Tag: jaxon prior

AFL Under 18 National Championships preview: Western Australia

THE 2019 West Australian Under-18 representative side is stacked with exciting prospects, with plenty who will catch the eye and rise in stocks during the carnival. A crop of East Fremantle talents will be a key feature, with a balanced midfield, some damaging outside types, and a certain leading ruck prospect forming the base of the squad. With five players named in last year’s U16 All Australian side, there will no doubt be a handful of bottom-agers to make a mark, too.

Key players:

Jack Buller
Claremont | Key Position Utility
16/05/2001 | 198cm | 92kg

Playing in defence, Buller held up well at last year’s championships and then went into the ruck to cause headaches for opposition sides, replacing Luke Jackson once he had basketball commitments. He reads the ball well in the air and can set up attacking plays, as well as take crucial one-on-one marks. He is a player who can drift forward and act as a leading target inside the forward 50. Wherever he plays over the next month, expect him to play a role and really nullify an opposition tall.

Luke Jackson
East Fremantle | Ruck
29/09/2001 | 198cm | 94kg

A highly talked up ruck prospect, Jackson and his counterpart this weekend, Nick Bryan are subscribed by many as the top two ruck prospects in the draft crop. Jackson is an athletic tall who has represented Australia at basketball, but has now chosen football and looms as a key in the West Australian side. He is a high-volume ruck who can win possessions around the ground, drift forward and have an impact, or drop back and take a crucial mark. His game against South Australia last year at the championships – 25 disposals, seven marks and a goal – was as impressive as any performance during the carnival.

Trent Rivers
East Fremantle | Inside Midfielder/Defender
30/07/2001 | 188cm | 85kg

Captain of East Fremantle, Rivers is potentially the leading draft candidate for Western Australia this year along with Jeremy Sharp and Luke Jackson. Rivers is an inside midfielder who can play off half-back, attacking the ball fiercely and handing it off to his running teammates, while also creating plays off half-back. He is a consistent performer and has shown that this season in 2019, constantly finding the ball and laying plenty of tackles. A leader on the inside or outside, Rivers is a player Western Australia can rely upon to get the job done.

Deven Robertson
Perth | Inside Midfielder
30/06/2001 | 182cm | 80kg

Named captain of the West Australian side, Robertson is a crucial member of the inside midfield, and has been a natural-born leader throughout the journey. He attacks the contest with vigour and does not take a backwards step. One of a number of West Australians who were able to taste the atmosphere of the Under 18 Championships, averaging 14 disposals, seven tackles, two inside 50s and two marks. He is a huge ball winner at WAFL Colts level and will be a key midfielder in the state side.

Jeremy Sharp
East Fremantle | Outside Midfielder/Defender
13/08/2001 | 187cm | 79kg

Burst onto the scene at the championships, especially at Marvel Stadium, where Sharp looked a class above against the Allies, roaming from half-back to midfield alongside Jordan Clark. Sharp earned a spot in the 2018 Under-18 All Australian team for his performances, and has already been a member of the East Fremantle WAFL League side this season, holding his own against senior bodies. A good size at 187cm and 79kg, Sharp is a player that his teammates can rely upon with ball in hand.

X-factor:

Liam Henry
Claremont | Outside Midfielder
28/08/2001 | 179cm | 62kg

The exciting outside midfielder has huge upside and is a player who could have a pretty handy highlights package at the championships. A member of the Fremantle Next Generation Academy, Henry is very light at just 62kg and 179cm, but is someone who is versatile, damaging and provides as much defensive pressure as offensive nous in the forward half. Henry has had a ripping start to the season, averaging 22 disposals, six marks and five tackles in the WAFL Colts competition already this year.

Jarvis Pina
Peel Thunder | Small Defender
30/10/2000 | 176cm | 71kg

Another club captain who has made the state side, Pina is a clever defender who uses the ball well out of the back half, but can also be tasked with defensive roles to nullify dangerous opposing forwards. An overager, Pina missed out last year on being drafted, but his improvement in 2019 – averaging 22 disposals, five marks and seven tackles – including a 32-disposal game against West Perth in the opening round – has him on recruiters minds, so much so he was invited for an AFL Mid-Season Draft medical last month.

Jaxon Prior
West Perth | General Defender
04/06/2001 | 188cm | 79kg

Prior is likely to be one of the more damaging prospects for Western Australia, and one who can set up plays coming out of defence. At 188cm and 79kg, Prior is a readymade defender who is able to not only intercept the ball, but has superb vision, skills and decision making. While other defenders are able to lock down, Prior is able to be creative in defence to hurt opposition zones.

Up and comers:

Denver Grainger-Barras
Swan Districts | Key Defender
17/04/2002 | 192cm | 77kg

Grainger-Barras is one who will sure up the Black Swans’ defence, bringing high level reading of the play and solid marking to the table. The Swans product is still quite slight at 77kg, and while he has shown his ability to play as a key defender, Grainger-Barras will likely provide lockdown roles on the back of his rounded defensive game and can get the ball moving forward.

Logan McDonald
Perth | Key Forward
4/04/2002 | 192cm | 84kg

The dynamic Perth forward grabbed attention with a stunning Under 16 national championships last year, including a six-goal haul against Vic Metro. Has not been selected to face them this weekend, but should get a crack with his mix of lead-up overhead marking and ground level work rate. Finds goals at will, which is a valuable commodity.

Nathan O’Driscoll
Perth | General Defender
17/05/2002 | 182cm | 75kg

One of five selected bottom-agers to have made the Under 16 All-Australian team last year, O’Driscoll is a defender who finds plenty of the ball. Has only played two games for Perth in the Colts this year, but averages more than 25 disposals over the last two seasons. Also has the ability to intercept and push up the ground.

Zane Trew
Swan Districts | Inside Midfielder
26/04/2002 | 184cm | 81kg

The solidly-built midfielder thrives in the contest and is a terrific ball winner. Averages 29 disposals for the Swan Districts at Colts level, including a season-high 40, and should add some grunt to the WA engine room. Is a good exponent of handballs out of traffic, and possesses rare vision which adds finesse to his aggression and tackling pressure.

Brandon Walker
East Fremantle | General Defender
17/10/2002 | 182cm | 69kg

The 2020 Fremantle NGA prospect is an exciting half-back with fantastic skills by foot and apt decision making. Marks well for his size but stands out most with his ability to rebound effectively and do so at pace – so expect him to catch the eye if he gets a chance.

Joel Western
Claremont | Small Forward
12/10/2002 | 171cm | 69kg

The zippy Claremont small forward is coming into some form, having picked up a season-high 27 disposals in his latest Colts outing. Is another tied to the Fremantle NGA, and should provide some spark inside 50 for the Black Swans. Also possesses good goal sense, and is a menace to defenders.

AFL U18s Fixtures: (All WST)

vs Vic Metro @ Lathlain Park, Saturday June 8, 10am
vs South Australia @ Optus Stadium, Saturday June 15, 11am
vs Allies @ Alberton Oval, Saturday June 22, 9.15am
vs Vic Country @ Marvel Stadium, Wednesday July 3, 12.10pm

Summary:

The current crop of top-agers took out their Under-16 carnival two years ago, so should give it a good crack once again. It is always hard to get an early gauge on how the West Australians will fare, but we should get a better read of their talents in their upcoming meeting with the highly-fancied Vic Metro side. The likes of Luke Jackson in the ruck and Jeremy Sharp on the outside are some of the leading prospects in their positions, with Trent Rivers and Deven Robertson set to provide real grunt in the midfield. A strong defence will also be a feature, with dynamic tall prospects, good intercepters, and effective rebounders all at their disposal. Watch for some of their better bottom-agers to also make an impact across the carnival, with a couple tied to the Fremantle Next Generation Academy.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – East Fremantle vs. West Perth

IN what was arguably the match of the round, West Perth overcame East Fremantle by five points at New Homes Choice Park. Considered as a finals preview, there was a host of players who stood up.

