the victory for Claremont in the final term, winning a lot of ball and generally using it well by foot, looking to spread the play wide to teammates or kick it long to a pack for his tall forwards to crash. What was arguably most impressive about his last term in particular was how he started to present as a marking option around the ground, providing smart leads that weren’t overly dangerous but helped Claremont get a more open ground. Sheldrick also started getting more rewarded for his tackles, earning a couple of free kicks with his repeat efforts through the middle of the ground.

Closing Thoughts:

Sheldrick has made a name for himself as one of the premiere draft-eligible inside midfielders from WA and showed exactly why in the first final of the WAFL Colts season. Whilst Sheldrick doesn’t play a particularly flashy game, his work-rate and courage in his approach lifts his team with him and keeps his side in the contest regardless of the score. It’s obvious that opposition consider him a danger with the amount of attention and work that gets put in to him, in an attempt to negate his impact around stoppages.

As we approach the AFL Draft, don’t be surprised to hear more and more about Sheldrick with reliability and consistency during an interrupted season two big ticks alongside his name.

Image Credit: Claremont FC

2021 WAFL Week 1 Finals preview: Hunt for premiership glory begins

WITH 18 home-and-away matches done and dusted the best five teams remain in the hunt for Western Australian Football League (WAFL) premiership glory. Minor premiers Subiaco will have a bye in the first week as second-placed South Fremantle and third-placed Claremont face-off, while West Perth hosts Swan Districts in an elimination final.

SOUTH FREMANTLE VS CLAREMONT

The two grand finalists from 2020 are back in the finals mix again with both teams securing the double chance. South Fremantle are chasing back-to-back premierships, while Claremont are looking to go one better than last season’s effort. Both sides enter the finals in form, with South Fremantle having won their last two matches of the season, and Claremont winning their last three games on the trot. If history is anything to go by this game should be a cracker, three of the last five meetings between these teams have been decided by under 10 points. Their most recent battle in Round 14 was a nail-biter, as the Bulldogs came away with a one-point victory.

There should be plenty of great matchups across the ground, starting in the middle where Jye Bolton has had a fantastic year for the Tigers amassing the third most touches in the league (averaging 30.3 per game), with teammate Bailey Rogers also prolific, averaging 27.8 disposals himself. For the Bulldogs, star player Jake Florenca has made a successful return from his ruptured Achilles tendon, which saw him miss last season’s premiership, averaging 30.3 disposals across the final three rounds. In his absence, Haiden Schloithe has also had a great year, averaging 25.6 disposals, and kicking 21 goals for the season.

South Fremantle will be boosted by the temporary release of Matthew Parker from Richmond, with the AFL club and WAFL allowing him to participate in South Fremantle’s finals run. Parker had averaged 20.4 disposals, 4.1 marks, and 1.0 goals per game, before he was selected with pick 10 in the mid-season rookie draft.

There will be plenty happening up forward with Bulldogs duo Mason Shaw (48.19) and Cody Ninyette (41.12) kicking plenty of goals this season, as well as Tigers stars Alexander Manuel (39.19), Jack Buller (30.17) and Isaac Barton (27.8). Shaw bagged five goals and Ninyette kicked four when the two sides met in Round 2, as Manuel kicked three goals to help set up the 16-point victory. In the Round 14 matchup, it was Barton who kicked three goals in the Tigers loss.

The Bulldogs will host the Tigers at the Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday at 2:40pm, with the winner to face Subiaco for a chance at the 2021 WAFL Grand Final, while the loser will have to face the winner of West Perth and Swan Districts.

WEST PERTH VS SWAN DISTRICTS

The Falcons come into this contest as the form team, winning eight of their last 10 matches to finish in fourth position, meaning they will host fifth-placed Swan Districts in an elimination final at Provident Financial Oval on Sunday at 2:40pm. The Swans will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak, after losses to fellow top-five teams Claremont and South Fremantle. They will also need to turn around their recent form against the Falcons, having lost the previous four encounters.

Rudy Riddoch kicked three goals against the Swans in the nine-point Round 6 win, and another three in the 46-point Round 11 win, while Shane Nelson also dominated both contests for the Falcons with 35 and 32 disposals respectively.

West Perth’s form is largely thanks to the midfield dominance Nelson and Aaron Black, and the prolific goal kicking form of big man Tyler Keitel. 2020 Best and Fairest winner Nelson has had another great season averaging 32.1 disposals per game in 2021, with Black right alongside him, averaging 31.2 disposals. These two have been setting it up for Keitel, who has kicked 64.33, winning the 2021 Bernie Naylor Medal. Keegan Knott (38.21) and Riddoch (25.9) were also beneficiaries of the midfielders’ work, kicking plenty of goals.

For the Swans, Frank Anderson, Jesse Turner, and Samuel Fisher have all averaged just over 25 disposals per game and will be pivotal in trying to limit the damage of Nelson and Black in the centre. Up forward, Jesse Palmer has been the main threat, kicking 31.27 for the season, while Brayden Noble has also been a target, booting 23.12 for the season. Big man Corey Gault might also prove to be an important factor in this contest, if he is cleared from concussion issues, having won the ruck battle on both occasions during the season. Gault recorded 26 disposals and 36 hit outs in Round 6, and 23 disposals and 37 hit outs in Round 11. The Swans will also look to dual AFL Premiership player Lewis Jetta to bring his big game experiences to help his teammates.

