PERTH recorded its first win of the 2017 WAFL season on the back of a Player of the Week earning performance by captain Clint Jones but there were plenty more terrific showings across Round 4.
Round 4 began on Friday night at Leederville Oval with Claremont remaining undefeated in 2017 beating the winless East Perth 16.9 (105) to 11.3 (69).
Then on Saturday, Subiaco gained a measure of revenge for Peel Thunder following last year's grand final with an 11.16 (82) to 10.7 (67) victory at Leederville Oval.
Perth opened its account for 2017 leaving East Fremantle winless with a 16.12 (108) to 14.11 (95) victory at Lathlain Park with South Fremantle finishing the round with a 23.8 (146) to 6.7 (43) thrashing of West Perth at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
The undefeated Swan Districts had the Round 4 bye.
wafl.com.au PLAYER OF THE ROUND – CLINT JONES (Perth)
Clint Jones has taken over the captaincy at Perth in 2017 following the retirement of Dene White and he worked tremendously hard over the first three rounds but a win didn’t quite eventuate against Swan Districts, Subiaco and Claremont.
Jones continued to rack up the ball in the middle and led from the front and then took that to another level against East Fremantle on Saturday at Lathlain Park to lead the Demons to their first win of the season with the 13-point victory.
Jones delivered an outstanding captain's performance with 42 possessions, six tackles, five inside-50 entries and four marks to earn the Player of the Round nod.
wafl.com.au TEAM OF THE ROUND
BACK: Kyle Anderson, Eric Mackenzie, Blayne Wilson
HALF-BACK: Wayde Twomey, Marlion Pickett, Tom Ledger
CENTRE: Ryan Lim, Clint Jones, Kyal Horsley
HALF-FORWARD: Ian Richardson, Matt Taberner, Zac Langdon
FORWARD: Blaine Johnson, Sam Garstone, Will Maginness
RUCK: Christian Eyres, Jake Murphy, Tim Kelly
INTERCHANGE: Chris Phelan, Dom Sheed, Haiden Schloithe, Liam Ryan
BACK POCKET – KYLE ANDERSON (East Perth)
The co-captain remains one of the best lockdown defenders, if not the best, in the WAFL despite his flirtations with playing as a forward at times in 2016 and with his battle with injuries that have continued to interrupt his career. Claremont's forward-line had plenty of weapons on Friday but none that he spent any time matched up on got away.
FULL-BACK – ERIC MACKENZIE (East Perth)
The West Coast fairest and best winner showed that he's hungry for an AFL return helping Anderson keep Beau Maister and Tom Lee relatively in check even if East Perth still ended up losing. He also did well intercepting attacks from the Tigers and setting up play out of defence with 21 possessions and 11 marks.
BACK POCKET – BLAYNE WILSON (South Fremantle)
He is likely the best defender in the WAFL in terms of reading the ball coming in and taking intercept marks, particularly when he doesn’t have to match up on a key forward from the opposition. Delivered another strong showing on Saturday with 24 disposals and six marks.
HALF-BACK FLANK – WAYDE TWOMEY (Subiaco)
The triple-premiership winning veteran delivered his best game so far of the 2017 season proving a cool head and offering good drive out of defence for Subiaco. He finished the afternoon with 27 possessions and six marks.
CENTRE HALF-BACK – MARLION PICKETT (South Fremantle)
Not only did he provide great run and drive with his dynamic ability to rack up 22 possessions and six marks, but he is tremendously hard to beat defensively and Michael Lourey's scoreless afternoon for West Perth was testament to that.
HALF-BACK FLANK – TOM LEDGER (Claremont)
Claremont is playing some attractive and attacking football to open the 2017 season and he is one player benefitting greatly from life under new coach Darren Harris. Delivered another 30 possessions, five marks, five tackles and five inside-50 entries both off half-back and through the middle in Friday night's win over East Perth.
WING – RYAN LIM (Claremont)
The 21-year-old has turned himself into one of the most consistent and hardest working midfielders in the competition in the space of 12 months and his form to open the 2017 season has been nothing short of outstanding. Finished with another 36 possessions, five marks, four inside 50s and a goal.
WING – KYAL HORSLEY (Subiaco)
The captain just plays at a class above the rest of the competition at times and showed his quality on Saturday in the win over Peel. Kicked a tremendous long goal on a day when goals were hard to come by. Also finished with 27 possessions and five inside-50 entries.
