WAFL Round 6 Wrap
Subiaco has made an emphatic statement to the rest of the WAFL competition, defeating ladder leaders Claremont by 40 points at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
Despite missing several premiership stars the Lions blew the highly fancied Tigers away with a ten goal to one first half, keeping the visitors goalless for almost an hour of game time on their way to a 13.16 (94) to 7.12 (54) triumph.
In other round six results West Perth overcame a 23 point half time deficit to record a sensational nine point victory over Swan Districts to deny Swans star Tony Notte a victory in his 250th game at Arena Joondalup, a starring performance from Haiden Schloithe was enough to help South Fremantle scrape home by seven points over East Perth at Fremantle Oval, an eight goal opening term was the catalyst for Peel Thunder’s 15 point win over Perth at Lathlain Park while East Fremantle piled on the pain for West Coast, recording a 125 point demolition at East Fremantle Oval.
Claremont headed in to their clash with Subiaco as heavy favourites, Ash Prescott’s men undefeated against a Lions outfit that was forced to make five changes through injury for the contest.
Rowen Powell and Max Walters (concussion), Ben Sokol (calf), Hayden Kennedy (hamstring) were all ruled out leading in to the clash, Jordan Lockyer also joining them on the sidelines when he was a late withdrawal with a calf strain.
Alex Manuel goaled in the opening minute as the Tigers made a fast start, only for Subiaco to respond strongly with goals to Nick Martin and Jordan Faraone (two) to help the Lions to a 15 point lead at the first change.
Claremont were under pressure for a rare time early in the 2021 season and couldn’t handle the Lions ferocity at the contest, a six goal to nil second term giving Beau Wardman’s team a staggering 48 point lead at half time, Manuel’s goal the Tigers only major.
Michael Braut was marking everything for Subiaco in defence while Lachlan Delahunty, Greg Clark, Leigh Kitchin and Harry Marsh were in command in midfield, Martin with four first half goals in just his second match of the season.
Claremont tried to launch a comeback in the third term with consecutive goals to Harry McCracken and Manuel but Subiaco steadied, winning the quarter to turn for home with a 50 point lead.
The visitors won the final term with three goals to one but it was Subiaco’s day, recording their fourth win from five matches.
Remarkably the Lions have still not lost consecutive matches since rounds 21 and 22 2014, a sequence of 123 games without back-to-back defeats.
Delahunty had 29 disposals in a terrific performance on a wing as well as time in the ruck, Braut was his side’s best player with 27 disposals and 12 marks in a commanding defensive performance while Greg Clark was fantastic once again with 25 touches and a goal.
Claremont had few winners on a dirty day before the state game bye, Lachlan Martinis with 26 disposals and Manuel with three majors in a performance they will hope not to replicate in their next fixture against East Fremantle in two weeks’ time.
West Perth produced a season defining win over Swan Districts at Arena Joondalup, overcoming a 23 point half time margin to record their first win since round two with a 9.8 (62) to 8.5 (53) triumph.
The match marked the return of West Perth stalwart Jason Salecic, who played his first league match since the 2013 WAFL premiership triumph having come out of retirement during the off-season.
Without Tyler Keitel, Ben Delaporte, Trent Manzone and Kris Shannon the Falcons started sluggishly, kicking just one goal in the opening half as the in-form Swans outfit took a strong lead in to the half in a low scoring game.
Thomas Edwards was causing headaches inside forward 50 for the black and whites, slotting three first half goals as the Falcons lacked a tall target of their own in the absence of Keitel.
The margin pushed out to 29 points early in the third term before the wheel started to turn for the home side, staring down the barrel at a 1-4 start should they fail to secure the four points.
Former Swan Rudy Riddoch was pivotal in the second half resurgence, kicking 3.2 while Tyson Moulton kicked two goals as the Falcons closed to within 15 points at three quarter time.
The final term was played on West Perth’s terms and in their half of the ground, Geoff Valentine’s side remarkably finishing with 55 inside 50’s to Swans 33 as they slammed on four goals to two behinds in the last stanza to record a stirring victory.
Shane Nelson (35 disposals) found plenty of the ball as did Connor West (29) and Liam Tedesco (28), Swans letting an opportunity slip to go 4-1 with their last quarter fadeout.
