Category: East Perth

WAFL Colts Player Focus: James Tunstill (East Perth)

EAST PERTH midfielder James Tunstill has enjoyed a solid season at WAFL Colts level, earning selection in the West Australian Under 19’s State Squad and seeing his side finish top three at season’s end. Tunstill has made a name for himself as a hard working midfielder capable of breaking opposition lines with his carry and kicking.

In Saturday’s do-or-die final against East Fremantle, Tunstill stood up to be a major ball winner in the Royals’ midfield, with East Perth bull Kade Dittmar a late exclusion. Unfortunately despite his best efforts, the Royals lost and bowed out of finals. We put Tunstill’s performance under the Player Focus microscope this week, breaking down his game quarter-by-quarter.

POCKET PROFILE

James Tunstill
East Perth/Western Australia

DOB: 18/07/2003 (18-years-old)
Height: 185cm
Weight:
76kg

Position: Midfielder

2021 Averages:
WAFL Colts (15 games)

21.6 disposals | 14.3 kicks | 7.3 handballs | 3.3 marks | 3.2 tackles | 4.9 inside 50s | 0.4 goals (6 total)

Source: WAFL

2021 WAFL Colts, Semi Final | East Perth 5.6 (36) def. by East Fremantle 7.11 (53)

#11 James Tunstill (East Perth)

Stats: 23 disposals (19 kicks, 4 handballs), 6 marks, 5 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 1 behind

Q1

Starting in his usual on-ball role, Tunstill wasted no time getting involved in the contest and made his presence known in the opening minutes. At the first bounce, Tunstill quickly pressured the kick from the opposition ruck who had won the clearance, and followed up to pressure the opponent that won it on the back of the square. The ball worked its way to the half-back flank for a stoppage, where Tunstill ran into a great spot along the boundary, winning first possession and kicking it down the line just as he was bumped over the boundary.

With the Royals having a lot of ball in their forward half Tunstill, became a key part of his side’s movement inside 50. His first real involvement was a smart lead for his teammate who had taken an intercept mark, where he followed up by wheeling around and putting a bullet-like kick onto the chest of Ethan Regan on a slight angle. Another key opportunity came as Tunstill worked forward from a stoppage and provided a lead when his teammates got it out in space, taking the mark well and continuing to run before kicking forward under pressure with the ball placed perfectly for his forward who unfortunately couldn’t hold the mark.

Tunstill’s work rate was highlighted in the opening quarter, as he worked back to be an outlet option from defensive 50 and joined in on tackles with his teammates to lock the ball in. With such acts, it felt like he was everywhere the ball was when he was on the field. Tunstill did rush his kicks forward at times when under pressure, but overall used it well and gave his teammates the best opportunity to take a mark.

Q2

After a solid first quarter, Tunstill worked into the game more in the second, finding himself more involved around contests as he started positioning well to receive handballs out the back of packs. Tunstill showed good composure when he received these handballs out the back, not flinching with oncoming traffic and generally using it well to keep the ball moving forward.

One particular moment highlighted this best in the defensive 50, where Tunstill received the handball out the back and had his kick smothered, but immediately followed up to win the contested ball at ground level, before quickly firing out a handball wide to a teammate in space. He had a couple of impressive kicks in the back half that helped open up the ground going forward for the Royals, and generally worked hard to be an option for his teammates. Tunstill laid an impressive tackle towards the end of the quarter, running from 20 meters away to close down an opponent, launching himself and grabbing hold to stop an East Fremantle counter attack.

Tunstill had an opportunity on goal that he perhaps would have liked another go at in the second quarter, managing to hold a one-on-two contested mark above his head as both opponents tried to knock him off balance, but deciding to try and play on to snap around the corner rather than take a set shot. The effort ended up going through for a minor score.

Q3

Starting the second half well, Tunstill won the first clearance of the third quarter, running straight through to grab the ball out of the air and kick forward in an unusual manner. He continued to position well around contests but wasn’t used as much as many of his teammates opted to kick long forward when under pressure, although when he was used Tunstill ran well and kicked smartly for teammates to mark.

Tunstill seemed more comfortable with contact in the third term as well, with one play mid-way through the quarter seeing him get onto the end of a handball and jump into oncoming contact, keeping his arms free and firing out a handball to a teammate in space who was able to kick long inside 50. To go with this, Tunstill competed for everything he could, whether it was at ground level or in the air, putting himself in front of leading players or throwing himself on the ground to create a contest.