This game could go either way, with the West Perth attacking 50 shaping up to be a decisive factor in this match. The Falcons have had the third best attack this season, led by Keitel, while the Swans’ defence was the third best in the league, led by the experience of 263 game club champion Tony Notte. Whoever can win this battle may just win themselves a spot in next week’s final against the loser of South Fremantle and Claremont.

 

Picture credit: WAFL

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 22 – Claremont vs. Swan Districts

WAFL Colts minor premier Swan Districts earned a remarkable nine-point comeback victory over Claremont in Saturday morning’s top-of-the-table clash, proving the perfect sighter for finals. The Tigers lead at every break and dominated play in the first half, but two late goals in the second term gave the Swans a sniff. Having wrestled back some momentum but fallen even further back by three quarter time, Swans pounced in term four with five goals to one to cap off a stunning home-and-away campaign. We take a look at a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes, and take a look around the grounds.

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont 7.13 (55) def. by Swan Districts 9.10 (64)

Claremont:

#22 Sam Gilbey

One of the most promising West Australian bottom-agers, Gilbey returned a positive performance in just his sixth Colts game for the season. The 185cm defender boasts a few handy weapons, headlined by his penetrating left-foot kick. He hit targets over long distances both on the rebound and going inside attacking 50, weaponising that side of his game in addition to some handy intercept marks. Gilbey finished the game with 21 disposals (15 kicks), four marks and four inside 50s.

#29 Jahmal Stretch

While he only registered nine disposals, Stretch made a big impact on the contest with six tackles and 2.3 as Claremont’s most likely small forward. The National Combine invitee loves to leap at the ball and very nearly pulled in some eye-catching grabs, with his two marks for the day coming at full stretch overhead. The electric Halls Creek native also impacted at ground level, hitting the ball at pace and taking it cleanly, before dishing off to bring others into the play or manufacturing his own shots on goal. His majors came in the second and third term, and could easily have been more as he hit the post twice.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen

Stationed back in his usual key forward post, van Rooyen looked in ominous touch early on. He took a couple of marks inside 50 and began to cause a bit of panic for Swans defenders, attracting a holding free kick for his first goal. The 194cm bigman made it two in a term when he won a wrestle to mark one-on-one, converting another set shot. He would go on to work further up the ground and while his marking influence was quelled, van Rooyen contributed one-percenters like blocks on fast breaks, unrewarded chases, and plenty of follow-up pressure after flying for marks. A quiet second half saw him finish with two goals from seven disposals and four marks.

#36 Eric Benning

One who warmed to the contest and built his impact over time, Benning popped up with some nice moments as a ruck-forward rotation. He began to get his hitout game going in the second term, palming some nice balls down to his midfielders’ advantage and carrying that trend forward. The Fremantle NGA prospect also won his own clearances and a few of them ended up producing marks inside 50. Benning managed 12 disposals, 19 hitouts and six inside 50s for the day.

Others:

Midfield pair Jacquin Ciminata (26 disposals, eight inside 50s, one goal) and Kendyll Blurton (23, five, one) both helped Claremont get on top early with their momentum from the middle, while Arthur Jones (21 disposals, eight inside 50s) was dynamic on the outside. Kieran Kavanagh also got his hands dirty, as Max Mumme flashed forward and bottom-ager Luke Brown took a couple of nice grabs with his long reach.

Swan Districts:

#2 Max Chipper

The Swan Districts accumulator was at it again on Saturday, picking up an unassuming 26 disposals and six marks from the engine room. Chipper showcased his running capacity throughout the day as he often dropped back to help move the ball out of defence, proving neat with his disposal despite relaxing on a few kicks. His consistent output has been terrific on both sides of midfield this season.

#8 Elijah Hewett

Another impressive bottom-ager, Hewett made a genuine impact on the game with his work from midfield. The 182cm prospect has a mature built for his age and used every bit of it to power out of congestion, either with a turn of speed or by dishing off in tackles. He started brightly with nine touches in the first term and went on to collect 24 for the match, also adding a goal in term three. He could have had another in the fourth, but instead made his mark with his intent to move the ball on quickly even if his kicks did not always hit the target.

#20 Bryce Watson

The fast rising defender showcased some of his best traits off half-back once again, racking up a game-high 28 disposals (21 kicks) and five marks. Watson was constantly there to mop up the ground balls, but also set up rebounds by positioning for intercept marks and spoils in the air. He often remained calm under pressure and spun nicely out of trouble, kicking to advantage up the field when moving at pace. While he grubbed a couple of kicks, Watson won some key possessions and ensured plenty of play went through him out of the backline.

#32 Tyrell Metcalf

Swan Districts’ main source of goals throughout the season ended up being a match winner on Saturday, booting 2.3 from 13 disposals and seven marks – including the one to put his side in front. Both of Metcalf’s goals came from set shots and he had a great knack of getting free inside 50, but was also made to work up the ground with few looks in the first half. He could have ended up with a bag if not for some inaccuracy, as he constantly looked to make things happen. Metcalf may well miss some finals action after a very ordinary act at three quarter time, and a few undisciplined moments were the only real blights on an otherwise exciting performance.

