There are some interesting numbers to consider when thinking about the WAFL grand final – 9, 8, 6, 5 – that’s the number of goals South Fremantle scored in their four finals. Two wins over Claremont, two loses to Subiaco.
So while the Bulldogs provided hope of a competitive showing against the hot favourite Lions by dominating much of the first half, their inability to kick goals made the result inevitable.
The turning points in the game were unusual. South’s Travis Abbott took his second contested mark of the second quarter and lined up for his second goal to put his team in front by eight points. He missed and the Bulldogs didn’t score again until the last quarter.
And at the opening bounce of the second half South’s Nick Suban, who had played a good first half, made a point of whacking Greg Clark’s crook shoulder as the umpire prepared to bounce the ball. Tough stuff. Clark kicked two goals in the next four minutes and was later presented with the Simpson Medal as best player afield. Tough luck!
Harry Marsh (three goals) helped Clark dominate the midfield, defenders Hayden Kennedy and Angus Dewar were outstanding, Will Hickmott kicked two goals in an enterprising display and Chad Harris caught the eye.
Toby McQuilkin was absolutely outstanding for South Fremantle. The young defender outpointed Brandon Matera and went on the attack when opportunities presented. Brock Higgins dominated the ruck and Chad Pearson again showed good leadership in the back line. The Bulldogs were under-manned and brave but need a new plan.
Subiaco, meanwhile, remains the benchmark.
Subiaco 13.7 (85) South Fremantle 5.11 (41)