HALF-FORWARD FLANK – IAN RICHARDSON (Claremont)
The dual premiership winning forward has played well over 150 WAFL games and is one of the most decorated players in the competition, and continues to show that he's far from slowing down after his performance on Friday night. Ended the game with 23 disposals and two goals from half-forward.
CENTRE HALF-FORWARD – MATT TABERNER (Peel Thunder)
He knows as well as anyone that the only way he will get back into Fremantle's AFL team is by delivering some commanding performances with Peel that is made up of kicking goals, taking contested marks and also leading hard up the ground to provide a target. He did all of that on Saturday finishing with 17 possessions, 10 marks and four goals.
HALF-FORWARD FLANK – ZAC LANGDON (Claremont)
Was a fringe player prior to 2017 but already this season he has made a big statement to open the year as a small forward with the Tigers. Kicked another three goals and worked hard for 18 disposals and four marks in Friday's win at Leederville Oval.
FORWARD POCKET – BLAINE JOHNSON (South Fremantle)
The lively small forward got off to a flying start on Saturday with five goals up until the four-minute mark of the third quarter. He finished the game with six majors to go with 19 possessions.
FULL-FORWARD – SAM GARSTONE (Perth)
The big man showed some good signs in the second half of 2016 as a key target in attack who can pinch-hit in the ruck. That gave coach Earl Spalding the faith to back him in to be a key player moving forward for the Demons and after a solid enough opening three rounds, he stood up in fine fashion in Saturday's win ending up kicking four goals from 16 disposals and seven marks.
FORWARD POCKET – WILL MAGINNESS (East Perth)
The Royals are desperately trying to find some avenues to goal as they hunt a first win of 2017. Last week it was Nathan Blee who delivered a surprise four goals and on Friday night against Claremont it was Will Maginness who put in a good effort in attack kicking four goals from 23 disposals and five marks. The rest of his teammates only combined for seven goals though.
RUCK – CHRISTIAN EYRES (Perth)
The sudden and surprise departure of Angus Graham on the eve of the season meant that a lot of responsibility would be thrust upon his shoulders especially considering he had managed to play just the nine games the past two seasons. But the 26-year-old has always proved himself a hard worker and he stood up well in Saturday's win over East Fremantle. The ruckman ended the afternoon with 18 possessions, 25 hit outs and six inside-50 entries.
RUCK-ROVER – JAKE MURPHY (Claremont)
The captain led his team from the front in Friday night's win over East Perth and in a midfield with plenty of big ball winners, he did have 25 possessions himself but also got dangerous and went forward and kicked two crucial goals.
ROVER – TIM KELLY (South Fremantle)
He is already considered one of the best contested and stoppage players in the competition and played state football in 2016, but he has gone to another level in 2017 both as an inside and outside player. Racked up another 39 possessions on Saturday against West Perth to go with 10 inside-50 entries, six marks, five tackles and a goal.
INTERCHANGE – CHRIS PHELAN (Subiaco)
The ever consistent, reliable and prolific midfielder was again tremendous in Subiaco's win over Peel on Saturday finishing the afternoon with 30 disposals and a goal.
INTERCHANGE – DOM SHEED (East Perth)
The left-footer responded to his return to East Perth from West Coast in the AFL making a statement with a terrific performance on Friday night despite the loss to Claremont. He finished with 37 possessions, eight tackles, seven inside-50 entries and a goal.
INTERCHANGE – HAIDEN SCHLOITHE (South Fremantle)
He had an outstanding 2014 season as a permanent midfielder and won the club's fairest and best award and was seriously thought about as a chance to get a second crack in the AFL. Injuries have hindered him the past two seasons and even though he was very good in 2016, it was largely in a half-forward role. But he's back to his best in 2017 on the ball and again on Saturday had 38 possessions, eight marks, eight inside 50s and two goals.
INTERCHANGE – LIAM RYAN (Subiaco)
He has kicked bigger hauls of goals than the two he managed against Peel on Saturday, but his work further up the ground both in terms of applying pressure and winning the ball for his teammates was impressive. On top of his two goals he had 18 possessions and six marks for the game.
Five Claremont players were named in the Team of the Round but Jye Bolton was one unlucky not to force his way in.
Perth's Liam McKenna, Aidan Tropiano and Gordon Narrier.
East Fremantle's Jonathon Marsh.
South Fremantle's Shane Hockey, Mason Shaw and Ryan Cook.
Subiaco's Lachlan Delahunty, Brad Stevenson, Rowen Powell and Liam Ryan.
Peel Thunder's Darcy Tucker.