NAIDOC Round in the WAFL on Saturday not only saw the competition pay tribute to the contribution of the Aboriginal culture, but also saw five fascinating match ups with Subiaco and Claremont surging ahead while West Perth, West Coast Eagles and East Perth won important games.
All five matches took on greater significance as the race for the finals heats up in the WAFL in Round 13 action and there were a host of standout individual performances to go along with the big results from a team perspective.
The early starting match on Saturday took place at Mandurah's David Grays Arena with West Coast Eagles winning a third straight match, beating Peel Thunder 10.16 (76) to 3.10 (28).
Then in the annual NAIDOC Week fixture between Claremont and South Fremantle, the Tigers kicked nine goals to two after half-time to beat the Bulldogs 12.6 (78) to 9.8 (62).
That's five straight wins for the Tigers and three consecutive losses for the Bulldogs with Claremont now preparing for this Sunday's clash with Subiaco at Leederville Oval.
West Perth then made it 17 consecutive wins against Perth and returned to fifth position on the ladder with a 16.7 (103) to 10.12 (72) victory at HBF Arena.
Swan Districts' struggles of playing out four quarters continued too at Steel Blue Oval with East Perth coming from behind to keep their season alive with an 8.17 (65) to 8.9 (57) win.
The last game of the round saw Subiaco flex its muscles to beat East Fremantle for an eighth consecutive time, winning 17.14 (116) to 7.4 (46) at Leederville Oval.
The NAIDOC Round results leave Subiaco (11-1) clear on top of the ladder ahead of Claremont (9-3) and South Fremantle (8-4).
Perth (7-5) remains in fourth position with West Perth (6-6) fifth while Peel Thunder (5-7), West Coast Eagles (5-7), East Perth (4-8), East Fremantle (3-9) and Swan Districts (2-10) round out the rest of the positions.
PLAYER OF THE ROUND – JACKSON RAMSAY
East Perth scored a hard-earned yet crucial victory over Swan Districts on Saturday and there was no better player on the field than Jackson Ramsay.
The East Perth initially returned to the Royals for the start of the 2018 season but that campaign was over before it ever really got started when he ruptured his ACL and required a knee reconstruction.
But he was up and going for the start of the 2019 season with East Perth returning to be a standalone club, and in the 10 matches he has played for the season he has been tremendous splitting his time between coming off half-back and stints in the midfield or wing.
His ability to run and carry the ball, win it in tight and on the outside, and then to use it especially well by foot have made him a crucial member of the East Perth line-up.
He came through the ranks at East Perth before being drafted by Collingwood and over four years, there were times where he strung together some good enough form at AFL level to suggest he had a long career ahead of him.
In the end, Ramsay played two matches for the Magpies in 2014, five in 2015, two in 2016 and eight in 2017. His most consistent run of form was that stint of eight straight matches in the back half of the 2017 season, which including a career-high of 25 possessions against the Western Bulldogs.
But he couldn’t hold his place on the 'Pies list at the end of 2017 after 17 matches and then returned to East Perth before the devastating blow to open 2018 with the knee injury.
However, he has picked up tremendously in 2019 for the Royals and was rewarded with selection in the WAFL State Team that played against South Australia at Optus Stadium.
Then on Saturday in a must-win game for East Perth against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval, Ramsay was brilliant with a best on ground performance made up of 38 possessions, 10 tackles, seven marks and seven inside-50 entries.
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)
Round 10 – Nick Suban (South Fremantle)
Round 11 – Tyler Keitel (West Perth)
Round 12 – Josh Smith (West Coast Eagles)
Round 13 – Jackson Ramsay (East Perth)
There were plenty of players who delivered tremendous performances across Round 13 but couldn’t quite fit into the Team of the Round, including:
Subiaco's Greg Clark, Kyal Horsley, Leigh Kitchin, Hayden Kennedy, Max Walters, Harry Marsh and Jordan Lockyer.
East Fremantle's Nick Kommer, Morgan Davies, Blaine Boekhorst, Jonathon Griffin, Luke Strnadica and Matthew Jupp.
Swan Districts' Matt Riggio, Steven Payne, Mitch Howlett and Denzel More.
East Perth's Stan Wright, Nelson Waite, Shaquille McKenzie, Tom Gorter and Jaxon Cahill.
West Perth's Corey Chalmers, Blake Wilhelm and Aaron Black.
Perth's Corey Yeo, Cody Leggett, Matthew Taylor and Zac Hill.
Claremont's Anton Hamp, Jye Bolton, Lachlan Martinis, Declan Mountford and Bailey Rogers.
South Fremantle's Jacob Dragovich, Kade Stewart, Zac Strom, Noah Strom and Brock Higgins.
Peel Thunder's Bailey Banfield, Taylin Duman, Ben Howlett and Jackson Merrett.
West Coast Eagles' Hamish Brayshaw, Brayden Ainsworth, Matthew Allen, Kurt Mutimer and Andrew Fisher.