Below were the best players from each team.

EAST FREMANTLE

#2 Michael Wright
In a powerful display, the Chapman Valley product proved he is one of the premier midfielders in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. He accumulated 23 possessions, took five marks, laid five tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal to be one of East Fremantle’s best.

#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain tried his heart out to try and drag his team to victory. He gathered 27 possessions (12 contested), took 10 marks, recorded nine inside 50s, laid four tackles and kicked two goals to arguably be East Fremantle’s best player. Playing as an inside midfielder, Rivers threw his body into every stoppage to win the ball for his team and was able to dish it out to his outside runners. His drafts stocks continue to soar every week.

#16 Chad Warner
The Willetton junior showcased why he is one of the best midfielders in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. In a dazzling display, he gathered a game-high 29 possessions (18 contested), won six clearances, took six marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s. He also kicked a goal from outside 50 in the first quarter.

#18 Chris Walker
The Fremantle Dockers’ Next-Generation Academy member was excellent off the half-back line for East Fremantle. He finished with 16 possessions, eight inside 50s, six marks and five tackles. Like Richmond star Nick Vlastuin, Walker is a medium sized defender who is excellent at intercepting the opposition’s attacking forays.

#23 Luke Jackson
Against the Falcons, Jackson produced a performance that indicated why he is considered a first-round prospect in this year’s AFL draft. Opposed to Zak Patterson, he finished with 17 possessions, 28 hitouts, six inside 50s, five clearances, five marks and two goals.

WEST PERTH

#3 Ben Johnson
The 2016 WA State Schoolboys’ representative was exceptional for the Falcons in their victory over the Sharks. He accumulated 20 possessions (12 contested), laid six tackles, recorded four inside 50s, took three marks and kicked a goal to be one of the Falcons’ best players.

#7 Jaxon Prior
Stationed at centre half-back, Prior was instrumental in the Falcons’ victory. He accumulated 23 possessions, took nine marks, laid six tackles and recorded four inside 50s in an inspiring performance. Like Fremantle’s rising star Luke Ryan, Prior is a medium-sized defender who has a strong aerial ability and an elite understanding of the game , enabling him to effectively intercept many of the opposition’s attacking forays.

#18 Tyron Hindmarsh
The Ocean Ridge product was outstanding in the midfield for the Falcons. Going head-to-head with Chad Warner, Hindmarsh accumulated a team-high 28 possessions, laid 11 tackles, won seven clearances, and took seven marks to arguably be the best player on the ground.

#23 Zak Patterson
The Joondalup-Kinross junior was outstanding in the ruck against East Fremantle. Opposed to Luke Jackson, Patterson finished with 15 possessions, 19 hit-outs, three marks, two tackles and a goal in an entertaining duel. Patterson looms as a draft smoky when his excellent athleticism, elite ruck craft and raw potential are considered.

#25 Heath Chapman
A bottom-age prospect, Chapman did his draft chances for 2020 no harm with a classy performance against the Sharks. Playing on the half-back line, Chapman gathered 21 possessions, took seven marks and laid three tackles to be a pivotal player in the Falcons’ victory.

Western Australia announces 40-player squad for National Under 18 Championships

EAST Fremantle has dominated the National Under 18 Championships list for Western Australia, with nine players included in the main squad, and a further two train-one players making it 11 from a 40-player squad. The next highest representation comes from Swan Districts with six main squad players and one train-on player, one more than Claremont and West Perth. Perth has five players, while Subiaco has three and Peel Thunder two.

The Western Australia side includes nine bottom-agers in the team, as well as seven over-agers. Among the top players to keep an eye on this season, East Fremantle has a couple of potential top 10 selections in ruckman, Luke Jackson and running winger, Jeremy Sharp, while Jack Buller (Claremont), Deven Robertson (Perth), and Riley Garcia and Jake Pasini (Swan Districts) are others to watch. With a consistent team across the board, expect Western Australia to be very competitive at the championships as they have been the last few years.

Claremont [6]: Cameron Anderson, Jack Buller, Liam Henry, Callum Jamieson+, Ronan O’Connor, Joel Western*
East Fremantle [9+2]: Owen Dann* (TO), John Garlett+ (TO), Jai Jackson, Luke Jackson, Reuben McGuire, Max Murphy+, Trent Rivers, Trey Ruscoe, Jeremy Sharp, Brandon Walker*, Chad Warner
East Perth [0]: Nil.
Peel Thunder [2]: Jarvis Pina+, Tyrone Thorne
Perth [5]: Regan Clarke, Logan McDonald*, Nathan O’Driscoll*, Deven Robertson, Elijah Taylor
Swan Districts [6+1]: Jermari Daly (TO), Riley Garcia, Denver Grainger-Barras*, Nathan Ireland+, Jake Pasini, Ty Sears*, Zane Trew*
Subiaco [2+1]: Mitchell Georgiades (TO), Tristan Hobley+, Nicholas Martin
West Perth [4+2]: Heath Chapman (TO), Ryan Hudson, Ben Johnson, Michael Mallard* (TO), Zak Patterson+, Jaxon Prior.

* Bottom-age (2002 birth)
+ Over-age (2000 birth)
TO = Train-on, can be elevated to main squad over the championships

Western Australia’s National Under 18 Championships fixture:

vs. Vic Metro at Lathlain Park, June 8.
vs. South Australia at Optus Stadium, June 15.
vs. Allies at Alberton Oval, June 22.
vs. Vic Country at Marvel Stadium, July 3.

West Australian Colts weekly wrap: Swans maintain perfect record to the start the season

THERE is always a lot of uncertainty in the early stages of a new season. Getting a jump on your opposition can certainly be worth its weight in gold. Swan Districts experienced grand final heartbreak in 2018, but are determined to go one step further. So far in 2019, they have been up to that challenge.

Colts wrap: Round Two

 

Swan Districts 10.12 (72) defeated Perth 6.6 (42)

Swan Districts made it three wins from as many games as they beat Perth by 30 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning.

The home team made a fine start to the game with two early goals to Kade Walldrot and Bailey Kane. They then pushed the lead out to three goals when Ashley Brockbernd snapped truly. Jamieson Ugle made it four goals in a row to the Black and Whites who were playing with a real sense of freedom. Bottom-age talent Logan McDonald who was Perth’s most lively key target in the first quarter had a chance to get the Demons on the board but his kick on the siren just fell short. Swans were well deserving of their 24-point lead.

The second quarter started with a good move on the outside wing by the Demons which included Simon Hayward who fed the ball to Oscar Morcombe for a astute finish. The presence of Kane was too much for the Demons defenders and he took a great one hander and finished off with aplomb to give back Swan Districts their four-goal lead. The Demons were able to answer through Kaden Elliott and some hard running from Zac Sanderson helped set up Kajie Slater for another goal and the Demons had well and truly worked their way back into the game. A fantastic chase down tackle by Owen McClelland on Jake Pasini set up Morcombe for his second of the half and it was now a goal the difference. A few minutes later, a pin-point kick by Elijah Taylor set up McClelland and remarkably the Demons had locked up the scores at 5.4 a piece on the stroke of half time.