#38 Darcy Jones

The zippy bottom-ager again produced some really productive spurts on the wing, speeding his way forward with sharp skills. Jones was dangerous on fast breaks, using his pace to burn opponents behind him, before baulking the ones in front and making something happen inside 50. He was clean at ground level and went on one particularly swift running bounce foray, which we are sure to see more of in future.

Others:

Along with Watson, Lawson Humphries proved a reliable rebounder with his 23 disposals and eight marks from defence, doing most of his work by foot. Ben Hewett notched 18 disposals from midfield, while Angus Laurisson (14 disposals, five marks) played a key role on van Rooyen in defence after quarter time. Elsewhere, Kobe Farmer formed a handy partnership with Metcalf up forward, and 2005-born talent Riley Hardeman popped up with some eye-catching moments off the wing.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Peel Thunder won out by 15 points against Subiaco in a battle between seventh and eighth, adding a consolation sixth win to their season tally. The Thunder trailed at the final break and had less of the ball overall, but created 51 inside 50s to 22 to overwhelm the Lions at the death. Michael Sellwood racked up a game-high 28 touches for the victors, while draft combine addition Luke Polson booted 2.2 from 17 touches. Bottom-ager Jacob Evitt was again productive for Subi, snaring a goal from his 22 touches.

An eight-goal to nil opening term set the tone for West Perth’s 102-point beatdown of Perth, who finished the season last at 0-16. The Falcons dominated with 126 more disposals and 31 more inside 50s, culminating in 32 scoring shots to five in the run-in to finals. Jack De Marte (30 disposals) lead all comers, while the likes of Darcy Dixon, Kane Bevan, Luke Michael, and Lochlan Paton were the other Falcons to find plenty of ball in an even team spread.

East Fremantle was another side to show ominous form on the eve of finals, besting fellow top five contender East Perth by 31 points. State Under 19s pair Josh Browne and Corey Warner both racked up over 30 touches, while recent draft combine additions Taj Woewodin and Josh Cripps each booted two goals in big performances. Promising tall Jack Williams also snared three goals for the Sharks. James Tunstill lead the Royals’ disposal count with 26 as Kade Dittmar managed 17, and Jye Amiss registered a steady 2.2 in the defeat.

Up the grades, Peel Thunder utility Brady Hough was exceptional on League debut with 22 disposals, nine marks and a goal playing off half-back and the wing. Over-age defender Jack Avery rounded out a solid season with Perth, while Jesse Motlop proved his worth in South Fremantle’s side ahead of finals with 2.2 from 13 disposals.

Image Credit: Swan Districts Football Club

2022 AFLW early look: West Coast

IN an early look at the upcoming AFL Women’s 2022 season, Draft Central checks out each of the 14 clubs over the next three weeks ahead of preseason commencing. Next up is West Coast, who finished 12th overall with two wins for the season, narrowly getting past Gold Coast (one point) and then smashing Geelong (39 points) to rightfully sit above those teams on the table.

LAST SEASON:

Position: 12th
Wins: 2
Losses: 7
Draws: 0
Points For: 229 (12th)
Points Against: 432 (13th)

West Coast managed to move the equivalent one spot higher than their 2020 Conference wooden spoon, walking away with a 12th placed finish in 2021. They had a number of talents continue their rise in tandem with the side, lead by young gun Mikayla Bowen who took out the club’s best and fairest award. After Hayley Bullas won the leading goalkicker award in 2020 with a measly two goals, Grace Kelly became a consistent source of scores with seven for the season, though the West Australian side will be looking for more in 2022 in order to rise up the ladder. Losing star midfielder Dana Hooker to injury certainly did not help the Eagles’ cause either.

OFF-SEASON:

Ins: Evie Gooch (Fremantle), Aimee Schmidt (GWS), Charlie Thomas (Subiaco), Courtney Rowley, Beth Schilling (Peel Thunder), Sarah Lakay (Swan Districts), Emily Bennett (Claremont)
Outs: Mhicca Carter, Beatrice Devlyn, McKenzie Dowrick, Brianna Green, Alicia Janz, Demi Liddle, Julie-Anne Norrish, Kate Orme, Chantella Perera, Katelyn Pope (delisted)

Inactive: Nil.

West Coast had plenty of list turnover through the AFLW Draft, with a focus on bringing in the most talented teenagers they could. Whilst the Dockers balanced between youth and experience for their draft selections, the Eagles went straight to replenish the youth, with a key focus on class and height, which were areas that the young West Australian side lacked throughout the 2021 AFLW season. They delisted 10 players at the end of the season, with a number of first-year experienced players amongst them. In the process, the Eagles picked up Dockers talent Evie Gooch to assist with some replenishment of experience, whilst the GIANTS’ Aimee Schmidt made the cross-county trip to run out with the blue and gold. Then, the Eagles headed to the draft with three of the first four selections, and wrapping up their picks midway through Fremantle’s draft haul, giving them best chance to select top-end talents. Despite only playing one game for the year, Subiaco’s Charlotte Thomas was plucked out with the Eagles’ first selection, and then was joined by fellow AFLW Academy member Courtney Rowley. Both provide class and skill around the ground, as well as crucial versatility. Tall timber Sarah Lakay and Beth Schilling are contested marking options and athletic players around the ground, while Emily Bennett is a tough defender with great natural footballing ability.