Tunstill’s ball use seemed to improve in the third quarter as well, notably when out in space or allowed to run a few steps to steady himself. Tunstill would put piercing kicks in the arms of his teammates, giving them every advantage he could to hold the mark.

Q4

As East Fremantle began to overrun East Perth, opportunities to impact became more limited for the Royals. What Tunstill did continually well was display his work rate and do his best to pressure opponents if he couldn’t lay a tackle. Tunstill still had some impressive moments with ball in hand; the most impressive coming later in the quarter where he received a handball in defensive 50 and went for a run up the wing, taking a couple of bounces whilst getting away from opponents, then kicking to a contest due to limited options up the ground.

Closing thoughts…

Whilst the game didn’t end how Tunstill would’ve wanted from a team perspective, he put in a really good all-round game where his work rate and courage were well highlighted. It wasn’t just his work rate to get from contest to contest that was impressive, Tunstill ran hard defensively to lay tackles or apply pressure on opponents not even in his area, causing multiple stoppages throughout the game. Whilst he is prone to rushing kicks when under pressure or in traffic, Tunstill’s ball use is typically solid, with his ability to keep his hands free and handball whilst being tackled a highlight, and his kicking on the run also really strong.

Image Credit: Pixell Photography via East Fremantle FC

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

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

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 19 – Swan Districts vs. East Perth

SWAN Districts stamped its authority as 2021’s leading WAFL Colts side, defeating the third-ranked East Perth by 34 points in a fiery affair on Saturday morning. The Swans broke away early in the third term and never looked back, as the Royals struggled to find any fluency with ball in hand and suffered their second loss in three outings, 11.9 (75) to 5.11 (41). 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 19.

SCOUTING NOTES

Swan Districts 11.9 (75) def. East Perth 5.11 (41)

Swan Districts:

#2 Max Chipper

The Swan Districts accumulator did exactly that on the weekend, racking up a game-high 35 disposals and five inside 50s as a mainstay in his side’s midfield. Chipper found plenty of the ball both at the contest and around the ground, disposing of it quickly with either sharp handballs or clearing kicks. The latter method proved a touch less effective, with many of Chipper’s 20 kicks dumped away under pressure, but he was much cleaner by hand and notched some repeat possessions that way.

#10 Ben Hewett

Another Swans midfielder who had no trouble finding the ball, Hewett also leant on his work-rate to sneak forward and hit the scoreboard. He claimed possession in all parts of the ground en route to collecting 23 disposals, 11 marks and two goals, and could even have snared a couple more majors. His two six-pointers came via set shots after half time; with the first a 40m attempt after streaming forward to create an option inside 50, while the second was converted much closer to goal after sneaking in front of the forming pack to take an easy mark.

#32 Tyrell Metcalf

Setting the play alight with each touch, Metcalf showcased his mix of speed and skill for the Swans. He often worked up the ground and hurt East Perth on the way back with his run-and-carry, selling candy and hitting leading targets along the way. The poise to make good decisions and execute his kicks at speed was good to see, meaning his dancing feet would produce substance along with the obvious flair. Speaking of, Metcalf also snared two goals – both with clean takes and classy snaps on the move inside 50.

#38 Darcy Jones

The bite-sized small midfielder was stationed out on the wing for Swan Districts and despite his 173cm standing, wasn’t afraid to get involved off the contest. Jones’ speed and creativity were his most outstanding features on the day, as he blitzed past opponents with confidence and kicked Swan Districts into attack. The bottom-ager is hard to miss in his helmet, but also caught the eye with a couple of terrific goals. His first came in the second quarter, finished with a left-foot snap after baulking and blind turning his bewildered opponents. The second came in term four, as he again used his pace on the move inside 50 and slotted home with aplomb. Jones showed a great mix of flair, toughness, and smarts while collecting 25 disposals, six marks, and five inside 50s.

#45 Riley Hardeman

The 2005-born prospect produced plenty of promising glimpses out on the opposite wing to his fellow Under 17 state squad member in Jones, boasting similar speed on the outer. He rode the bumps well and wasn’t afraid to back his pace when given the opportunity, providing a bit of spark for the Swans. Hardeman was instrumental in his side’s third term breakaway, booting two goals in quick succession to put a heap of pressure on East Perth. His first 10 minutes of said quarter were terrific, and perhaps a good sign what’s to come.

