Round 16 was the last of the bye weekends in the WAFL with three games played. The most significant result, on the surface, was Subiaco’s thumping win over West Coast. The Eagles were beginning to look a bit scary with wins over East Fremantle (72 points), South Fremantle (22), Peel (48) and West Perth (69) in their last four outings.
However, as had been pointed out on these pages before, you truly don’t know what you’re getting from week-to-week with the AFL-affiliated WAFL teams. The West Coast team that played on Saturday was nothing like the one that thrashed West Perth in round 14 – six AFL-listed players weren’t in the line-up and Brady Grey was out suspended. Sometimes it’s personnel with West Coast and Peel, sometimes it’s agenda – they might be playing or training for the big picture, not the game at hand.
Subiaco was different too. The team on Saturday featured 11 players from the 2018 grand final yet the Lions are three games clear on top of the ladder – that says something for their system. The Eagles just couldn’t score in the first half at Leederville Oval and things didn’t improve in the second. Ruckman Lachlan Delahunty conceded the knocks but dominated the midfield along with Kyal Horsley and Leigh Kitchen while Ben Sokol kicked four goals and Ryan Borchet three.
Subiaco 15.9 (99) West Coast 4.7 (31)
At Claremont Oval Perth’s sloppy work around the goals cost them the game. A six-goal third quarter set the Tigers on the road to victory after the Demons controlled the first half but led by just 15 points at the main break. Dylan Smallwood was outstanding in defence for Claremont, Alec Waterman kicked three goals in the third quarter, promising ruckman Jeremy Goddard again looked good and Ryan Lim continued his good form. Full back Clayton Giblett was in brilliant form for the Demons.
Claremont 9.7 (61) Perth 7.12 (54)
At Fremantle Oval Swan Districts scored a goal in the first quarter, a goal in the last and 10 behinds in between and allowed South Fremantle a soft return to the winners’ list. Dylan Main was against impressive for the Bulldogs and Nick Suban’s kicking was a highlight.
South Fremantle 15.17 (107) Swan Districts 2.10 (22)
The ladder: Subiaco 52; Claremont 40; South Fremantle 36; Perth 32: West Perth 28; Peel 24; West Coast 24; East Perth 20; East Fremantle 16; Swan Districts 8.
Round 17: Thursday Perth vs Subiaco. Saturday: West Perth vs East Fremantle; Swan Districts vs West Coast; East Perth vs South Fremantle; Peel vs Claremont.