2022 TEAM LIST:

Ashlee Atkins
Emily Bennett
Mikayla Bowen
Tayla Bresland
Hayley Bullas
Imahra Cameron
Melissa Caulfield
Maddy Collier
Shanae Davison
Lauren Gauci
Kellie Gibson
Andrea Gilmore
Evie Gooch
Courtney Guard
Ashton Hill
Dana Hooker
Grace Kelly
Niamh Kelly
Sarah Lakay
Parris Laurie
Bella Lewis
Aisling McCarthy
Sophie McDonald
Courtney Rowley
Beth Schilling
Aimee Schmidt
Belinda Smith
Emma Swanson
Charlie Thomas
Amber Ward

KEY QUESTIONS:

  • How much can the elite youth drive the Eagles up the ladder in 2022?
  • How will West Coast limit the opposition from scoring moreso than last season?
  • Where will Courtney Rowley be utilised? Inside, outside or on a flank at either end?

PREDICTION:

West Coast are still a little way off competing for an AFLW flag, but are on the right track and the youth the Eagles have assembled over the last few years will be ready to stand up against quality opposition more and more. If they can reduce the damage and apply more potency on the scoreboard in 2022, then they will provide hope for future seasons. The Eagles should be an exciting team, lead by the five first-year teenagers walking into the club who will immediately provide a boost for the West Australian team.

Picture credit: (Retrieved from) West Coast FC

2021 WAFL Colts: Round 21 weekend wrap

THE 2021 WAFL Colts top five has been locked in after Round 21 went down this past weekend, with Swan Districts officially crowned minor premier. East Perth secured third, while East Fremantle moved clear of West Perth in fourth with just one round of regular season fixtures to play out. After their National Championships dig on Saturday, state Under 19 squad members are also due to return. We recap all the action and outstanding performances in our weekly wrap.

>> Scouting Notes: WA vs. SA U19s

PEEL THUNDER 3.6 | 4.14 | 6.18 | 10.22 (82)
PERTH 2.0 | 2.1 | 4.1 | 7.2 (44)

Peel Thunder will play off for seventh spot against Subiaco next week, after jumping the Lions with a 38-point win over Perth on Friday night. The hosts posted a whopping 32 scoring shots to nine from 29 more inside 50s, running rampant with double Perth’s amount of handballs. After the 10.22 (82) to 7.2 (44) loss, the Demons are one more defeat away from a winless home-and-away campaign.

Luke Polson was a force to be reckoned back in his usual forward post, registering 3.6 from his 15 disposals and seven marks. Michael Sellwood lead all comers with 23 touches while also laying 14 tackles, as Ethan Donaghy (20 disposals, eight inside 50s) was another who got to work for the victors. Elsewhere, smalls Byron Finch and Scott Tuia proved productive, while bottom-age big man Jackson Broadbent returned to the grade after his three-game League venture.

GOALS:

Peel: L. Polson 3, T. Salter 2, J. Klepzig, B. Finch, J. Rush, J. Draper, J. Broadbent
Perth: D. Hill, A. Luers, J. Evans, L. Hodge, H. Quartermaine, M. Hall, J. Robeson

EAST PERTH 1.5 | 4.9 | 6.11 | 10.16 (76)
SUBIACO 1.1 | 1.3 | 2.7 | 3.7 (25)

East Perth secured third place on Saturday morning with a 51-point thumping of Subiaco, seeing the Lions fall to eighth. The Royals made better of possession, producing 16 more scoring shots from just four more inside 50s and while inaccurate at times, they came home strongly with four goals to one in term four. With one round left to play, East Perth needs to make up six per cent and hope Claremont loses to claim second spot.

Kalani Brooks was once again outstanding for the Royals, amassing a game-high 28 disposals, nine marks and two behinds in his side’s victory. Meanwhile, the likes of Jayden Peak (22 disposals) and Oscar Armstrong (21, one goal) extended their consistent runs of form in black and blue. For Subiaco, speedy small Richard Farmer proved a handy addition with his team-high 26 touches, seven inside 50s, and 1.3.

GOALS:

East Perth: W. Cassidy 2, B. Cubahiro 2, O. Armstrong, T. Graham, J. Chadwick, M. Miller, K. Harbour, M. Williams
Subiaco: R. Farmer, C. Woodley, L. Kentfield

EAST FREMANTLE 1.3 | 3.4 | 3.10 | 7.15 (57)
WEST PERTH 1.3 | 3.5 | 4.5 | 5.6 (36)

East Fremantle nabbed a crucial 21-point win over finals rivals West Perth on Saturday, moving a game clear of the Falcons in fourth with both sides now locked into the top five. West Perth lead by a point at the second and third breaks, but the hosts kicked away with 4.5 to 1.1 in the final quarter to finish with double the amount of scoring shots, and give Shark Park the right kind of send-off.

In-form tall Josh Cripps had another big outing for East Fremantle, snaring three goals from 20 touches as fellow forward Kobe McMillan managed 1.3 from his seven marks. In midfield, Joel Baverstock (34 disposals, six inside 50s) took on the primary ball winning role, while Rory Williams and Samuel Emery also got stuck in. Jasper Scaife matched Cripps with three majors for West Perth, while fellow bottom-agers Griff Julian (28 disposals, 11 marks), Kane Bevan (24 disposals, 11 marks), and Luke Michael (14 disposals, eight marks) stood tall.

