Western Australia weekly wrap: Subiaco storm into premiership contention

DESPITE only three games being played in the WAFL Colts this weekend with Peel Thunder, East and South Fremantle having the bye, there were still statements to be made for the sides that did play.

Round 12 wrap:

Subiaco 9.8 (62) defeated Swan Districts 5.11 (41)

​Subiaco illustrated they are a major contender for the 2018 premiership with a 21-point win over Swan Districts at a sunny Steel Blue Oval. The clash was between first and third on the ladder and perfect still conditions greeted both teams.

With the game a solid mid-season test of both team’s premiership credentials, it was a cagey opening ten minutes, with Swans bottom-ager Kade Walldrot kicking the first goal of the game from the 50-metre line. Not long after, a smooth passage of play from the visitors saw a combination of handballs which ended with Jack Mayo finishing with a goal on the run. A contentious play-on call after what looked to be a clear push in the back by Liam Hickmott saw the Subiaco midfielder kick the Lions’ second of the quarter. Subiaco were looking to use their strong running game to advantage by using the outer side wing to generate their attacks into the forward 50. A quick kick by Luke Foley led to a shot after the siren by Mayo, who converted from around 25 metres and gave Subiaco a deserved eleven-point lead at quarter time.

Swans were looking lively to start the second term but poor entries into their forward 50 hurt their scoring chances. The dour, scrappy affair suited the visitors who were looking more organised in defence and stronger around the contest with their bigger bodies proving vital. Patrick Farrant managed to break through Subiaco’s rock solid defence with a line-breaking run and the resulting stoppage saw a free kick to to bottom-ager Jax Watson, who converted from close range. Jordan Faroane then scored Subiaco’s first goal for the quarter from a free kick from 30 metres. An attritional half of football ended with the Lions leading by eight points at the long break – it is fair to say that it was a quarter of two halves with Swans dominating the early stages and Subiaco finishing the stronger. Subiaco were well served in the first half by the midfield duo of Tristan Hobley (18 disposals) and Zane Shellabear Healy (15 disposals) while Mayo was a strong target with two goals. For Swans, Farrant and Jarred Cameron were good contributors with 10 disposals each.

Subiaco started the third term in fine form with a goal by Foley from the boundary line on the run from 45 metres. A lack of a true marking target for the home side was becoming evident while Subiaco were not having that issue. Mark Pannell marked and goaled from 48 metres which gave the Lions a 20-point lead, their biggest of the game. Swans desperately needed a goal and Jarrod Brockbernd answered the call with a goal from a free kick for a trip. Soon after, a pin-point kick by Blake Pescud hit Brenton Hilton on the chest and he duly converted from 45 metres, giving Swans some clear momentum for the first time in the game. With the tempo turned up a notch, Subiaco needed a goal just to steady themselves. Faroane managed to do just that by kicking a goal just before the siren to give the Lions a 14-point lead with a quarter to play.

As they had only kicked four goals for the first three quarters, Swans needed a quick start in the final term to challenge their opponents. However, the story of the day for the home team was missed opportunities and poor disposal, and this was again the case to start the last term. Subiaco kicked the all important first goal courtesy good movement in the middle of the ground which was finished by bottom-ager Trey Kennedy. A further blow to Swans chances occurred when the influential Cameron was helped off the ground by two trainers with an ankle injury. The sealer for the Lions came soon after when Kennedy set up Abraham Clinch for a major from close range. To their credit, Swans did not down their tools and Joseph Hinder was able to benefit from some quick ball movement which had been lacking for the majority of the game.

The Lions played out the rest of the game in a composed fashion and ran out 21-point winners in a clear sign that they are a contender for the premiership. In truth, their bigger bodies and better use of the ball were the main difference. Subiaco controlled the possession stats (339-281) were stronger around the contest (78-65 tackles) and generated more inside 50s (40-35). The win for the Lions sees a absorbing three-team tussle for top spot with Peel Thunder claiming first position on the ladder despite having the bye with Swans falling to second and Subiaco remaining in third. All three teams are on seven wins and three losses for the season.

Foley was excellent for Subiaco with 25 disposals, five marks and five tackles along with a goal while he was superbly aided by Shellabear Healy with 27 disposals and seven marks and Jake McKinnon who amassed 13 tackles along with 28 disposals. In terms of the best performers for Swans, Cameron was impactful around the ground out with 26 disposals while Farrant was a real trier in a tough day for the forwards with 18 disposals and six marks.

 

West Perth 15.6.96 defeated Perth 11.9.75

The Falcons inflicted more pain on Perth with a 72-point hiding of the Demons at Joondalup Arena. It was the Demons fourth loss in a row and their second by more than 10 goals in that period. After trailing by 18 points at quarter time, the Falcons outscored their opponents 17 goals to two in a emphatic display.

Top ager Alec Johnson was the star in terms of goalkickers as he kicked five for the day, but also collected 20 disposals and five marks. As ever, Nathan Murray was tireless in his efforts with 26 disposals and three goals and was very well supported by bottom-ager Tyron Hindmarsh with 25 disposals and three marks. Sydney Stack was an honest trier for the Demons with 22 disposals and six marks.

The win was a drought-breaker for West Perth after four consecutive defeats had derailed what was a positive start to their 2018 season. The Demons now hold a tenuous grip on their position in the top five, an unthinkable proposition less than a month ago. West Perth, South Fremantle and Claremont now sit just a game behind them on the ladder with the Bulldogs having a game in hand.

 

East Perth 8.8.56 defeated Claremont 5.10.40

Claremont’s stop-start season stalled yet again as the bottom of the table East Perth registered only their third win for the season with a 16 point victory at Leederville Oval on Saturday evening.

The Royals controlled a great majority of the low scoring contest leading by five points at quarter time, and extended it to 16 points at the long break. The third term saw the Tigers waste many chances in front of goal kicking 1.4 and still trailing by 15 points with a quarter to play. They finally got some momentum to start the fourth quarter by kicking back-to-back goals for the first time in the game only to see East Perth respond strongly by kicking two of their own and sealing a 16 point win.

Rhai-Arn Cox continued his good form from last week with 17 disposals, eight marks and three goals, while the stylish Eric Bashemule (32 disposals, 11 marks) and accumulator Thomas Baulch (30 disposals, seven marks and five tackles) were both very important. The Tigers missed a great chance to go level on points with Perth in fifth spot and are yet to win successive games in 2018 but were well led in this contest by Rylie Morgan with his 29 disposals, nine marks and five tackles.

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