The Demons had now completely turned the momentum of the game on its head and they would have rued the siren as it gave the Swans coaching staff time to speak to their chargers and reset before the second half. One thing for certain was that we were set for a terrific second 50 minutes of action. Swans had taken the ball into their Forward 50 nine more times in the first half (24-15) but their efficiency was not at the level they would like. Zane Trew had the ball on a string in the first 50 minutes with 24 disposals and five tackles while the ever present Walldrot had 13 disposals. For the Demons it was the running power of Regan Clarke and Elijah Taylor who were big factors in getting the visitors back in the game.

It was a real tense and tough first 10 minutes for the third term and the breakthrough finally came through some good quick ball moment ending with Ugle’s second. They followed that soon after with Kade Screaigh setting up Jermarl Daly who finished with a very clever snap. Perth constructed some forward thrusts but they were to no avail with the Swans defence holding strong. Brodie Newman kicked the Swans’ third of the term to give them a handy three goal lead. While that seemed to be a comfortable margin, Perth were kicking to the scoring end in the last term where 12 of the 13 goals had been kicked for the game.

The first 12 minutes of the quarter was a real stalemate. That suited Swans fine as it was the Demons who needed some quick goals. It eventually came when Taylor set up McDonald to cut the margin to 16 points. However, Swans kicked a crucial goal when the hard working Kane set up the running Benjamin Taylor for a goal from the square. The big ruck/forward got his true reward for his hard work kicking his third for the game on the siren giving the Black and Whites their third win from three games to start the season with a 30-point win.

Star of the Day

A superb hard running 41-disposal and 10-tackle game from Zane Trew wins the bottom age midfielder the deserved honour.

However a special mention has to be given to Bailey Kane. The 206cm and 100kg man-mountain from Karratha was a telling presence in the forward 50 with 10 disposals, seven hit-outs, six marks and four tackles. For the gallant Demons, Elijah Taylor set up plenty of forward attacks with his run and finished with 20 disposals, seven tackles and four inside 50s while Simon Hayward was tireless in his efforts with 20 disposals and 13 tackles.

Key factors

The ability of Swans to respond after they had lost momentum in the second quarter. They don’t call the third quarter the ‘Premiership Quarter’ for nothing, and the home team kicked 3.2 to 0.2 which really set up their push for victory. Try as they might, Perth couldn ot find a way back in the last term. You also are not going to win a game of footy by kicking one goal across three quarters which is what the Demons did.

 

In other games:

 

Peel 10.11 (71) defeated East Fremantle 6.6 (42)

Peel Thunder are the other team with a 100 per cent record after defeating East Fremantle by 29 points at David Grays Arena.

There was nothing more than a couple of goals between the teams for the majority of the contest, but a 3.4 to one behind final term was all the difference. Tyrone Thorne was a influential figure kicking three goals and constantly pressuring the Sharks defence with eight tackles. Jarvis Pina was also excellent in this regard with nine tackles to go along with 19 disposals. Jai Jackson was tireless for the Sharks with 23 disposals and 12 tackles.

 

Claremont 10.8 (68) defeated East Perth 6.5 (41)

In keeping with the pattern of the Easter weekend fixtures, The Tigers produced a dominant period of play outscoring their opponents nine goals to one in the second and fourth quarters to set up their victory.

After the Royals held a 21-point lead at quarter time, Claremont responded in kind kicking 5.2 to no score to have a 11 point lead at the long break. Once again the Royals took the honours in the third term kicking two goals to one to cut the margin to seven points, but the final 25 minutes was all Claremont as they kicked the last three goals of the game to seal their first four points of the season.

Fremantle Next Generation Academy player Liam Henry kept up his fine start to the season with 24 disposals, five marks and four goals. He was supported well by Jye Clark who compiled 29 disposals and five marks. Harley Sparks was a ball magnet for the Royals once again with 28 disposals and five tackles. Sparks has averaged 29 disposals from his three games so far.

 

West Perth 9.7 (61) defeated South Fremantle 8.7 (55)

In the closest game of the round on Easter Sunday, it was West Perth who got the chocolates, defeating South Fremantle by a goal at Fremantle Oval.

The margin did not exceed 14 points throughout the topsy turvy contest. The Bulldogs got out to their biggest lead of the game when Adam Correia put them two goals in front 10 minutes into the final term, but the visitors kicked the final three majors of the contest to seal their second win from three game.

Koopah Todd and Jaxon Prior were two of the key driving forces of the victory. They each accumulated 29 disposals, while also kicking a goal in West Perth’s final term comeback. For the Bulldogs, George Wessels was terrific compiling 28 disposals, ten marks and six tackles.

West Australian Colts weekly wrap: Swans and Sharks setting the early pace

ROUND 2 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts was split over Saturday and Sunday with two games played at Steel Blue and East Fremantle Oval giving talent scouts terrific opportunity to watch the next generation of stars.

WAFL Colts: Round Two

West Perth 8.7.55 defeated Claremont 5.10.40

West Perth made it two wins out of two defeating Claremont at Steel Blue Oval by 15 points.

The Falcons got the first goal of the day through Callum Johnson and that was increased soon afterwards by a smart snap by Ewan Brazier. Johnson was setting the tone for others to follow with his hard running and a third major soon followed for Lachlan Scurria. West Perth had winners all over the ground and the Tigers needed to find a way to get on the scoreboard before too long.

An opportunity came through via a long kick came into their forward 50 but the exciting prospect Liam Henry could only register a minor score. For all the Tigers toil, the Falcons were making every post a winner in their Forward 50 when Brazier kicked his second of the quarter the Falcons had a impressive 25 point lead. That remained the margin at the first break and it was a tale of effiency with both teams entering their Forward 50 on ten occasions, but the only thing that counted was that West Perth had six scoring shots to Claremont’s one.

The Tigers looked more fluid at the start of the second quarter with several attacking thrusts but were still unable to put the ball between the big sticks. A free kick from the the goalsquare to Michael Mallard added to their woes and then Ben Johnson converted to pile on the pain. Bottom ager Joel Western got the Tigers on the board midway through the quarter and the game switched into a holding pàttern of sorts. However another indiscretion before the siren led to another 50 metre penalty with Zak Patterson goaling from the square. The 37 point-lead was fully deserved by the Falcons who had winners all over the field led by Jaxon Prior with 20 disposals and Ben Johnson with 14.

The Tigers started the third term with real purpose with Callum Jamieson taking a fine mark and covering from the square and that was soon followed by Charlie Malone kicking their second in quick succession and narrowing the lead to four goals.

For the first time in the contest, the Tigers were running at their opponents and puttting the Falcons under constant pressure. West Perth were well off their game compared to the first two quarters but kicked a steadier right before the siren through Tyron Hindmarsh after some fine ball movement further afield which extended their lead to 30 points. The positive for Claremont was that their effort was certainly now matching their opponents and all they needed was a high level of conversion to finish it off. They got what they were after courtesy of Jack Buller to cut the margin to 20 points. A free kick to Max Minear saw him convert from 40 metres to give them a real chance with eight minutes remaining. However some smart possession football by West Perth saw them withstand the fight back and claim a 14 point win, their second to start the season.

Star of the day

A player that offered so much run from half back was Jaxon Prior who amassed 34 disposals, eight marks, three tackles and countless rebounds from defensive 50 and fully deserved that honour.