GOALS:

East Fremantle: J. Cripps 3, R. Bartlett, S. Otto, K. McMillan, T. Foss
West Perth: J. Scaife 3, L. Reilly, C. Blackburn

SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.0 | 3.3 | 5.4 | 6.7 (43)
SWAN DISTRICTS 4.3 | 7.6 | 11.9 | 15.12 (102)

Minor premier Swan Districts again flexed its muscle on the eve of finals, notching a comprehensive 59-point win over South Fremantle on the road. Swans remarkably had less of the ball but made better use of it in advanced territory, requiring an average of just 9.6 disposals per scoring shot. While the victors are two games clear in top spot, South Fremantle ended its season with four-straight losses and will narrowly miss out on finals with a bye next week.

There were plenty of big performances for Swans, lead by the likes of Elijah Hewett (28 disposals, nine inside 50s, 3.2) and Tyrell Metcalf (15 disposals, 4.4). Noah Hannan and Ben Hewett were others to post good numbers, with state squad talent still to come back into the side. Caleb Stephens again put in a shift as the only Bulldog to notch over 20 touches, racking up 33 and seven inside 50s. Mitch Brown also fared well in just his second game back from injury, managing 18 disposals and seven marks.

GOALS:

South Fremantle: C. Stephens, C. Turnbull, J. Hulten, T. Regan, T. Piazzola
Swan Districts: T. Metcalf 4, E. Hewett 3, T Burgess 2, A. Clark, B. Hewett, E. Kane, K. McPartlan, D. Jones, R. Hardeman

Featured Image: East Fremantle’s Ed Curley gets a kick away | Credit: Pixell Photography via East Fremantle FC

Western Australia claims big win over South Australia in champs opener

WESTERN Australia has opened its 2021 AFL Under 19 Championships title defence with a commanding 29-point win over South Australia. Playing in front of a home crowd, the Sandgropers took control in the opening three quarters to blow the lead out to 43 points at the final break – though it should have been more with an 8.12 scoreline – before the visitors hit back with three goals to one in the fourth term, cutting the final margin back, 9.13 (67) to 5.8 (38).

Western Australia started strongly, denying South Australia any easy movement down the ground, and then found open space and runners when they had the chance. Within 12 minutes the home side had three goals on the board, and whilst not always perfect going inside 50, luck proved a fortune and the work rate was overwhelming.

After an early behind, Jye Amiss became the first goalkicker in the 2021 AFL Under 19 Championships, winning a free kick straight in front of goal and making no mistake. Less than 90 seconds later small forward Jesse Motlop pounced at ground level to extend the lead. Not a few minutes had passed and Brady Hough was legged as he went to pick up the ball inside 50, winning the free kick and nailing the set shot.

It took a while for South Australia to mount a threat going forward, with the best passage of play coming in the 16th minute mark of the term. It ended with Lucas Cooke who had a tight shot from the boundary line, but sprayed it out on the full. Jack Williams had a chance up the other end after a juggling contested mark inside 50, but also missed. A couple more chances went awry for South Australia with number one pick potential Jason Horne-Francis having some nice passages inside 50 with strong marks after a quiet start, but the likes of Jacob Van Rooyen stopped them in their tracks to help Western Australia to an 18-point lead.

Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera and Mani Liddy were among the most lively for the visitors in the opening term, with Matthew Johnson, Angus Sheldrick and James Tunstill all among the better players for the Sandgropers.

The second term was more even with some end-to-end plays occurring early. East Perth’s Ethan Regan found his teammate in Amiss leading out with speed, and whilst the forward would miss this opportunity, he would convert a ripper later in the term. Instead 50m penalties would start to creep in with encroachments as Rhett Bazzo was the beneficiary first, but his set shot went to the left. Though the turnovers from South Australia out of defence were hurting, and eventually the home team drew a free kick inside 50 to Kade Dittmar who kicked their fourth consecutive goal to start the match.

It took another 50m penalty for South Australia to get on the board, this time off the boot of Glenelg’s Hugh Stagg who slotted through the visitor’s first about 10 minutes into the second term. South Australia had a lot more time in its forward half for the second term, but the likes of Bazzo and Van Rooyen were denying them time and time again with intercept marks or rushed behinds, saving certain goals. Matty Roberts was having a huge quarter, and in the end, another 50m penalty after a delayed tackle following a mark saw the South Adelaide teenager moved within range, and kicking a goal from just inside the arc.

The home team was far from done, with Amiss keeping up his undefeated streak of multiple goals in every game he has played this year, producing easily the goal of the day from the boundary home to slot the Sandgropers’ fifth of the contest. Whilst South Australia had a couple of inside 50s late, they could not find a target nor stop the fist of Bazzo on the line, leaving West Australia in front, 5.6 (36) to 2.5 (17) at half-time. Morgan Ferres and Max Litster were others who had impressed through the first half for the visitors, though to no avail with the West Australian midfield on top.

The third term was all Western Australia despite a slow start, and realistically should have capitalised even further than their three goals on the board. Ruck Jack South continued his solid first half with a prominent few touches in the opening few minutes, leading the way for the Sandgropers to get some early inside 50s. The armwrestle ensued with the visitors kicking out of defence again questionable. It was Hough who won a free kick courtesy of a downfield late bump, and he nailed a beautiful set shot from close to the boundary seven minutes in.