For Swan Districts Frank Anderson had 29 disposals and Corey Gault dominated the ruck with 26 disposals and 36 hitouts, reigning Sandover medallist Sam Fisher held to just 16 touches in a rare quiet outing for the star midfielder.
Haiden Schloithe continued to push his claims for a second Sandover Medal in another virtuoso performance for South Fremantle against East Perth at Fremantle Oval, a lacklustre Bulldogs side edging past a plucky Royals outfit that remains winless after five games.
The home side kept their opponents at bay for most of the day but couldn’t quite push away, Schloithe’s 35 disposals and 3 goals the standout performance in a low scoring, scrappy encounter.
The Dogs led at every change, but the Royals kept them honest right till the final siren, the red and whites prevailing 10.4 (64) to 8.9 (57).
Blake Schlensog continued to press his claims for a mid-season rookie spot with a dominant defensive game, 28 disposals and 12 marks underlining his importance to the Dogs back six.
Aidan Lynch had 35 disposals and six inside 50’s to lift his midfield group with the continued absence of East Perth skipper Jackson Ramsay, the man leading the side in his absence Angus Scott with 28 touches as the Royals closed to within two points late in the game, Jimmy Miller replicating his grand final deeds last October with the game sealing major in time on.
Peel Thunder’s local talent shone through in their 15 point win over Perth at Lathlain Park, an eight goal first quarter vital in the final result despite a second half Demon fightback.
With Fremantle taking an extended squad to Brisbane for their clash with the Lions it left Peel with just five Dockers listed players for the contest with Perth, who were full of confidence after a 30 point win over East Fremantle in round five.
That confidence quickly disappeared as the Thunder slammed on eight straight first quarter goals, Perth shellshocked by a slick start from the visitors.
Perth would win the next three terms but couldn’t recover sufficiently from a 35 point quarter time deficit, dropping their second match at home for the season in as Peel maintained their place in the top five with a 14.8 (92) to 11.11 (77) result.
Ben Hancock had 32 disposals in another strong showing in midfield for Cam Shepherd’s side, but the best player on the ground was the smallest in speedster Tyrone Thorne, who had 29 disposals and kicked two majors to continue his strong start to the season.
Veteran Will Schofield played an outstanding game in the ruck with 19 disposals and 21 hitouts, Josh Treacy also having an impact on the ball while pushing forward to kick a goal.
Ryan Bennell kicked three goals for the winners, while Jack Sears was swung forward to kick 2.3 in an impressive showing from the colts product.
Perth were left to rue their slow start to the contest, Kristian Cary kicking four goals and Haydn Busher three to lift their side in a spirited fightback.
Having been the perennial whipping boys of the WAFL competition for the past five seasons East Fremantle enjoyed being on the right side of a one sided result, handing West Coast their biggest WAFL defeat in a 125 point belting at East Fremantle Oval.
With just four AFL listed players to select from the task was always likely to be a tough one for the wounded Eagles, and it proved just that as they managed just three goals for the day, the Sharks slamming through 22 of their own in the 22.15 (147) to 3.4 (22) score line.
The home side had 225 more disposals, a staggering 49 more inside 50’s and 30 more scoring shots than their beleaguered opponents, increasing their lead at every change.
Jonathon Marsh finished with seven majors in a dominant performance, five before half time as he capitalised on a profitable East Fremantle midfield effort.
Blaine Boekhorst had 41 disposals and Josh Schoenfeld 40, Marsh with 24 disposals and 7.3 in a men against boys style contest.
12 East Fremantle players registered a goal and every player had ten disposals or more in a performance that improved the Sharks season record to 3-2, as well as giving them valuable percentage.
Xavier O’Neill fought a lone hand in midfield for West Coast with 34 disposals, fellow AFL listed team mates Ben Johnson (29) and Brayden Ainsworth (23) also found some football on a lamentable day for the Eagles reserves side.
The 125 point winning margin was the Sharks biggest since round 10, 2010, a performance that pushes them in to the top five at the end of round six.
Subiaco’s win nudges them above Claremont on percentage on top of the WAFL ladder, South Fremantle in third followed by East Fremantle and Peel Thunder.
Swans loss puts them out of the top five on percentage, West Perth and Perth both on 2-3 win-loss records while East Perth and West Coast are still without a win after five matches.
Next weekend is a general competition bye with the 2021 State Game between South Australia and Western Australia at the Adelaide Oval to be played next Saturday.