Other Falcons who were fine players on the day included Tyron Hindmarsh (28 disposals and eight tackles), Koopah Todd (28 disposals and eight marks) and Ben Johnson (27 disposals and seven marks. A real exciting prospect for the Tigers is mobile 200cm ruck/forward Callum Jamieson with 14 disposals,five marks 13 hit-outs and a goal.

Key factors

The slow start was crucial to the outcome. It is not desirable to give a team a 4-5 goal head start in today’s footy otherwise you are playing catchup for the remainder of the game, however it is still early in the season and there is plenty to work on for both teams. The first half and the ability to show poise under pressure in the closing minutes would please Falcons coach Ryan Lascock and his assistants. Meanwhile, it would have been easy for the Tigers to drop their heads, however they hung in there which was a big positive for the Tigers coaching group. The amount of ball that Claremont took into their forward 50 will also be a pleasing factor (49-33), although they need more players to step up and help convert that advantage.

 

Swan Districts 10.8 (68) defeated East Perth 8.4 (52)

The second game of the double header saw Swan Districts erase a 27-point first half deficit to claim a 16-point win and make it two wins from two games to start the season.

The Royals started the better of the two teams with a number of forward entries. Jaxon East crumbed the ball expertly to kick the first of the game. They then increased their lead through Joshua Ladhams with a mark and goal and just like the previous game one team got off to a flyer with Sam Van Diemen kicking his first under very little pressure. Swans finally got onto the board with their best passage of play leading to a soccered goal by Sebastian Bright from the square. Ladhams put a exclamation point on a great quarter when he marked and goaled from 40 metres as the Royals led by 21 points at quarter time.

Swans got off to the perfect start on the second when Jayden Farrant snapped truly from 15 metres, but Van Diemen replied a few minutes later to give East Perth their their four goal lead once again. Some good forward line pressure saw Sebit Kuek earn a shot at goal which he duly converted and the Royals were out to their biggest lead of the day.

Defender Jack Pasini made the most of a infringement by the man on the mark to kick Swans’ third of the day. The two teams then traded goals towards the end of the second term and East Perth went into the long break with a 21 point margin. The Royals strength throughout the first half was their ability to generate inside 50s (25) and though they only scored on 10 occasions, the weight of numbers told the story. In comparison, Swans only had four scoring shots from their 15 entries. Harley Sparks continued his form from his impressive first game of the season against Subiaco compiling 15 disposals for the half. Meanwhile Kade Wallrodt was a tireless worker for Swans with 14 disposals and two marks.

Bottom ager Ayden Cartwright gave Swans’ the perfect start to the third term with a goal within two minutes. The next 15 minutes was a war of attrition with both teams launching attacks but to no avail. The home team finally broke the deadlock when bottom ager Jamieson Ugle got them to within seven points which seemed inconceivable a quarter ago. The Black and Whites had outscored East Perth 2.2 to no score in the term, but in truth it felt a lot more than that and it was certainly all to play for in the last quarter.

Some clever play early in the last quarter by Narkle set up Cartwright for his second of the game and the scores were now level. East Perth were seemingly running on the spot with Swans all over them like a rash. Cartwright soon kicked his second for the term and Swans had the lead for the first time in the game.

With East Perth needing to find a target in their forward line it was Kuet who stepped up to the mark and cut the deficit to one point. The next goal was always going to be pivotal and it was bottom ager Zane Trew with a fine snap from 35 metres for the home side. The icing on the cake came just before the siren when Jermarl Daly won a free kick and kicked his first major to seal a stirring 16 point victory.

 

Star(s) of the day

There were many candidates with Harley and Connor Sparks amassing 54 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles for the Royals.

But in truth, you could pick a handful of Swan Districts players and not go wrong.
Kade Wallrodt was tireless with 33 disposals and five marks, Zane Trew kicked a decisive goal to go along with his 26 disposals and seven tackles, while bottom ager Ayden Cartwright kicked three goals including two in the all important last term.

However it was the double act of Brenton Hilton and Jake Pasini who really stemmed the tide in the first half. In truth, it would have been a eight goal game without them holding the fort. Then in the second half they were imperious, impassable, impeccable or any other complement you want to pay them. The duo are key to Swan Districts premiership hopes this season.

 

Key factor

Momentum is massive in football and you have to make the most of it when you have it. East Perth had it in the first half but didn’t make the most of it. Swans had it in the second half and kicked six goals to one. That is the game in a nutshell.

 

In Sunday’s games:

East Fremantle 12.8 (80) defeated Subiaco 3.5(23)

East Fremantle made it two wins from two to start the season after a 57-point win. In the clash between the last two premiers it was the home team mastered the greasy conditions from the get-go kicking four goals to no score in the first quarter and the reigning premiers could not respond. Subiaco also were unable to kick a goal in the third term as the Sharks kicked six without reply. Exciting talents Luke Jackson and Trey Ruscoe combined for 40 disposals, nine marks and four goals while Trent Rivers was tireless with 29 disposals and six tackles. With a number of changes to playing personnel and a new head coach, it will take a bit of time for Subiaco to gel. The prolific Tristan Hobley never stopped working hard with 29 disposals and eight tackles.

 

Perth 9.12 (66) defeated South Fremantle 6.9 (45)

Perth kicked six goals to three on the second half to break open what was a low scoring scrappy affair and claim a win in their first game of the season by 21 points. The Demons made the most of their advantage when it came to forward 50 entries (46-33) and scoring shots (21-15) leading as much as 35 points in the last term putting together a impressive performance. Bottom-age talents Nathan O’Driscoll and Cain Evans were terrific for the Demons. O’Driscoll had 32 disposals and five marks while Evans compiled 19 disposals, five tackles and two goals. Meanwhile, Jack Musika was a willing worker with 26 disposals and five tackles and bottom ager Shannon Neale kicked three goals which was a fine effort in a team that only scored six for the game.

West Australian draft prospects set to light up Colts competition

IN 2018, twelve West Australians were selected in the AFL National and Rookie Drafts, with five players taken across the first two rounds. Peter Sumich, Michael Ablett, Glen Jakovich, Ash McGrath, Craig Otto, and Mark Seaby, in different capacities respectively, played significant roles in player development across 2018 and are set to have an even greater impact in 2019.

These are the players in the Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition to keep an eye on for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER
(CLAREMONT/COTTESLOE JFC)

Despite being slightly undersized as a ruckman (196cm), Buller is competitive and aggressive in ruck contests and is exceptional at ground level. In 2018, he was a part of the WA U18s State Academy as a bottom-ager and showed plenty of promise averaging 14 possessions, eight hit-outs, four marks and three tackles with his best performance coming against Vic Country (17 possessions, 18 hit-outs, eight tackles and five marks). He also showed promise playing as a key forward for Claremont’s Colts team with eight goals from five games and averages of 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.

LUKE JACKSON
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

The former Australian junior basketballer is one of the most exciting prospects for next year’s draft, even being mentioned as a possible top five selection. In just four games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he kicked four goals and averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs, four tackles and three inside 50s with dominant outings against Subiaco (14 possessions, 11 hit-outs, and two goals) and South Fremantle (17 possessions, 25 hit-outs and a goal). He was also exceptional for the WA U18s State Academy with two exceptional performances against South Australia (25 possessions, seven marks, and a goal and Vic Metro (seven possessions and 25 hit-outs). His athleticism, skills, and ruck craft are elite for someone his age.