A rare forward foray showed off Horne-Francis’ class with a pinpoint bullet past three opponents into the leading Stagg’s arms, but Stagg could not finish it off. It would be the South Australia’s only real shot on goal as the term belonged to the home team. Not making them pay, Western Australia’s Judd McVee, Corey Warner and Williams had gettable chances whilst it would be Regan who from 50m launched and put it home for his side’s second 16 minutes into the quarter. He almost gave off a goal assist a minute later with clean hands to Hough for his third, but the Peel Thunder forward rushed in front of goal.

When Williams nudged his opponent under the ball in the final 30 seconds, the key forward was keen to atone for his straight in front shank minutes earlier. This time he was further out and kicking through the ball, he never looked like missing, sinking the shot after the siren to hand his team a 43-point lead at the final break.

South Australia started South Adelaide midfielders Horne-Francis and Arlo Draper forward, and it was the latter who took a strong mark and slotted a goal 90 seconds in to kick the Croweaters’ first since the second term. Meanwhile in the middle, Liddy was finding plenty of it going in hard. The West Australians maintaining the pressure forward, working hard and had a flying shot from Amiss who missed.

Both teams were playing possession football and the likes of Jase Burgoyne and Lewis Rayson were trying to create some movement going forward, while Horne-Francis attempted mark of the year flying above a couple of opponents but misjudging the flight. Luckily for the visitors the kick out of defence was poor and subsequent tackle on Draper resulted in another set shot for the South midfielder, though this time he missed. Moments later though Horne-Francis was held going for the mark and he slotted a goal in the 14th minute.

Western Australia finally got on the score 16 minutes into the term with a long kick in from Bazzo landing with Hough at ground level who quickly dribbled towards goal but hit the post. At the other end, Draper was again lively in the forward pocket, instead of taking the set shot chipped in to Cooke who tried to snap from the behind post but just missed. Soon the visitors would kick a third consolation goal as Zac Becker ran into an open goal to cut the deficit to four goals.

Liddy almost joined that consolation party with a flying shot from 50m but just missed. Western Australia went end-to-end and while the South Australian defence managed to win it back, a poor kick in the back pocket proved fatal. This time it was Lochlan Paton who intercepted and kicked it straight over the umpire’s head. That would prove to be the final goal of the day, with Western Australia getting up by 29 points, 9.13 (67) to 5.8 (38).

Bazzo was outstanding for Western Australia in defence, teaming up well with Van Rooyen in both intercepting and providing offensive dash, whilst the midfield took control against its higher-fancied opposition, with Johnson, Tunstill and Sheldrick all busy. Up forward, the potency of Williams, Hough and Amiss proved too much for the South Australian defence, with Wanganeen-Milera a rare highlight back there with slick skills amongst some errant disposal. Liddy and Roberts also pushed hard through midfield, whilst Ferres constantly provided an option leading out of the forward 50.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA 3.2 | 5.6 | 8.12 | 9.13 (67)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 0.2 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 5.8 (38)

GOALS:

WA: J. Amiss 2, B. Hough 2, J Motlop, K. Dittmar, E. Regan, J. Williams, L. Paton.
SA: H. Stagg, M. Roberts, A. Draper, J. Horne-Francis, Z. Becker.

DC BEST:

WA: R. Bazzo, J. Van Rooyen, M. Johnson, J. Tunstill, J. Amiss, B. Hough
SA: N. Wanganeen-Milera, M. Liddy, M. Roberts, M. Ferres, M. Litser, J. Burgoyne

Picture credit: SANFL Twitter

State leagues wrap: Teams searching for form ahead of SANFL, TSL and WAFL finals

IT was another week with no games in the VFL or QAFL as COVID-19 restrictions continue to stop footy being played. Nevertheless, we were treated to big wins, small wins, upset wins and plenty of goals across the SANFL, TSL and WAFL action over the weekend. We recap everything that happened in this week’s state league wrap.

 

South Australia (SANFL):

The SANFL was full of big winners and big losers over the weekend, with all games decided by four or more goals, including three 50-plus point defeats.

The closest game of the round was Sturt’s 24-point win over Port Adelaide, but the Double Blues had dominated the match from early on leading by six goals at half-time. Anzac Lochowiak kicked four goals for the game, while James Battersby (27 disposals) and Casey Voss (24 disposals) found the footy. Port’s AFL listed players Jarrod Lienert (33 disposals, 1 goal) and Sam Powell-Pepper (30 disposals, 10 clearances, eight tackles) will be looking for a recall into the senior team with finals approaching, alongside Steven Motlop (20 disposals) and Boyd Woodcock (2 goals). The win keeps Sturt in the finals hunt with only one win separating them and a place in the top five.

Norwood 9.15 (69) got the job done over West Adelaide 6.4 (40) in a game that had some outrageous tackle numbers. The Redlegs had 113 tackles to the Bloods’ 109. Jacob Kennerley (17 tackles) and Patrick Fairlie (14 tackles) led the way for their teams with seven players recording 10 or more for the match. Declan Hamilton (31 disposals) found plenty of the footy for the Redlegs and Thomas Murphy (26 disposals) had the most for the Bloods.

In other games, Glenelg continued its unbeaten run with a 54-point win over Central Districts. There were goals galore for Liam McBean who booted seven majors, and Marlon Motlop who snagged four of his own. Daniel Menzel (four) and Tyson Stengle (three) kicked seven between them for Woodville-West Torrens, while Kai Pudney (34 disposals) found plenty of it in their 17.13 (115) to 8.2 (50) win over Adelaide. James Rowe amassed 35 disposals for the Crows and put his hand up for selection for the final AFL round next week.

