The biggest statement in round five of the WAFL came from 2020 runners-up Claremont who came from a couple of goals down at quarter time to dump West Perth. The Tigers remain undefeated in 2021 under new coach Ashley Prescott. Jack Buller kicked five goals for the Tigers while Dylan Smallwood snuffed out dangerous Falcons forward Tyler Keitel.
I went down to Fremantle Oval and missed perhaps the most critical moment of the game. Subiaco players Rowan Powell and Max Walters collided in the first quarter and took no further part in the match. South Fremantle piled on seven goals in the second quarter to take complete control. However the Bulldog statement wasn’t all that emphatic. The 2020 premiers didn’t kick a goal in the last quarter and in the end the margin was just 18 points. Brock Higgins controlled the ruck and Haiden Schloithe was sensational on the ball.
At Leederville Oval Swan Districts led East Perth 6.2 to a point at quarter time. The Royals spent most of the rest of the game in a brave chase and actually hit the front at one stage before the improved Swans rallied. Sam Fisher (Swan Districts) and Angus Scott (East Perth) were the stars.
Perth jumped the home side to lead by 30 points at quarter time at East Fremantle Oval and that was the margin when the final siren sounded. Brady Grey put in a powerful performance for the Demons.
Peel played West Coast in an off-Broadway derby curtain raiser in front a crowd at Rushton Park on Sunday. Fremantle fans had smiles on their faces as Josh Treacy kicked five goals, Sam Sturt four, Stefan Giro ruled the midfield and youngster Joel Western again impressed. The real star though was Blair Bell who kicked six goals for the Thunder is a display of skill and strength.
The smiles disappeared from the masked faces of Freo fans later in the day when their team was somehow thrashed by one of the weakest line-ups West Coast has fielded in the past five years – maybe more. It was expected the Eagles would come put snarling after the previous week’s humiliation at Kardinia Park. Instead they looked unsure as Fremantle dominated the early stages and kicked the first two goals.
However things changed as the Dockers invited their opponents into the game with characteristic fumbles, mis-directed kicks and other bits of ridiculousness. The invitation was accepted. And somewhere watching were the person or persons who emphatically declared five or six years ago that Tim Kelly wasn’t worthy of placement on the Fremantle Rookie list. I don’t think they’re still at Freo – maybe they’re at another club or working as an expert in the media.