TRENT RIVERS
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

A big-bodied midfielder who thrives at the stoppages, Rivers is an accumulator who gets the ball going forward for his team. He finished equal-second in East Fremantle Colts’ Best and Fairest after averaging 19 possessions, six marks, and two tackles across 15 games. He also polled 10 votes in the Jack Clarke Medal with sensational performances against Perth (20 possessions and six marks), and Claremont (21 possessions and seven marks). He also produced dominant outings in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (19 possessions and four marks) and in the Semi-Final against Peel (19 possessions and two goals) – highlighting his big-game performing ability.

JEREMY SHARP
(EAST FREMANTLE/ATTADALE JFC)

The 2018 U18s All-Australian is a silky-skilled and smooth-moving midfielder much like former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. In four games for Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s, with his best performance coming against Vic Metro (26 possessions, four marks, three inside 50s and a goal). In seven games for East Fremantle, he was named in the best on three occasions including a magnificent performance in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (24 possessions, nine marks and eight inside 50s). At his best, Sharp is a line-breaker who uses his speed, skills and smarts to carve up the opposition. Is shaping up to be a first round selection in 2019 and potentially a top 10 pick.

RHAI-ARN COX
(EAST PERTH/MT HAWTHORN JFC)

Cox made a name for himself in 2017’s AFL U16 Championships when he booted a goal after the siren to win the game against Vic Metro. The 2017 WA U16s Vice-Captain is a crafty small forward with explosive athleticism, dazzling skills, an incredible toughness and a great understanding of the play. In 11 games for East Perth in 2018 he booted 15 goals (winning his Club’s Leading Goalkicker Award) and averaged 13 possessions, four marks and two tackles with some sizzling performances against Claremont (17 possessions and three goals), East Fremantle (10 possessions and three goals), Swan Districts (17 possessions and two goals) and West Perth (13 possessions and two goals). He also starred in the AFL U17s Futures game with 12 possessions and three goals for Team Riewoldt.

DEVEN ROBERTSON
(PERTH/MANNING JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Captain and MVP winner is a bullocking inside midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game. In four games for WA’s U18s he averaged 14 possessions, seven tackles, two marks and two inside 50s with his best performances coming against the Allies (17 possessions, four tackles, and three inside 50s) and Vic Country (17 possessions and nine tackles). In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, Robertson averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and four inside 50s, with best afield performances against East Fremantle (33 possessions, six marks, five tackles and five inside 50s) and Peel Thunder (34 possessions, five tackles and five inside 50s), and a near best-afield performance against Subiaco (36 possessions and a goal). The nephew of former West Coast champion Darren Glass has a very bright future.

ELIJAH TAYLOR
(PERTH/THORNLIE JFC)

The Thornlie junior is an exciting medium half-forward who has plenty of tricks to make opposing defenders extremely nervous. In 17 games for the Perth Demons’ Colts, Taylor averaged 13 possessions, three inside 50s, two marks and kicked nine goals with his best games coming against East Fremantle (14 possessions and a goal, East Perth (16 possessions and two goals) and Swan Districts (16 possessions, seven marks, three inside 50s and a goal). At his best, Taylor is a very hard match-up due to his size, explosive athleticism, damaging skills and elite decision-making – factors that will help him with his development into senior football. He is a raw prospect who has plenty of growth and an x-factor.

MITCHELL GEORGIADES
(SUBIACO/WEMBLEY DOWNS JFC)

The son of former Subiaco and Western Bulldogs sharpshooter John Georgiades, Mitchell is one of the most exciting forwards in WA’s State-Based AFL Academy. Blessed with a great set of hands, excellent skills and an elite reading of the play, Georgiades is a young forward with tremendous upside. In just six games for Subiaco’s Colts’ team, he averaged 13 possessions, six marks, two inside 50s, two tackles and booted eight goals with his best performance coming against South Fremantle (12 possessions, seven marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two goals). He was also instrumental for Western Australia’s U18s team, where he averaged 10 possessions, four marks, two tackles and kicked three goals across four games, with his most notable against the Allies (13 possessions and two goals). He is already shaping up to be one of the most explosive forward options in next year’s draft pool.

RILEY GARCIA
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Leadership group midfielder is a small midfield dynamo who has excellent speed, agility, skills and reading of the play. He made his WAFL Colts debut as a 15-year-old in 2016 and since then has gone on to become one of the premier midfielders for the 2019 AFL Draft. In 24 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Garcia has kicked 14 goals and averaged 20 possessions, three tackles and three marks. In 2018 he finished ninth in the Jack Clarke Medal and sixth in Swan Districts’ Colts’ Best and Fairest after some exceptional performances including best afield performance against Perth (32 possessions and a goal) and Claremont (31 possessions). However his performances in the 2018 finals series should have recruiters monitoring him closely after he averaged 22 possessions, three marks, two tackles and kicked four goals across four games.

JAKE PASINI
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

A no-nonsense defender, Pasini has an excellent aerial ability and a powerful kick on him, making him an attractive defensive prospect. In 16 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Pasini averaged 11 possessions, three marks and three tackles while more often than not, he held the opposition’s key forward to minimal impact. This was especially evident in the Semi-Final against Subiaco where he held the 2018 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Jack Mayo goalless while he recorded nine possessions and took five marks. He was also excellent for Western Australia with excellent defensive efforts on Sam Flanders (Vic Country) and Matthew Walker (Allies) in his two games. The club that picks up Pasini will have a defender who goes about his business quietly and with no fuss.

OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
Liam Henry (Claremont/Cottesloe JFC)
Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle/Booragoon JFC)
Jack Sears (Peel Thunder/South Mandurah)
Tristan Hobley (Subiaco/Kingsway JFC)
Jaxon Prior (West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC)

TESTING DAY STANDOUTS:

Jonathon Garlett was one of the best performers at the inaugural WA talent testing and education day, held at Aquinas College. The Geraltdon Towns product was electric in the 20m sprint (2.84 seconds) and agility test (8.17 seconds), while also showcasing the explosiveness that helped him to a national high jump medal – posting 91cm in the running vertical jump and 85cm in the standing. Swan Districts duo Ben Taylor and Kade Wallrodt also caught the eye, with Taylor showing a good mix of speed and enduarance with a 2.98-second 20 metre sprint and 21.1 yoyo test score. Wallrodt also had a sub-three second 20 metre sprint time, as well as a solid agilty score of 8.40 seconds. Of the WA-based AFL Academy members, Perth’s Deven Robertson proved his hard work in the off-season would pay off, with good scores across the board and particular improvement in the 2km time trial. Fremantle Next Generation Academy prospects Liam Henry and Brandon Walker were also impressive, as was 2018 Under 16 standout Logan McDonald – putting in early claims as ones to watch for the 2020 draft.   

Western Australia’s future stars named in state-based AFL Academy

WESTERN Australia looks set to have an excellent pool of possible draftees in 2019 and 2020, after the 28-man Western Australia AFL Academy squad was announced. Swan Districts have the most representatives with six, while East Fremantle and Perth have five apiece. The side will be coached by former West Coast spearhead Peter Sumich, and their first camp will be from December 10 – December 15. Below are the five notable players from Western Australia for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER – CLAREMONT

A competitive and aggressive ruckman who is excellent at ground level, Buller was WA’s main ruckman in 2018 and he handled the responsibility with aplomb. Despite only being 196cm, Buller competed hard in the ruck contests and once the ball hit the ground, he transformed into a big-bodied midfielder. In four games for WA, he averaged 14 possessions eight hitouts, four marks, and three tackles, while in five games for Claremont, he booted eight goals and averaged 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks and two tackles.