North Adelaide defeated fellow top five side South Adelaide by 58 points to make it six wins on the trot. Roosters forward Aaron Young kicked four goals, while Campbell Combe (34 disposals) did battle with Panthers duo Joseph Haines (40 disposals) and Bryce Gibbs (33 disposals) in the middle.

 

Tasmania (TSL):

Clarence climbed into third spot after a stunning two-point victory over Launceston. Ex-Lion and Bomber Josh Green and Tasmanian Devils young gun Baker Smith both slotted three goals in the victory which was a nail biter right up to the final siren. Clarence led at every break, with the Blues always just behind. Cody Thorp booted five goals for the match, but the Blues will be ruing their inaccurate final term, kicking 2.5, which saw them succumb to just their second loss of the season.

Elsewhere, another young Devil put on a show, with Will Splann kicking five majors for North Hobart in their second win of the year, defeating Glenorchy on their home turf. While the Demons can’t move from last place, the loss for the Magpies all but ensures they will finish in second last position with just one home and away game to come.

Meanwhile, a stunning nine goals to one final term from North Launceston saw them come away with a 38-point win over the Tigers. After a big start to the second half from the Tigers, where they overturned a 20-point deficit to lead by 10 points at three quarter time, the Northern Bombers put their foot down and took control of the match in the final quarter. Bradley Cox-Goodyer was one of 10 goal kickers for the Northern Bombers, and led with three goals, while Marcus Gardner also kicked three for the Tigers.

 

Western Australia (WAFL):

Round 19 action consisted of four games, three in which were big margins, while one game saw second-last Perth give third-placed Claremont a real run for their money, with the Tigers just holding off a Demons last quarter comeback. Jye Bolton booted three goals for the match including the sealer late in the fourth quarter. Teammate Timm House also kicked three goals, while Bailey Rogers (31 disposals) and Ben Edwards (30 disposals) racked up plenty of the ball. For Perth, Jack Richardson, Kristian Cary, and Brent Edmonds each kicked two majors, with Austin Davis collecting the most touches (26) and Cary also laying a match high 12 tackles.

East Fremantle pulled off a stunning victory against league leaders Subiaco, winning the contest by 44 points. After starting the game as the better side Subiaco led by 14 points at the main break, before the Sharks stunned everyone in the third term putting up seven goals to none. They didn’t stop the onslaught winning the final quarter five goals to three. Jonathan Marsh played a starring role kicking three goals and having 27 touches, while Hugh Dixon also added three goals. Subiaco’s Lachlan Delahunty led all comers collecting 32 disposals for the match.

In other results, West Perth dominated the West Coast, led by Tyson Keitel kicking seven goals and Shane Nelson (41 disposals), Aaron Black (39 disposals) and Tristan Hobley (30 disposals) winning the footy at will. Brayden Ainswroth (30 disposals), Hamish Brayshaw (28 disposals) and Jarrod Brander (27 disposals) all played well for the Eagles, but they were outclassed, with the Falcons winning 16.10 (106) to 5.5 (35). The other match saw Swan Districts come out 41-point winners over East Perth with Aidan Clarke slotting four goals for the Swans and Royals players Rohan Kerr and Angus Scott collecting the most touches on the ground with 32 each.

Picture credit: Jack Foley via WAFL Twitter

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 18 – Claremont vs. Subiaco

CLAREMONT extended its WAFL Colts winning streak to nine games in Round 18, after thumping an undermanned Subiaco to the tune of 68 points at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday morning. The Tigers were in ominous form from the first bounce, and all but wrapped up the result by half time having poured on 17 scoring shots to set up a remarkable 52-1 lead at the main break.

Subiaco fought to make for a more competitive game thereafter, booting two goals in each of the closing terms with the Lions’ first majors coming at nearly 15 minutes into the third quarter. The percentage-booster sees Claremont sit pretty in second with a game to both first and third, while Subiaco’s premiership defence may require swift saving as the Lions are currently poised in seventh after three-straight losses.

We take a look at a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes, and go around the grounds with some of the other outstanding Colts performances out of Round 18.

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont 13.16 (94) def. Subiaco 4.2 (26)

Claremont:

#27 Angus Sheldrick

Having played a starring role in Western Australia’s Under 19 trial games, Sheldrick transferred that form into his latest Colts outing. The strong-bodied midfielder was typically prominent at the coalface, cracking in to win his own ball and making repeat efforts in tight scrambles. He found plenty of the pill and complemented his inside game well by finding a bit of green ball on the outer, bursting forward and delivering punchy kicks into attack. While his execution was sometimes inconsistent, you couldn’t fault Sheldrick’s work rate as he collected a game-high 28 disposals.

#29 Jahmal Stretch

Another who really boosted his stocks in representative colours, Stretch plays the small forward role so well. He again proved a dynamic part of Claremont’s balanced front six, creating a wealth of opportunities and diverse avenues to goal. His forward pressure caused spills and chaos around goal, his speed off the mark saw him get off the leash when leading, and his evasiveness caused plenty of headaches for Subiaco’s defence. Stretch also poses a marking threat with his leap, and nabbed his lone goal of the game by lurking at the back of a contest and judging the ball well to mark overhead in the goalsquare. He had a couple of long-range set shots fall short and was unselfish enough to give a couple off, too.