Others:

Swan Districts had contributors all around the ground, starting with a few notable performances in defence. Cian Ehlers took on one of the competition’s toughest assignments in manning Royals spearhead Jye Amiss and fared exceptionally well, keeping him to two goals while forcing him to work further afield. Bryce Watson (16 disposals) and Lawson Humphries (15) got to work on the rebound, while Noah Hannan proved busy with 24 touches in midfield. Up forward, Braydon Fawcett was a handful for defenders with his pace and pressure, laying a game-high nine tackles.

East Perth:

#7 Jye Amiss

Even on a tough day at the office, Amiss added to his competition-leading goal tally with two majors from 10 disposals and six marks. Swans did their homework on him, but despite a combination of poor delivery and heavy opposition attention, the key forward had his moments. He was forced to work further afield and took a few strong contested marks, before finally finding the goals in term three. He finished nicely with a checkside as the ball broke deep, and later converted a 35m set shot on the end of some nice ball movement to cap off what would have been a frustrating outing for the prolific goalkicker.

#11 James Tunstill

Tunstill took a bit of time to get going but became one of East Perth’s more reliable ball winners at the source as the game wore on. The state Under 19 squad member finished with 16 disposals, four inside 50s and a goal, contributing some strong work around the ball. He stood up in a couple of spells during the first and second terms, with the latter patch ending in a terrific long goal after the half time siren which kept the Royals in with a fighting chance.

#34 Jedd Busslinger

Another bottom-ager and one with a name you’ll unlikely forget any time soon, Busslinger was far and away the most assured East Perth defender afield. He was particularly prominent during the first half, positioning well to intercept and spare the Royals’ blushes on the last line of defence. He showcased good strength and instincts in contested situations, winning the ball back shrewdly before making good decisions with ball in hand. Busslinger’s poise and assuredness among a besieged backline were impressive, and he kept his side in the contest under early pressure.

Others:

East Perth may not have made great use of the ball in general, but had a few players who had little trouble finding it. Kalani Brooks stood up with a team-high 22 touches and six inside 50s, while wingman Oscar Armstrong was the other Royal to hit the 20-mark. Ruckman Sokaa Soka showed his athleticism en route to registering 16 disposals, five marks and 13 hit-outs, while Jayden Peak kicked a nice solo goal and Jordyn Baker popped in patches on the wing.

East Fremantle consolidated its top five standing with a comprehensive 166-point drubbing of Subiaco, taking toll with a side stacked with stars. The Sharks had all but won the game by half time with 12 goals to Subiaco’s two, before running out the game with 148 more disposals and 30 more inside 50s. Josh Browne returned with a casual 35 disposals, seven marks and 1.2 for the victors, supported well by Taj Woewodin (26 disposals, two goals), while Jack Williams (six marks, three goals) and Josh Cripps (23 disposals, four goals) took toll up forward. Jacob Evitt was the Lions’ standout, notching two majors from 16 touches and six marks.

Claremont also registered a dominant victory in the three-game round, defeating the winless Perth by 95 points to move two games clear in second spot. The Tigers dominated at one end of the ground, booting 11 of their 16 goals in the first and third terms while keeping the Demons scoreless. Jacob van Rooyen‘s goalkicking form continued with 5.3 from 22 disposals and seven marks, while the likes of Jacquin Ciminata (26 disposals, 18 tackles, one goal), Kendyll Blurton (26 disposals, nine inside 50s), and Tyreice Brown (23 disposals, 3.2) also made their mark.

There were a bunch of Under 17 and 19 state squad members who returned to PSA action, while others featured up the grades. Finn Gorringe notched 12 disposals and six marks in the Sharks’ 44-point League win over Subiaco, while Jack Avery had 16 touches and four marks for Perth as the Demons went down to Claremont by eight points. Big-bodied East Perth midfielder Kade Dittmar made his senior debut for the Royals but was quiet in a 41-point loss to Swan Districts. In the Reserves, Matthew Johnson fared well with 25 disposals and 10 marks for Subiaco alongside a few of his 2020 Colts premiership teammates.

Image Credit: Swan Districts FC via Facebook

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

State leagues preview: SANFL returns as VFL put on ice again

VICTORIA and Queensland will go without state league matches in the VFL and QAFL respectively due to lockdowns, as South Australia’s SANFL returns to join the WAFL and TSL as other state leagues in action this weekend.

