THERE were just the three games in Round 9 of the WAFL across a wet and windy weekend and there were no shortage of standout performances with Subiaco, East Fremantle and West Perth all recording emphatic victories.
Coming off the WA Day long weekend, there were just the three matches across Saturday and Sunday afternoons in Round 9 of the WAFL with Claremont, Peel Thunder, South Fremantle and Swan Districts sitting out with the bye.
There was just the one game on Saturday afternoon in the traditional timeslot and that saw Subiaco cement its spot at the top of the ladder with a 11.13 (79) to 1.4 (10) victory against a Perth team that recorded its lowest ever score against the Lions.
There were then two matches on Sunday afternoon and the weather was still wild and woolly to greet the contests at Leederville Oval and Joondalup's HBF Arena.
Those games saw East Fremantle make it three wins in the last four games with a thumping 13.11 (89) to 3.9 (27) win against East Perth.
West Perth then also made it four wins in its past five matches to beat the West Coast Eagles 11.6 (72) to 4.12 (36).
The results leave Subiaco (8-1) on top of the WAFL ladder just ahead of South Fremantle (7-1).
Perth (6-3) remains third despite the big loss with Claremont (5-3) and West Perth (4-5) rounding out the top five.
Peel Thunder (3-5) sits sixth ahead of East Fremantle (3-6), East Perth (3-6), Swan Districts (2-6) and the West Coast Eagles (2-7).
PLAYER OF THE ROUND – LACHLAN DELAHUNTY
There could only be one Player of the Round following the three matches on the weekend in wet and windy conditions, and that was versatile Subiaco triple premiership winning big man Lachlan Delahunty.
His versatility and agility has been massive for Subiaco ever since he arrived from VFL club Frankston in 2014 but never has he put in a more dominant and complete performance than what he produced in Saturday's win in torrential conditions against Perth at Leederville Oval.
Since his arrival in 2014, Delahunty has spent plenty of time for Subiaco at centre half-forward as that lead up option with his trademark to take a mark between half-forward and the wing, turn onto his left boot, and drive it deep inside-50.
But for the Grand Finals and ultimate premiership wins in 2014 and 2015, he was asked to play in the ruck for the most part and did a tremendous job to help lead to the Lions to those flags.
Since then he has settled back into that role at centre half-forward while backing up whoever the Subiaco ruckman at the time has been proving himself equally effective whether playing forward, on the ball as the ruckman or even occasional stints as a big wingman or big-bodied on-baller.
Whatever he has done, Delahunty has been tremendous in his role and that's why he has been a regular member of the WAFL State Team and why Subiaco has never done worse during his 94-game WAFL career than reach a Grand Final.
Now so far in 2019 he has been in tremendous form once again for the league-leading Subiaco and then on Saturday with the wet and windy weather closing in for the first real time this season, the Lions backed in Delahunty to carry the ruck against Perth and left out No. 1 big man Tim Sutherland.
The performance of Delahunty ended up being remarkable in the conditions with his agility and touch below his feet for a player his size a marvel to witness.
He ended up delivering a best on ground performance made up of 36 possessions, nine marks, 21 hit outs eight inside-50 entries and two goals.
Now as he approaches his 100th WAFL game, Delahunty remains as important as anybody for Subiaco's quest for back-to-back premierships and for a fourth flag in his six years in the WAFL with the Lions.
Players of the Round
Round 1 – Kyal Horsley (Subiaco)
Round 2 – Anton Hamp (Claremont)
Round 3 – Haiden Schloithe (South Fremantle)
Round 4 – Brant Colledge (Perth)
Round 5 – Tony Notte (Swan Districts)
Round 6 – Rohan Kerr (East Perth)
Round 7 – Mitch Peirce (West Perth)
Round 8 – Clint Jones (Perth)
Round 9 – Lachlan Delahunty (Subiaco)
BACK POCKET – BEN KING (West Perth)
Is now an experienced defender for West Perth with 59 games in the WAFL under his belt even though injuries seemingly creep in at the worst times for him. But whenever he plays he is among the best lockdown defenders in the competition and did another fine job against the Eagles on Sunday along with having 14 disposals, six marks and four tackles himself.