RHAI-ARN COX – EAST PERTH

A dynamic small forward with plenty of tricks, Cox made a name for himself with a goal after the siren to secure victory for WA over Vic Country in last year’s AFL National Under 16 Championships. He had a decent year with East Perth in 2018, averaging 13 possessions, four marks, three tackles and booted 15 goals from 11 games.

LUKE JACKSON – EAST FREMANTLE

The former Australian junior basketball sensation is an athletic ruckman with excellent follow-up work and has already drawn comparisons to West Coast star Nic Naitanui. In two games for WA, Jackson averaged 16 possessions, 13 hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three clearances and three rebounding 50s. In four games for East Fremantle, he averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs and four tackles.

DEVEN ROBERTSON – PERTH

The nephew of former West Coast captain Darren Glass, Robertson has made a name for himself as a bullocking inside midfielder. In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, the 2017 WA U16s MVP winner averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and three marks to finish sixth in the Best & Fairest. He was also excellent for WA, averaging 14 possessions and seven tackles.

JEREMY SHARP – EAST FREMANTLE

The 2018 AFL Under 18s All-Australian is a composed and skilled outside midfielder, not too dissimilar to former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. For Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s across four games, while in seven games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he averaged 19 possessions and five marks.

WA’S STATE-BASED AFL ACADEMY SQUAD:

Jack Buller – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Anthony Davis – Claremont/Hale School/Borden FC
Liam Henry – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Joel Western – Claremont/Western Tigers/Subiaco JFC
Luke Jackson – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trent Rivers – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trey Ruscoe – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Booragoon JFC
Jeremy Sharp – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Attadale JFC
Brandon Walker – East Fremantle/Kardinya Kats JFC
Rhai-Arn Cox – East Perth/Mt Hawthorn JFC
Jack Sears – Peel Thunder/South Mandurah FC
Tyrone Thorne – Peel Thunder/Rockingham JFC
Deven Robertson – Perth/Aquinas College/Manning JFC
Elijah Taylor – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Bailey Smith – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Mitchell Georgiades- Subiaco/Hale School/Wembley Downs JFC
Nicholas Martin – Subiaco/Trinity College/Noranda JFC
Jermal Daly – Swan Districts/South Hedland
Riley Garcia – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Denver Grainger-Barras – Swan Districts/Kalamunda JFC
Jake Pasini – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Ty Sears – Swan Districts/South Bunbury FC
Zane Trew – Swan Districts/Hills Rangers FC
Ryan Hudson – West Perth/Scotch College/Kalannie FC
Michael Mallard – West Perth/Wanneroo JFC
Jaxon Prior – West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC
Logan McDonald – Perth/Aquinas College
Nathan O’Driscoll – Perth/Northam Saints

Western Australian weekly wrap: Lions tame the elements to make it eight straight

IT has been a wet old winter on the west coast and this week was no exception. It is always fascinating to see how individuals adapt in these conditions as it can be a key element of being a good all-round player.

Find out below who excelled in the gloomy conditions and whether South Fremantle took a major step in their quest to seal the final spot in the top five.

Round 18 WAFL Colts Wrap:

Subiaco 9.5 (59) defeated Swan Districts 3.3 (21)

Subiaco underlined their favouritism for the 2018 Colts competition with a very solid 38-point win over Swan Districts at a sodden Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

The Lions came into the contest on the back of seven straight wins to be sitting pretty with a one game lead over Peel heading into the final month of the season, while Swans had suffered a slight dip in form of late but registered a vital victory against their top four rivals East Fremantle last week.

The players were greeted with a waterlogged ground due to a week of steady rain, topped off by a overnight downpour meaning that it wasn’t necessarily going to be pretty to watch but effective and smart football was the order of the day to get the four points.

The start of the game saw both teams look to adjust to the ground conditions and it was Subiaco who made the stronger start through a mark and goal by ruckman Xavier Peacock. After Swans had a fair bit of play in their forward 50, a very smart piece of play occurred from Nathan French where he soccered the ball from 35 metres and it skidded through for their second goal of the game.

The outer wing was favoured in a attacking sense by both sides due to it being a lot drier than the members side of the ground. Swans were certainly getting their hands to the ball but the only thing missing was their finishing touch in front of goal. However, they remained well in the contest due to the difficulty of kicking a big score because of the conditions.

Scoring was at a premium in the second quarter with only one point registered in the opening 16 minutes. Zane Shellabear Healy broke the drought soon after when he snuck out the back from a stoppage to snap truly and that was soon followed by key forward Jack Mayo picking up a ground ball and kicking a goal from 40 metres.

Swans were being out worked and seemingly lacked any system heading into their forward 50. The Subiaco running fleet of Liam Hickmott, Tristan Hobley and Shellabear Healy were having a field day in the conditions racking up close to 60 possessions between them for the first half. Subiaco went into the long break leading by 23 points and looking on track to push their winning streak to eight games.

The Lions got off to the perfect start in the third term when Hobley continued his fine first half performance with a goal. The Swans finally kicked their first goal of the game five minutes in when Harry Edwards sharked the ball brilliantly to kick truly from 35 and finally gain a bit of momentum. However, Shellabear Healy was once again able to sneak out the back and make himself available to mark and goal from the goalsquare.

Swans were striving to move the ball quickly but the delivery was poor and they were breaking down across half forward where Subiaco were able to mop up and get the ball out of danger. The visitors’ day was summed up when a long bomb was delivered by Hobley deep into the goal square which was dropped on the line by the Swans defender and ever the opportunist, French was on the spot to soccer home his second of the contest. A fine chase down effort by Blake Pescud was one of Swans few highlights in the term but unfortunately his kick on goal did not match his effort. Subiaco turned for home with a very impressive 38-point lead and Swan Districts needed some kind of miracle to stand a chance in the final term.

Some good work to start the final term by Benjamin Taylor saw Max Bradley kick his first and his team’s second of the game. Strong forward line pressure soon set up another chance for the visitors and 16 year-old Ayden Cartwright duly delivered. For the first time in the game, Swans had put Subiaco under a sustained pressure by kicking consecutive goals, but with a commanding lead it was not a case of panic stations for the Lions. The visitors were controlling the possession of the ball and inside 50s but  needed a focal point to make the most of their hard work.

Any doubt over the result was sealed when Kye Barker attempted to switch from defence but his kick was intercepted by Mayo who converted from close range. Another mistake this time from Brenton Hilton soon after gave Mayo his third goal, a fine effort by the key forward given the conditions.

In the end it was a comprehensive win by the Lions as they won their thirteenth game for the 2018 season. The complete performance by the Lions was highlighted by the fact that they won three of the quarters and the fourth term was 2.2 apiece. A main factor behind the Lions victory was 75 more disposals (359-284) which led to 12 more inside 50s (40-28) and eight more scoring shots (14-6).

The Lions were led by Liam Hickmott who thrived in the heavy conditions with 35 disposals and six tackles while Tristan Hobley was a fine partner in crime with 30 disposals and a goal and Zane Shellabear Healy was excellent roaming between wing and half forward with 24 disposals, seven marks and two goals. In a tough day for Swans it was Kade Walldrot who never stopped trying with 24 disposals and seven marks and four tackles while Joseph Hinder provided some great dash from half back with 25 disposals and five marks.

 

Peel Thunder 10.12 (72) defeated East Perth 9.9 (63)

Peel Thunder kept up the pressure on Subiaco by remaining one game behind the Lions with a hard-fought nine point win over East Perth at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

After trailing by three goals at quarter time, Peel hit back to only trail by a point at the long break and then led their opponent by two goals with a quarter to play. The Royals narrowed that gap in the final term but couldn’t get any closer than eight points as Peel sealed their eleventh win for the season and importantly moved two games clear of Swan Districts and East Fremantle in third and fourth.