South Australia:

Round 16 takes off with the SANFL Showdown the highlight of the round in terms of rivalries, as Adelaide and Port Adelaide lock horns as part of a double-header with the respective AFL sides at Adelaide Oval. The Crows will welcome back James Rowe and Lachlan Sholl to SANFL level with Brayden Cook called up for his AFL debut, and the likes of Jackson Hately, Billy Frampton and Shane McAdam also out of the side. For the Magpies, captain Cam Sutcliffe returns for the huge Showdown, while AFL-listed ruck Sam Hayes and defender Jarrod Lienert will also come into the side.

Finals hopefuls Norwood will have a crack at the undefeated Glenelg when the SANFL returns tomorrow in a blockbuster weekend of action. The Redlegs travel to ACH Group Stadium to tackle the ladder-leading Bays, with Norwood having the opportunity to put some separation on the bottom five sides. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera has been named in Glenelg’s extended squad with the eye-catching teenager one to watch if he is named in the final squad. Norwood has lost ex-AFL talent Dom Barry to a knee injury, though the likes of Cole Gerloff and Henry Nelligan both return for the Redlegs.

The game of the round from a ladder perspective has to be North Adelaide up against Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, with the latter able to secure a top two spot with a win, whilst the Roosters can draw within two points if they topple their foes. North Adelaide has the strongest inclusions of any side this weekend, bringing back two ex-AFL talents in Aaron Young and Billy Hartung, as well as promising tall Dyson Hilder and reliable defender Tanner Smith all in. The Eagles also have a key inclusion, with ex-Adelaide midfielder Riley Knight back into the side, joining key forward Jake Von Bertouch back in the lineup.

Meanwhile South Adelaide take on bottom two side Central District, fully able to grab third spot if the Roosters fall to the Eagles. Leek Aleer and Wyatt Patterson return to the defence, with youngster Lachlan Grubb named on a wing to utilise his speed, and captain Luke Habel returning on the other wing. The inclusions are a huge plus for the Bulldogs, who can overtake Adelaide providing Central District wins and the Crows lose. South Adelaide might have other ideas, with Luke Bogle and Tyson Brown among the inclusions to the side.

A bottom four clash between Sturt and West Adelaide rounds out the League matches for the weekend. The last placed Westies have welcomed in Sam Davidson from Port Adelaide Magpies who could be in line for his debut, along with the likes of Nathan Batley and Kevin Karpany who have also been named in the side, with Harry Lemmey returning to school football. Youngsters Josh Shute and Mani Liddy have joined fellow former State Under 18s representatives in Riley Grundy (potential League debut) and Oliver Grivell in being named on an extended bench.

Western Australia:

West Perth and West Coast have the byes in Round 18 of the WAFL competition, with four games played across the weekend. A top three clash between Subiaco (first) and Claremont (third) is one of a number of mouth-watering contests, with the Tigers able to draw level with the Lions at home with a win. With five games remaining, the hunt is well and truly on for top spot, though second placed South Fremantle will be expected to win too, so three sides could all be on 44 points at the end of the weekend. Claremont has some big inclusions to the side, led by Kane Mitchell and Logan Guelfi who have been added to an extended bench. Jack Mayo and Lachlan Delahunty provide some extra firepower up forward for the ladder-leading Lions, while Hayden Kennedy slots into half-back.

South Fremantle can officially put a line through East Fremantle with a win on the weekend if Swan Districts also get up, with the Bulldogs and Sharks locking horns in the last game of the weekend. Jesse Motlop is out of the Bulldogs side, though the home team has added six players to an extended bench including Travis Abbott and Kye Barker. East Fremantle have also added players to an extended bench such as Corey Holmes and Reuben McGuire.

The Battle of Perth takes place at Leederville Oval with the seventh placed Royals hosting the ninth placed Bombers. If Perth causes an upset it can draw level with its eastern counterpart, though has struggled of late. Doulton Langlands coming out of the side will not help, though full-back Zach Hill is back into the lineup as part of an extended side including Jye Clark. The Royals have not made any official changes, with Stanley Wright and Ben McGuire among the inclusions on an extended bench.

In the other game, Swan Districts hosts Peel Thunder, with the Swans able to potentially lock up a finals spot with a win and losses to the teams directly below them. They take on a Peel side that has lost three on the trot but can leapfrog East Perth again – following the Royals’ win last weekend – and even eat Fremantle if as expected the Sharks fall. Tarir Bayok and Thomas Edwards are among five inclusions into the Swans’ outfit, while Tyler Nesbitt has returned to the Thunder, named to play at half-back on the dangerous Lewis Jetta.