FULL-BACK – CLAYTON GIBLETT (Perth)
He left East Perth for Perth back at the end of 2016 chasing more opportunities largely because of the Royals' alignment with West Coast and he's been a mainstay in the Demons' defence pretty much ever since. Continues to be rock solid in whatever defensive job handed to him and was superb again in wet conditions on Saturday despite his team's record low score. He held Subiaco's state forward Ben Sokol to one goal and five kicks.
BACK POCKET – JAXON CAHILL (East Perth)
Continues to be one of the most impressive and consistent performing young players in the competition who can't be doing much more to demand a place in the AFL somewhere in 2020. Largely playing as a small defender, the 19-year-old continues to do well on opposition small forward while also winning plenty of the ball. Despite East Perth's big loss, he had 23 possessions, nine marks and three tackles.
HALF-BACK FLANK – GREG CLARK (Subiaco)
He is having the best season of his career having finally locked down his position in a team where spots are highly sought after. Whether he's coming off half-back or playing on the wing, he supplies good run and drive for the Lions while his contested game is underrated. Was a strong performer in tough conditions in the win over Perth with 23 possessions, six inside-50 entries and three tackles.
CENTRE HALF-BACK – JORDAN LOCKYER (Subiaco)
The state defender and dual Subiaco premiership player continues to be one of the benchmark WAFL key defenders and he again thrived in the challenging conditions against Perth at Leederville Oval on Saturday. Was strong defensively and made sure Perth kicked just one goal for the game while he had 13 disposals and four tackles himself.
HALF-BACK FLANK – MORGAN DAVIES (East Fremantle)
The Claremont recruit has likely been East Fremantle's most consistent performer all season so far as he has fitted seamlessly into a role off half-back for the Sharks. He performed well despite some tough losses early on and now with the Sharks improving, he has continued to deliver and had another 22 disposals, seven marks and five tackles in Sunday's win over the Royals.
WING – BLAINE BOEKHORST (East Fremantle)
Is now showing exactly why East Fremantle was so excited to have signed him for the 2018 season and why he got drafted from Swan Districts and went on to play some solid AFL football with Carlton. The hard-running wingman is now getting right back to his best coming off a knee reconstruction and was superb in Sunday's big win over East Perth with 33 possessions, eight marks and a goal.
CENTRE – LEIGH KITCHIN (Subiaco)
The Subiaco captain was made for the conditions that the game was played in on Saturday having built his reputation playing in similar scenes in the VFL prior to making the move west. His ability to have clean hands in the conditions and just get his ball to boot anyway he could and drive it forward for his time was instrumental in the eventual 69-point win. He compiled 25 possessions, 11 inside-50 entries and three tackles.
WING – ROHAN KERR (East Perth)
To watch him play in 2019, you would have no idea that he's spent the past two years outside of the WAFL and playing at Pinjarra. But the former West Perth premiership-winning star has slotted right back onto the wing at WAFL level, this time with East Perth and picked up where he left. Despite the Royals losing to the Sharks by 62 points, he had 34 possessions, six marks, five inside 50s and four tackles.
HALF-FORWARD FLANK – CONNOR WEST (West Perth)
Having started the season solidly enough over the first month in the league side, he went back to the reserves for a month and then responded to his recall on Sunday against the Eagles in the best possible way. Put together an impressive performance in the six-goal win at HBF Arena where he produced 25 possessions, five marks, five tackles, five inside 50s and two goals.
CENTRE HALF-FORWARD – CAMERON LOERSCH (East Fremantle)
Is one of precious few genuine tall forward targets in the WAFL this year and while the weather conditions certainly weren’t suited to him marking above his head, he threatened to kick a bag of goals and put in a dominant display the likes rarely seen in the modern age. He still had a good game with two goals from 15 possessions and six marks. But had he converted more of his six behinds it would have been an even more emphatic showing.
HALF-FORWARD FLANK – MATTHEW ALLEN (West Coast Eagles)
It remains one of the great hard luck stories on West Coast's list that the reigning East Perth fairest and best winner hasn’t yet made his AFL debut despite progressing nicely in the WAFL now with the Eagles' reserves side. He had a dominant first half and then was solid still after half-time to finish with 34 possessions, nine marks and five inside-50 entries despite the 36-point loss to West Perth.