It was remarkable that East Perth stayed as close as they did as they had 24 less inside 50s for the game (50-26) but were extremely efficient as they generated 18 scoring shots from those entries. Like he has done for a great majority of the season, Lachlan Riley was a key figure for Peel with 25 disposals, four marks and four tackles while Killian Rawson was lively with three goals. Meanwhile, for East Perth, Jarrod Hamer-Mathew was important with three goals from his eleven disposals while Damon Greaves was solid with 20 disposals, four marks and four tackles.

 

West Perth 7.11 (53) defeated South Fremantle 3.7 (25)

West Perth have given themselves renewed hope of playing finals in 2018 after a convincing 28 point win over South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday evening.

The Falcons were never headed throughout the contest leading by 13 points at quarter time, 17 points at half time and 34 points at three-quarter time. The Bulldogs who had kicked just one goal over the first three quarters showed some heart in the final 25 minutes by winning the quarter two goals to one, but the damage was already done as West Perth drew level with the Bulldogs on points although they have played a game more.

You can throw a blanket across the teams sitting from fifth to ninth and there are certainly bound to be plenty of twists and turns in the final three rounds of the home and away season. Bottom ager Tyron Hindmarsh had 24 disposals and five tackles for the Falcons and he was well supported by Bailey Chalmers, whose work ethic was superb with 12 tackles to go along with 23 disposals while Jaxon Prior had 22 disposals and nine tackles.

Due to a superior percentage over their rivals, South Fremantle’s destiny remains in their own hands in terms of claiming the hotly contested fifth spot. However, they surely would view this as a major opportunity wasted especially as they have a difficult finish to the season playing top four sides Swan Districts and arch rivals East Fremantle. Mason Ward was a true leader for the home side with 31 disposals and ten tackles while Lachlan Johnson was a lone hand in front of goal with 2.2.

Western Australia weekly wrap: Challengers take it up to the contenders

ROUND 16 was an intriguing one in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts, as it saw a number of games between the elite teams of the competition and those who were looking to make major claims to play finals footy. The top teams were certainly tested this weekend but were there any upsets? Read on to find out.

Round 16 WAFL Colts wrap:

South Fremantle 5.11 (41) defeated Peel Thunder 3.19 (37)

It may not have looked all that pretty on the scoreboard, but South Fremantle will not care one bit, as they claimed a thrilling four-point win over an extremely inaccurate Peel Thunder at Bendigo Bank Stadium in a result which could prove pivotal for both teams come the end of the home and away season.

Heading into this contest, the Bulldogs led the chasing pack clamouring for the last finals spot and kept Peel goalless in the opening quarter, leading by eight points through a lone goal to Luke Moore. The dour, scrappy nature of the contest continued in the second term but this time it was Peel in the ascendancy kicking 3.7 to two behinds and opening up a very handy 15 point lead at the long break. South Fremantle, who have found some momentum in the past six weeks and pushed ladder-leader Subiaco in similarly wintry conditions last week, took back the momentum with goals to Matthew Ward and bottom-ager Alec Petkovic but they still trailed by five points with a quarter to play.

While Peel were getting the ball into their forward 50, conversion was a major issue throughout the opening three quarters and that continued in the final 25 minutes. They could only manage six straight behinds while South Fremantle put the ball between the big posts on two occasions courtesy of Lachlan Johnson and Braiden Quartermaine. Accuracy was the main point of difference between the two teams as South Fremantle registered their sixth and most important win of the season while for Peel it was a wasted opportunity to put some pressure on top of the table Subiaco who had the bye.

Ward illustrated the effort required to win a big game as he produced 27 disposals, eight tackles, three marks and a goal for the Bulldogs. He was well supported by Tom Blechynden who had 12 tackles to go with his 21 disposals. Meanwhile for Peel, Lachlan Riley was tireless with 29 disposals and five tackles and the work rate of Jake Howes was elite with 12 tackles to go along with 18 disposals.

 

West Perth 11.10 (76) defeated Swan Districts 9.6 (60) 

West Perth gave their season a deal of life with a stirring 16-point upset win over Swan Districts at Joondalup Arena on Saturday, which saw them move up to sixth position and remain within a game of South Fremantle in fifth.

The Falcons started the stronger, opening up a 14 point lead at quarter time and while Swans swung into gear in the second quarter by kicking four goals, the Falcons held sway in the second term and led by 13 points at the long break. The third quarter was well and truly in favour of the visitors as they kicked three goals to three behinds by West Perth and turned for home three points in front.

With everything on the line and considering positions of both teams on the ladder, you would have assumed that Swan Districts would carry that momentum into the final term and record a comfortable victory. However West Perth had other ideas, as they kicked five goals to two with Western Australia Under 18 representative and Fremantle Dockers Next Generation academy prospect Thomas Medhat proving pivotal with two goals in the term. In truth, West Perth deserved their victory as they compiled 47 more disposals (290-243) and 12 more inside 50s (48-36) which led to six more scoring shots (21-15).

With consistent ball magnet Nathan Murray promoted to the ranks of the reserves, it was left to others to fill that big breach and that was led by bottom ager Tyron Hindmarsh who had 28 disposals, five marks and four tackles. He was supported by fellow junior Jaxon Prior who had 26 disposals and seven marks while Medhat had 11 disposals and three marks to go along with three goals.

Just like Peel, we may have to wait to the end of the season to see how costly this slip-up is for the premiership chances of Swan Districts but it is their fourth defeat in their last five games and are now a game behind East Fremantle in third. Bottom-ager Kade Walldrot continued his promising season for Swans with 19 disposals nine tackles, five tackles along with a goal while Benjamin Taylor kicked three majors along with six marks.

 

East Fremantle 10.14 (74) defeated Perth 9.8 (62) 

East Fremantle overcame a stern test of their premiership credentials by defeating a gallant Perth by 12 points at Lathlain Park.

Perth, who had been on a wretched run of form had over the past two months had the look of a confident side early in this contest and that translated to the scoreboard as they opened up a twenty point lead early in the second quarter. The Sharks were certainly getting their hands on the ball and creating goalscoring opportunities, however inaccuracy was their main issue kicking 2.8 for the half and trailing by 18 points at half-time. You have to go back to the last weekend of May where Perth recorded their last win but with the way they played in the opening two quarters, they headed into the second half with a strong belief that they could end their six-game losing streak.

However, the Sharks know what it takes to win the big moments in games and the reigning premiers rolled up their sleeves and got to work in the third term by kicking four goals to two and narrowed the gap to three points with a quarter to go. Now they had a sniff, it was big trouble for Perth as Dylan Curley kicked a goal and that was soon followed by a second major to bottom-ager Ben Wardle and the game was now on East Fremantle’s terms. Despite Ian Hill kicking his third of the game soon after, East Fremantle steadied again and secured their fourth win and move into outright third on the ladder and only percentage behind second placed Peel.

Curley was a strong focal point for the Sharks with five marks, three tackles and eight hitouts to go along with his 3.2, while Max Murphy was tidy with 20 disposals, six marks and a goal.Hill did all he could within his power to get the Demons over the line amassing 25 disposals, six marks and a goal while Sydney Stack was tireless with 26 disposals and 12 tackles.

Claremont 13.12 (90) defeated East Perth 7.3 (45)

Claremont gave their finals chances a boost with a polished 45 point win over East Perth at Claremont Oval.