Tasmania:

After a weekend of blowouts in the TSL last weekend, Round 19 hopes to provide at least a couple of tighter games, with the pick of the bunch being a top four clash between Clarence and Tigers. Fresh off a bye, the Roos host Tigers with third spot up for grabs. Both sides have already secured their finals spots given the five-game gap to the bottom three teams, but a Tigers win would see Kingborough leapfrog Clarence into third, whereas a Roos win would increase their own gap to eight points, and draw within four points of second placed North Launceston.

Tasmania Devils’ game being cancelled helps the Roos, with the likes of Sam Banks, Noah Holmes, Darcy Gardner and Baker Smith all eligible to play for the home team. Jerome Webberley is a key out for the Roos, but dangerous forward Josh Green also returns. Tigers have not made any changes to its lineup following its massive win last weekend, with Riley Ashlin and Lachlan Gadomski some of the rising talents, and Sam Duigan and Max Collidge damaging inside 50.

Top of the table Launceston could do a number on the bottom two Glenorchy, with the Blues welcoming back Jay Blackberry into the mix. The star will slot straight back into the forward pocket, with the premiership favourites also naming teenagers Jayden Hinds, Sam Foley and Tony Aganas among the available Devils if need be. The Magpies welcome back young gun Callum Thompson, with Isaac Manson named at half-back.

Meanwhile Lauderdale will look to move past its disappointing defeat last week by inflicting another big win over North Hobart. The Demons were completely dismantled by Launceston and will want to put in a better showing to grab their second win of the season. Lauderdale can move another win clear of Glenorchy if they pick up the four points here. Alex Hevey and Bodhi Kingston return for the red and black in the must-win clash, with Fergus Kenny and Luke Hodoniczky out of the team. After dominating the Tasmania Devils intraclub game, Jye Menzie and Will Splann are both in line to return to the Demons’ outfit. Jack Sandric returns as well, while Sam Banks-Smith is another young gun already stepping up at league level this season, with North Hobart wheeling at least six changes, with more predicted now the Devils players are available.

2021 WAFL Colts: Round 17 weekend wrap

WHILE Western Australia’s state Under 19s again waxed in a trial game, the 2021 WAFL Colts season rolled on into Round 17 over the weekend. Swan Districts remains the frontrunner, but there is plenty to play out in the last few rounds ahead of finals. We recap all the action and outstanding performances in our weekly wrap, while also taking a look around the grounds at youngsters who impressed in senior grades.

>> Scouting Notes: WA U19s vs. Perth

EAST FREMANTLE 0.2 | 0.5 | 2.7 | 2.8 (20)
SWAN DISTRICTS 2.2 | 6.3 | 8.4 | 12.6 (78)

Swan Districts strengthened its standing atop the WAFL Colts table and helped boot East Fremantle out of the finals places in on fell swoop, after defeating the Sharks by 58 points on the road. Held goalless until the third term, the hosts’ only two majors came during said period as they conceded six on either side of half time, making for a lop-sided 12.6 (78) to 2.8 (20) final scoreline.

Noah Hannan led all comers on the day as the only player to reach 30 disposals, supported well by the likes of Aiden Cartwright and Benjamin Hewett around the ball. Cartwright also snared a game-high three goals alongside teammate Tyrell Metcalf, who returned after consecutive Reserves outings. Sharks bigman Kobe McMillan snared both of his side’s majors, while Samuel Collins (23 disposals, eight tackles) was another to stand up in the heavy loss.

GOALS:

East Fremantle: K. McMillan 2
Swan Districts: A. Cartwright 3, T. Metcalf 3, J. Middleton, B. Fawcett, B. Morris, L. Tester, D. Jones, T. Burgess

SUBIACO 0.1 | 1.3 | 1.7 | 2.9 (21)
WEST PERTH 3.3 | 5.6 | 7.8 | 10.13 (73)

A third-consecutive victory helped West Perth jump into the top five and create a one-game buffer to the trailing pack, after the Falcons defeated Subiaco by 52 points away from home. The visitors steadily converted on five goals in each half while restricting Subiaco to just two overall, leading to a handy percentage boost in the race for finals as the Falcons won out 10.13 (73) to 2.9 (21).