#32 Jacob van Rooyen

After a foray to defence while pressing his claims in the state squad, van Rooyen looked back to his ominous best up forward on Saturday. The bullocking key position prospect was an imposing force in the early stages, launching himself into marking contests and taking opponents with him. His strength drew panic from defenders in one-on-one situations, where van Rooyen would protect the drop zone and take marks despite being fouled from every angle. At ground level, he made things happen with punishing tackles and fend-offs, bullying the undermanned opposition at times. After attending a single centre bounce and working well up the ground, van Rooyen was stationed deeper to cap a fine game which yielded 22 disposals, nine marks, and six goals. He looks far too developed to be playing Colts footy, at least when he shows this sort of form and confidence.

#35 Luke Brown

From a matured tall prospect to one with plenty of development left, Brown continues to show glimpses of his potential. The raw 199cm talent rotated between the ruck and key forward posts on Saturday and earned plenty of chances to impress with his 10 disposals, five hit-outs and four scoring shots. While the bottom-ager snapped home a terrific goal in the second term, he put another three chances wide and showed his rawness with a couple of dropped marks inside attacking 50. But with his height, reach and overall upside as a tall, Brown still has plenty of time to fill out and refine his skills at the WAFL Colts grade.

#36 Eric Benning

Playing almost exclusively as a key forward this time out, Benning was on fire with four goals and arguably the best highlights package of anyone afield. He looked unbelievably confident, proving difficult to spot on the lead and plying his trade both in the air and at ground level. The Fremantle NGA prospect presented strongly inside 50 and got separation with his turn of speed, while using that same trait to apply good forward pressure. His best goal came after smothering a kick-in before mopping up and snapping home, but Benning also finished from the pocket and via a 45m set shot. He made good on terrific service and has shown a steep rate of development in recent weeks to give the Dockers – and other recruitment teams – something to think about.

Subiaco:

#12 Jacob Evitt

Arguably Subiaco’s best and most damaging player on a tough day, Evitt produced a good amount of drive from midfield. The bottom-ager is built well for a smaller prospect and showcased his handy turn of speed, helping the Lions move to the outer and break forward with intent. Evitt backed his pace and was able to generate more run as the game wore on, while also hitting the scoreboard with two excellent second half goals. His first major came on the back of pure gut running, as the 17-year-old streamed through midfield to deliver a long kick forward, before getting the ball back and slotting it home from just inside 50. His second was converted closer to the big sticks, as he crumbed a long ball to the hot spot and snapped through on his left foot.

#21 Jed Kemp

Kemp was up against it given Claremont’s depth and strength in midfield, but did well to finish the game as his side’s most consistent ball winner with 27 disposals. He worked into the game but was made to think quickly, bombing clearing balls forward and flicking away handballs under heavy pressure at the contest. His best moments came in the final term; finding a bit of space and showing poise to hit Evitt inside 50, before staying down as Claremont defenders flew to swoop on the ground ball and nab a goal late in the piece.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Swan Districts continues to soar atop the WAFL Colts ladder after defeating Peel Thunder by 38 points, proving more productive forward of centre with double the scoring shots in a 12.14 (86) to 7.6 (48) victory. After streaming ahead with eight goals to one in the first half, they proved too good to topple thereafter.

Max Chipper was back to his accumulating best with 39 disposals and eight marks for the Swans, as Noah Hannan also ticked up over 30 touches to go with six marks and five inside 50s. Tyrell Metcalf snared three goals for the second week running, while in-form midfielder Ben Hewett managed two. State Under 19s defender Rhett Bazzo showcased his aerial game with eight marks.

Joel Rush was Peel’s sole multiple goalkicker with two, as the likes of Scott Tuia and Byron Finch also hit the scoreboard to complement their 20 disposals apiece. State Under 19s utility Brady Hough notched a team-high 33 touches, while Luke Polson found it 13 times after making his League debut last week.

East Fremantle moved up into fourth place with a crucial win over South Fremantle, leading at every break in the 50-point triumph. The Sharks were served well by returning stars; namely Taj Woewodin (25 disposals, six inside 50s), Jed Hagan (20 disposals, one goal) and Jack Williams (17 disposals, seven marks, 5.3). Joshua Cripps, the brother of Carlton’s Patrick, was also prominent with 23 touches and three goals. For South, Chase Bourne and Caleb Stephens flew the flag as the only Bulldogs to register over 20 disposals.

Meanwhile, East Perth consolidated its standing in third with a 91-point thumping of Perth. Midfielders Oscar Armstrong and Kade Dittmar both snared two goals from over 20 disposals each, but Royals spearhead Jye Amiss was the star of the show. The rising key forward booted six majors from 18 disposals and 11 marks, bringing his season goal tally up to 47 from 11 games. On a tough day for the winless Demons, no player registered over 13 possessions.

Plenty of prospects were also away on PSA duties, while a few also played up the grades. Perth’s Jack Avery continued his good form with 20 disposals and six marks in Perth’s League loss to East Perth, while bigman Jake South (13 disposals, 14 hit-outs) and highly-touted midfielder Matthew Johnson (seven disposals) suited up for Subiaco’s reserves in a 28-point loss to Claremont.

Image Credit: Claremont Football Club