Claremont got off to a very quick start in this important clash for both sides kicking the first two goals of the game and repeatedly driving the ball into their forward 50. However East Perth were able to respond with three consecutive goals, with Thomas Baulch kicking two of his own. The match was a very open affair as the Royals took in a four point lead to the quarter time break.

Claremont regained their early momentum in the second quarter kicking four goals to one and opening up a 22 point lead. Claremont arguably had their best first half of the season and led by 30 points at the long break having 44 more disposals (142-98) and 20 more inside 50s (30-10). The Royals, who came into this clash in good form having won their last three games managed to get their hands on the ball and therefore some momentum in the third quarter and kicked two goals to one with Ashley Willcocks kicking his third for the game.

However, the Tigers still had a significant buffer heading into the final quarter and after letting many opportunity slip through their grasp this season, this game was not going to be another one of those occasions as they ended their three-game losing streak by kicking three goals to one behind to complete a 45-point win in one of their best performances of the season.

It has been a season of frustration for last year’s runners-up but this win gives them a base to build upon and if they are able to qualify for the top five, they will certainly be a difficult opponent to face for the rest of the finalists. The Tigers controlled the tempo from the very start of the contest and ended up with 62 more possessions (292-230) which led to 28 more inside 50s (57-29) and 15 more scoring shots (25-10). Two top-age talents led the way for the Tigers with Corey Hitchcock kicking four goals while Isaac Barton was a nuisance to the opposition with 12 tackles along with 18 disposals and two goalsThe performance of Zainel Bin Busu was also a key factor for the Tigers’ win as he had 18 disposals, nine tackles and two goals.

It was tougher to find influential players for the Royals, but Baulch once again led from the front with 25 disposals, nine marks four tackles and a goal whileWillcocks made the most of his opportunities with three goals. With the loss, the Royals fall to the bottom of the ladder, but such is the topsy-turvy nature of this unpredictable season, they sit just one game out of the top five with a game in hand over their rivals, although their percentage is the poorest in the league at just 73.9.

West Australian weekly wrap: Peel Thunder draw closer to top

PEEL Thunder has kept pace with top-of-the-table Swan Districts after a solid victory on the weekend, while Subiaco is not going away either following a 40-point win over East Perth.

Claremont 7.9 (51) defeated West Perth 7.7 (49)

Claremont has survived a close encounter to knock off West Perth by two points on the weekend. Trailing by 11 points at quarter time, the Tigers booted the only three goals of the second term to regain the lead by the main break and take a seven-point advantage into half-time. Both sides managed a goal in the third term and then the Falcons pushed hard in the final quarter, booting three goals to two, falling just short of the Tigers in the end.

Returning from West Australian duty during the National Under 18 Championships bye for the state, Tigers’ Rylie Morgannotched up 26 disposals, three marks, six inside 50s and laid seven tackles. Max Grant also had 26 disposals, while laying four tackles, and Thomas Baldwin had 22 and seven. Nathan Pearce took seven marks to go with his 21 disposals, while Isaac Barton booted two goals from 16 disposals. Angus Longmire and Jordon Reid were influential in the ruck with a combined 47 hitouts.

Nathan Murray racked up 34 disposals, five marks, four tackles, five inside 50s and a goal for the Falcons, while Jaxon Prior also found a heap of the ball with 32 disposals, seven marks, five inside 50s and three tackles. Eamon Gilbert was a standout in the ruck and across the ground, having 26 hitouts to go with 17 disposals, four marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal. Henry Ryan laid a game-high 10 tackles, while Tom Medhat was solid with 23 disposals, four marks and five tackles.

 

Perth 10.5 (65) defeated by East Fremantle 14.9 (93)

A five goals to three final quarter has resulted in East Fremantle racing away from Perth to record a 28-point away win. The Sharks raced out of the blocks to boot five first quarter goals and lead by 20 points at the first change. By half-time they held a 15-point advantage, then put the foot down in the second half to run away with the game. Perth had more disposals than their opponents, but East Fremantle was dominant in the ruck, amassing 63 hitouts to their opposition’s 14.

Corey Robinson and Trent Rivers both had 18 disposals for the winners, while Edward Curley booted three goals up forward from 14 disposals and five marks. Max Murphy took six marks to go with his 17 disposals and two inside 50s, while Cody Smith booted a goal to go with his 16 disposals and six marks. The dominant ruckman on the ground by far was Nicholas Watson, who finished with a whopping 48 hitouts for the game.

Perth had its top-end talent return to the side after West Australian duties but could not get over the line despite some impressive individual performances. Luke English had his best game of the year with 40 disposals, 10 marks, four tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal, while Sydney Stack racked up 33 disposals, five tackles and five inside 50s. Ian Hillbooted three goals from 14 disposals, while Maverick Hamilton had 27 disposals, six marks, six inside 50s, three tackles and a goal. Ethan Hansen was the other major ball winner with 22 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and a goal.

 

East Perth 6.4 (40) defeated by Subiaco 11.21 (87)

Subiaco has heaped more pressure on cellar dwellers East Perth with a commanding 47-point victory away from home. The Lions restricted their opponents to just four behinds in the first half, before the Royals came out firing to boot five goals in the third term. It was a case of too little, too late, but there was some consolation for East Perth, forcing the Lions to boot 2.12 in the final term and restrict the final margin getting out any more.

In returning from West Australian duties, Luke Foley had 27 touches, three marks, 10 inside 50s and laid nine tackles, while Will Hickmott was also important with 24 disposals, two marks and five tackles. Tristan Hobley was the most prominent ball winner, racking up 32 disposals, five marks, five tackles and four inside 50s, while Zane Shellabear Healey and Jacob Peletier both had 23 disposals. Prominent goal kicker Jack Mayo was limited to 1.3, but instead Nicholas Martin stepped up, booting 3.2 from 16 disposals and four marks.

For the Royals, Louis Miller had 28 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and three tackles, while Damon Greaves was the other big ball winner with 27 disposals, six marks and five tackles. Rhai-Arn Cox was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors from nine disposals and four marks, while Eric Bashemule and Rory Sparks both recorded 18 disposals and six marks each.

 

South Fremantle 6.6 (42) defeated by Peel Thunder 11.10 (76)

Peel Thunder has moved to within percentage of ladder leaders Swan Districts, albeit with the Black Swans having a game in hand. The Thunder came from behind to power home in the last quarter against South Fremantle, booting six goals to zero and record a comfortable 34-point win. The Bulldogs looked good in the first three quarters, holding a two-point lead at the final break, but a 6.1 to 0.1 final quarter in favour of the visitors put to bed any chance of an upset.

Jackson Perry was the top disposal winner for the Thunder, notching up 23 disposals, four marks, three tackles and five inside 50s. Brad Oldfield was also prolific with 21 disposals, nine tackles and five inside 50s, while Michael Randallbooted a goal from 19 touches and six tackles. James Sturrock also managed 19 disposals and three marks, while Jarrod Fazioli kicked a goal from 15 disposals. Ben Middleton and Lachlan Cullen were the major goal kickers with three majors each. Billy Chambers had a day out in the ruck with 43 hitouts.

For the Bulldogs, Tom Blechynden had 23 touches, nine marks, four tackles and two inside 50s, while Matthew Wardlaid a game-high 10 tackles to go with 20 disposals and four marks. Toby McQuilkinEnrique Aiken-Featherstone and Neil Irani all had 16 touches, while Thomas Weston booted two goals to be the only multiple goal kicker for the home side. Regan Spooner laid six tackles to go with his 13 touches.