West Perth’s Jack De Marte was best afield with a team-high 29 disposals, six tackles and six inside 50s, as Luke Reilly (27 disposals, six inside 50s) again got busy. Bottom-aged Fremantle NGA prospect Jasper Scaife also showed plenty of promise with more time in the ruck, amassing 17 disposals, seven marks and 21 hitouts. Jed Kemp was again prominent for Subiaco with a game-high 37 disposals, while goalkickers Jacob Evitt (20 disposals) and Ezekiel Bolton (18) proved productive in the loss.

GOALS:

Subiaco: J. Evitt, E. Bolton
West Perth: B. Sherwood 2, S. Marafioti, D. Dixon, D. Biglin, K. Bevan, Z. Robis, R. Gallen, J. Scaife, C. Gray

PEEL THUNDER 2.0 | 5.0 | 6.1 | 11.2 (68)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 2.4 | 7.5 | 10.6 | 10.7 (67)

Peel Thunder pulled off a dramatic upset to defeat South Fremantle by a single point, pouring on five goals to nil in the final quarter to overturn a 29-point deficit at three quarter time. The Thunder had trailed at every break too, and was behind in most key parameters before their final miraculous charge. The 11.2 (68) to 10.7 (67) upset win does nothing to change Peel’s ladder position, but sees South Fremantle draw close to dropping out of the top five.

Scott Tuia provided plenty of drive for the Thunder with 23 disposals, seven inside 50s and a goal, as Ethan Donaghy and Taj Wyburd combined for a mammoth 24 tackles. Byron Finch was also impactful, snaring three majors in the win. For the Bulldogs, midfielder Caleb Stephens continued his incredible run of form with another 32 touches and a goal, aided well by Aaron Drage (29 disposals, four inside 50s). Harry Elphick also played his part, booting a game-high four goals in red and white.

GOALS:

Peel Thunder: B. Finch 3, J. Klepzig 2, T. Salter 2, S. Tuia, N. Sarsero, J. Rush, C. Bourke
South Fremantle: H. Elphick 4, L. Bloomer 2, J. Hulten, C. Turnbull, C. Stephens, H. Harcourt

EAST PERTH 0.0 | 0.5 | 0.5 | 3.7 (25)
CLAREMONT 3.2 | 3.2 | 5.4 | 6.6 (42)

Claremont continued its winning streak and jumped East Perth with a 17-point win over the Royals on Sunday morning. The Tigers made better use of the ball and stood up in defence, keeping their opponents goalless across the first three terms to all but put the contest to bed come the final break. The Royals registered their three majors in a final term consolation effort, but it did little to eat into the low-scoring 6.6 (42) to 3.7 (25) result.

It was an even team speed for the winners, with Kendyll Blurton (26 disposals, one goal) and the returning Kieran Kavanagh (20 disposals) solid around the ball, as Samuel Gilbey and Jacquin Ciminata combined for 25 tackles, and Griffin Muir knocked down 40 hitouts. Royals midfielder Kalani Brooks was again dominant despite the loss, collecting a game-high 35 touches and laying 12 tackles. Jake Littleton and Jayden Peak also ticked up over 30 disposals, as West Coast NGA ruck Sokaa Soka notched 30 hitouts.

GOALS:

East Perth: T. Graham 2, K. Brooks
Claremont: H. Cole 2, K. Blurton, S. Gilbey, T. Brown, H. Alforque

UP THE GRADES

A couple of League debuts headlines what some of Western Australia’s best juniors were doing up the grades, with Peel Thunder talls Luke Polson and Jackson Broadbent making their maiden outings. The versatile Polson managed 10 disposals and three marks, as bottom-ager Broadbent booted a goal from his seven disposals to go with nine hitouts.

Their feats came in a loss to South Fremantle, who again fielded Fremantle NGA prospect Jesse Motlop. The exciting small forward was not as busy as in his own debut outing, but still managed to register nine touches, three marks and three tackles.

East Fremantle pair Finn Gorringe and Corey Warner are others enjoying extended runs in the top flight. They were both part of the Sharks’ seven-point win over Swan Districts, contributing nine disposals apiece as top-ager Gorringe laid five tackles. Perth’s Jack Avery was also a standout Under 19 prospect in Round 17, racking up a team-high 26 disposals and 11 marks as the Demons went down by 56 points to West Coast.

