Tag: WAFL Colts

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

WAFL Colts Player Focus: Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)

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

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

POCKET PROFILE

Angus Sheldrick
Claremont/Western Australia

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

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

2021 Averages:
WAFL Colts (7 games)

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

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

#27 Angus Sheldrick (Claremont)

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

Q1:

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

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

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

Q2:

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

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

Q3:

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

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

Q4:

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

Closing Thoughts:

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

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

Image Credit: Claremont FC

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

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

SCOUTING NOTES

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

Claremont:

#22 Sam Gilbey

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

#29 Jahmal Stretch

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

#32 Jacob van Rooyen

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

#36 Eric Benning

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

Others:

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

Swan Districts:

#2 Max Chipper

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

#8 Elijah Hewett

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

#20 Bryce Watson

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

#32 Tyrell Metcalf

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

#38 Darcy Jones

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

Others:

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

AROUND THE GROUNDS

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

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

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

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

Image Credit: Swan Districts Football Club

WAFL Player Focus: Joshua Cripps (East Fremantle)

EAST Fremantle ruck-forward Joshua Cripps has struck a rich vein of form over the last three WAFL Colts rounds, with his latest effort yielding 20 disposals, five marks and three goals in the Sharks’ 21-point win over West Perth. Cripps, the brother of Carlton co-captain Patrick, has his sibling covered for height and was added to Western Australia’s Under 19 state squad after his Round 11 return from an ACL tear.

Having ultimately missed out on those representative duties on Saturday, the 199cm prospect sent a reminder of his talent and looms as a key figure in the Sharks’ upcoming finals campaign. We put Cripps’ Round 21 WAFL Colts performance under the Player Focus microscope this week, breaking down his game quarter-by-quarter.

>> Results: WAFL Colts Round 21

POCKET PROFILE

Joshua Cripps
East Fremantle/Western Australia

DOB: 13/08/2002 (19)
Height/Weight: 199cm/94kg
Position: Ruck/Key Forward

Strengths: Size, one-on-ones, upside

2021 Averages:
WAFL Colts (8 games)

15.0 disposals | 3.5 marks | 2.0 tackles | 1.5 inside 50s | 8.5 hitouts | 1.5 goals (12 total)

2021 WAFL Colts, Round 21 | East Fremantle 7.15 (57) def. West Perth 5.6 (36)

#20 Joshua Cripps

Stats: 20 disposals (10 kicks, 10 handballs), 5 marks, 2 tackles, 16 hitouts, 2 inside 50s, 3 goals

Quarter-by-quarter:

Q1

Starting in the ruck, Cripps made a busy start to his Round 21 outing. He found plenty of ball across the opening 25 minutes, doing most of his work by hand with a total of three kicks and five handballs.

His first touch was a smart one, as he went up uncontested at a ball-up and had the presence of mind to take the ball before handing it off to a runner. He followed up his ruckwork and also got involved in general play, helping to keep East Fremantle moving forward under pressure.

While lumbering in his overall style, Cripps proved quite effective with his couple of short-mid-range kicks, but the third was a bomb inside 50 impacted by tackling pressure.

Q2

Again taking up the primary ruck duties before rotating forward, Cripps notched up a handful more touches and hit the scoreboard in term two with a nice bit of forward craft.

He brought his size and strong body to the contest and was trusted enough by his midfielders to be used as they moved the ball forward, playing within his limits and dishing off quickly.

His highlight for the term was the aforementioned goal, which he snared from a set shot 10m out. Cripps was stationed one-out deep inside 50 and did well to push off his opponent with one arm, while reeling the mark with the other. It capped off a solid half overall for the big man.

Q3

Leaning on the confidence gained from his mark and goal, Cripps got his marking game going a bit more with some better work around the ground, and neat disposal to go with it.

He positioned well behind the ball and after getting his hands to multiple contests, finally juggled a contested intercept mark at half-forward, before almost being caught as he wheeled around to kick.

He was also sighted working back into the defensive half to help East Fremantle move the ball forward, twice marking uncontested and delivering effective kicks to spread the play. In another solid term, Cripps added three kicks, two handballs and three marks.

Q4

With both sides evenly matched and battling for ascendancy all day, Cripps helped deliver a couple of daggers with a really promising final quarter. This time he started forward, stationed deep in hopes of utilising his one-on-one marking quality.

Cripps also took on the rucking duties inside 50 and formed a terrific partnership with Ed Curley, who he palmed down to twice at stoppages. He also got on the end of a Curley kick to mark and goal from 45m, extending the Sharks’ lead with his second major.

He booted another goal from about 15m out having been made to play on from a kick that didn’t travel the required distance, but he steadied and sold a bit of candy before finishing on his trusty left boot.

Ending the day with an equal game-high three goals on a day where they were hard to come by, Cripps had a big say in the final result and proved productive with 20 disposals, five marks, and 16 hitouts to go with his scoreboard impact.

