Bulldogs win battle of dead flank

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Nearly 15 minutes gone and not a goal on the board. Photo by Les Everett.

Sunny skies at Fremantle Oval. A beautiful day for the football and the meeting of the top two teams. But it wasn’t so beautiful after all. The strong breeze to the prison end wasn’t a nice straight-down-the-guts variety so the teams employed the age-old tactic of playing the dead flank.

And so the game meandered on. All the play over there. I considered wandering over to the other side to see things close up and cop sun in the eyes. Instead I went home and watched the second half on TV.

The only goal in the first quarter came from a lovely long set shot – into the wind – by South’s Haiden Schloithe and his kicking was a highlight throughout. Zac Strom worked hard and marked well, Ben Rioli again looked good in defence and Nick Suban’s clearance efforts helped set the Bulldogs on the right path.

There’s a bit of a trend in 2020 footy of holding on, staying in touch and trying to make a late charge. The Tigers almost pulled it off but missed opportunities in the last quarter. Declan Mountford was quite dynamic and Dylan Smallwood was composed in the back line.

In the other games East Perth and Subiaco recorded their first wins. The big news at Leederville was Nick Robertson’s starring role for the Royals in his first game of the year. Back from Brisbane, he kicked three goals.

At Rushton Park West Perth thrashed poor old Thunder who lack numbers. The Thunder were brave in rounds one and two but, stripped of their Dockers, it’s hard to see them winning a game in this short season.

South Fremantle and Perth remain the only undefeated teams.

South Fremantle 7.6 (48) Claremont 5.10 (40)

East Perth 15.9 (99) East Fremantle 8.8 (56)

Subiaco 11.13 (79) Swan Districts 6.4 (40)

West Perth 20.11 (131) Peel 5.9 (39)

Ladder: South Fremantle 12; West Perth 8; Claremont 8; Perth 8; East Perth 4; Subiaco 4; East Fremantle 4; Swan Districts 0; Peel 0.

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