FORWARD POCKET – COREY CHALMERS (West Perth)
Despite the challenging conditions on Sunday afternoon at Joondalup's HBF Arena on Sunday, he thrived as part of West Perth's 36-point victory against the West Coast Eagles. Mostly playing in the midfield and then drifting forward, he ended the afternoon with 30 disposals, five marks and a goal.
FULL-FORWARD – RYAN BORCHET (Subiaco)
He is the key forward of the future for Subiaco but his present certainly isn’t too bad either. In conditions hardly cut out for a marking forward with a slight body playing on significantly more physical opponents, he stood up impressively in the win over Perth. Ended up kicking three goals from 11 kicks and three marks. Also drove the ball inside-50 four times.
FORWARD POCKET – KODY MANNING (East Fremantle)
During his 106-game, premiership winning career at West Perth he always thrived on playing East Perth and he showed that hasn’t changed even if he's playing for East Fremantle on Sunday. He was at his physically imposing best striking fear into those East Perth players in his vicinity as he laid seven bone crunching tackles while gathering 18 possessions.
RUCK ROVER – SHANE NELSON (West Perth)
The triple Breckler Medallist could very well be on target for a fourth West Perth fairest and best award as he approaches earning life membership with the Falcons having now played 148 games following Sunday's victory against West Coast. Racked up another 32 possessions, seven marks, five tackles and three inside-50 entries.
ROVER – CAMERON EARDLEY (East Fremantle)
His 98th WAFL appearance saw him continue his outstanding form on the ball for the Sharks with him now averaging 31.7 touches a game over the past three matches. It's no coincidence East Fremantle's form as a team has improved to go with it and in Sunday's 62-point thumping of East Perth, he finished with 30 possessions, six marks and a goal.
INTERCHANGE – KEEGAN BROOKSBY (West Coast Eagles)
The conditions might have been hardly ideal for a man his size but the ruckman was impressive despite the weather, the wind and the occasional rain to perhaps put his hand up to play his first AFL game with the West Coast Eagles. He finished with quite the impressive stat-line against West Perth with 22 possessions, 48 hit outs, eight tackles and four entries inside the forward 50.
INTERCHANGE – CODY LEGGETT (Perth)
While Perth struggled to score producing their lowest ever total against Subiaco on Saturday at Leederville Oval, the Demons matched the Lions in most other areas and he was a big part in making sure they held their own through the middle of the ground. Finished the afternoon with 26 possessions and 10 tackles.
INTERCHANGE – NICK KOMMER (East Fremantle)
The feisty former East Perth and Essendon hard man was playing his first ever game against the Royals where he started his WAFL career prior to being drafted to Essendon, and was one of the best afield in the thumping win for the Sharks at Leederville Oval. Was playing his fifth straight game for the season after injury and had 27 possessions, five tackles and five inside-50 entries.
INTERCHANGE – TRENT MANZONE (West Perth)
Now with 113 WAFL games under his belt, he is in the senior player category and is delivering the best and most consistent form of his career as a result so far in 2019. Continues his tremendous form in the midfield in Sunday's win against the Eagles by amassing 28 possessions, four marks, three tackles and three inside 50s.
There were plenty of players who delivered tremendous performances across Round 9 but couldn’t quite fit into the Team of the Round, including:
Subiaco's Kyal Horsley, Ben Newton, Hayden Kennedy and Rhys Waters.
Perth's Clint Jones, Corey Yeo, Brant Colledge, Kasey Nicholas and Matthew Taylor.
West Perth's Trent Manzone, Blake Wilhelm, Tyler Keitel and Andrew Strijk.
West Coast's Chris Masten, Jackson Nelson, Kurt Mutimer, Hamish Brayshaw and Brady Grey.
East Perth's Angus Scott, Jackson Ramsay, Stan Wright, Shayne Hille, Tom Gorter and Mitch Dobson.
East Fremantle's Michael Tassone, Jarrad Jansen, Tom Bennett and Zach Jackson.