Featured Image: Joshua Cripps (#20) flies in the ruck | Credit: Brian Conduit via West Perth FC

2021 WAFL Colts: Round 21 weekend wrap

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

>> Scouting Notes: WA vs. SA U19s

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

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

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 20 – West Perth vs. South Fremantle

WEST Perth solidified its top five spot on Sunday morning, beating South Fremantle by 47 points to move a game clear of the sixth-ranked side. In what was the lone WAFL Colts fixture for Round 20, the Falcons kicked away with six goals to one in the opening quarter and despite South’s efforts to bridge the gap, skipped away again in term three to lead by 50 points at the last break. In the end, they were a class above in the 14.9 (93) to 6.10 (46) result. We take a look at a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes.

SCOUTING NOTES

West Perth 14.9 (93) def. South Fremantle 6.10 (46)

West Perth:

#7 Luke Michael

One of the many promising West Perth bottom-agers, Michael got involved in his side’s positive ball movement from defence and was aggressive in his forays further afield. He timed his runs well to either receive and run through the corridor, or push right up as a marking outlet to go inside attacking 50 by foot. 13 of his 16 disposals were kicks, including five inside 50s, and nine came from marks, exemplifying Michael’s style of play as an effective rebounder.

#8 Lochlan Paton

While not his best outing in the way of skill efficiency, Paton still managed to get the ball in dangerous areas as he played almost exclusively off half-forward. The state Under 19s squad member again worked hard up the ground and looked to use his class on the way back, while contributing his usual tackling efforts with five overall. He displayed smooth movement in possession, finishing with 19 touches and six inside 50s in the Falcons’ win.

#12 Darcy Dixon

Dixon was everywhere at times in the first half and started like a house on fire, booting two goals in the first 15 minutes. He brought great energy to the contest with his power and turn of speed, creating some positive run and explosive feats around the ground – including an outstanding overhead mark for his first major. The 19-year-old midfielder-forward continued to drive West Perth forward after half time but as a touch more patchy compared to his grand opening, ending up with 15 disposals and 2.2.

#19 Griff Julian

Along with fellow bottom-ager Michael in defence, Julian was a solid member of the back six. He showed nice bits of poise on the ball to find targets in tight spots when roaming up the ground, while also proving strong back in defensive 50. In a solid performance which yielded 21 disposals and six marks, Julian moved the ball on quickly and took full advantage of a 50m penalty to hit the scoreboard in term two.

#23 Kane Bevan

Having been utilised as more of a key position outlet at either end of the ground, the 192cm Bevan has moved into midfield of late and continues to thrive. The state Under 17s squad member racked up a game-high 27 disposals, including seven marks, and six inside 50s. He used his big frame around the contest to bustle away and roll would-be tacklers off his back, while showcasing his clean hands both at the coalface and in a string of impressive overhead marks during term three. He snuck forward before half time to claim a goal, making for a well-rounded outing.

#40 Jasper Scaife

West Perth’s fourth state Under 17s squad member, Scaife is one for Fremantle fans to watch as yet another Dockers NGA prospect. The 195cm ruck/forward was primarily stationed in attack and showed some promising signs, moving well for his size with ball in hand. He notched the game’s first goal with a confidently struck set shot from 50m, before adding a couple of minor scores among his 11 touches for the day.

South Fremantle:

#6 Mitchell Brown

In his first game back from injury since Round 4, Brown was eased into things as he started the game in attack. He began brightly too, presenting well at half-forward and sneaking on the end of a lovely passage to put through South Fremantle’s first goal of the game. He was then shifted into midfield after quarter time where he managed to register 13 disposals and five tackles in what was a solid return game for the 18-year-old, who was a state Under 16 representative in 2019.

#18 Aaron Drage

A regular ball winner for South Fremantle, Drage went about his usual business with 22 disposals and a goal on Sunday. The solidly-built midfielder put his frame over the ball and was typically effective by hand, helping release to the outer while also working back when South lost the initial midfield battle. Drage’s goal came in the second quarter, as he received on the move and waltzed into about 40m, steadying nicely before converting his shot.

#20 Caleb Stephens

Stephens has been one to stand up week-after-week for South Fremantle, and did so once again with a team-high 26 disposals in Round 20. He started in midfield for the first and third terms but also spent plenty of time in defence, where he would fight to win the ball back and move it quickly on the rebound. Stephens was relatively effective with the ball and pulled down a strong contested mark in the third quarter, capping off another solid outing for the 18-year-old.

#29 Chase Bourne

A great point of difference in South Fremantle’s midfield with his speed, Bourne provided some much-needed spark for the Bulldogs. The 2005-born prospect did everything on the move and kept moving after each touch, chaining together a few handy passages to break the lines going forward. With 19 disposals, five tackles and five inside 50s, Bourne wasn’t afraid to show a bit of cheek and backed his flair up with impactful play.

Image Credit: Brian Conduit/West Perth FC

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

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

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