Image Credit: Brian Conduit via West Perth FC

Scouting Notes: WA Under 19s vs. Perth

WESTERN Australia’s Under 19 squad completed its third-consecutive dig ahead of this year’s National Championships, comfortably accounting for a select Perth side, 13.17 (95) to 1.6 (12) on Saturday. The Black Ducks continued their ominous form with its midfield again proving difficult to contain, including leading WA prospects Neil Erasmus and Matthew Johnson. Squad members Jesse Motlop, Corey Warner, and Jack Avery were among those to miss once again due to League commitments, along with debutant Luke Polson. There were some impressive performances nonetheless, which we narrow down to in the latest edition of Scouting Notes.

WA U19s 4.2 | 7.3 | 10.7 | 13.17 (95)
PERTH 0.1 | 1.5 | 1.6 | 1.6 (12)

GOALS:

WA U19s: E. Benning 3, J. Amiss 2, E. Curley 2, A. Sheldrick 2, K. Dittmar, N. Erasmus, E. Regan, J. Stretch
Perth: J Wilson

Previous WA Trials:
>> WA U19s vs. East Perth
>> WA U19s vs. WA U17s

WA UNDER 19s:

#7 Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)
7/11/2003 | 179cm/88kg | Inside Midfielder

The powerful Claremont midfielder started the game like a house on fire, winning plenty of the ball (10 disposals) in the first quarter. He was strong in the contests with his ability to win the hard ball a real feature, helping to release the runners out into space. Although Sheldrick’s in and under work was strong, he also showed his ability to break away with a very good long range goal in the last quarter, taking the game on and kicking from 50m on his favoured left foot. Sheldrick would find the goals again, working inside 50 to take a mark and nailing the set shot from 45m in the second quarter. He continued to attack the contest hard in the second half but would not replicate his previous ball winning feats, where he found the ball with ease on the outside and inside. Sheldrick continues to push his draft credentials, finishing the game with 19 disposals, six marks, five clearances and two goals.

#21 Neil Erasmus (Subiaco)
2/12/2003 | 188cm/80kg | Midfielder

After a best on ground performance last week, the Subiaco midfielder was again at his ball winning best and although his skills were not quiet as sharp as last week, he was still very effective. With a few tackles and shots at goal early on, you could see Erasmus was wanting to get involved a lot quicker than he did last week and although his first shot went out on the full, his second attempt was much better – working into space inside 50 and converting the simple set shot. The main concern with Erasmus’ kicking was on his non-preferred side and although on occasion he showed great composure to give himself time, he often had enough time to go on his preferred more often than not, and can further try to to get as much impact out of his disposal as possible. Erasmus finished with a game-high 28 disposals despite spending the last quarter forward, where he still easily managed to find the ball, and with that also finished with eight marks, seven tackles and one goal.

#23 Matthew Johnson (Subiaco)
16/03/2003 | 192cm/82kg | Midfielder

It was another solid game from the tall Subiaco midfielder, with Johnson a consistent four-quarter performer who showed plenty of class and composure with ball in hand. Johnson was steady in the first half, winning eight disposals, but it was his second half and especially his third quarter that really caught the eye. His first goal assist was inside 50 where he showed great composure and agility to get around one opponent, before using a short burst of speed to get away from another and hand off to Dittmar who finished well. His second great effort came on the wing, recovering from a marking contest to gather cleanly and side step an opponent with good composure, then hitting a beautiful pass inside 50 to Benning. Johnson finished the game with 19 disposals, six inside 50s and six marks as he continues to impress as a potential first round draft prospect.

#30 Jye Amiss (East Perth)
31/07/2003 | 195cm/85kg | Key Forward

The talented key forward form East Perth once again kicked multiple goals in what could have been an even bigger haul if his set shot kicking was as reliable as it has been all year, missing some very gettable attempts. Amiss impressed early with the first goal of the game coming from a lovely banana set shot hard on the boundary. Getting the opportunity was well done as he was the one to pressure the turnover to give him the set shot. He was able to kick the hardest of the day, yet missed some gettable goals late in the game, finishing with four behinds. His second goal was in open play, quickly kicking another banana in the fourth quarter, but what impressed in his game was his work without the ball – often playing one-on-two and competing well in the air, before applying pressure at ground level with a holding the ball tackle late in the last term. Amiss finished the game with 13 disposals, four marks and kicked 2.4.

Featured Image: (L-R) West Australian draft prospects Matthew Johnson, Jacob van Rooyen, Rhett Bazzo, and Jack Williams | Credit: @WAFLOfficial via Twitter