THE Claremont Tigers have surged past an accurate Swan Districts outfit to come out 24-point winners at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday to open the WAFL season in style on the back of reaching last year's Grand Final.
Dual Sandover and Simpson Medallist Jye Bolton was at his very best in the midfield for Claremont, picking up 39 disposals and a goal in a dominant effort to show he is set for another standout campaign with the Tigers.
The Swans got off to the perfect start in the first quarter, kicking four unanswered goals, two of which came off the boot of former Eagles and Swans AFL premiership player Lewis Jetta.
Swan Districts were able to take a 23-point lead at quarter-time, and when Jesse Palmer nailed his third goal early in the second term, the alarm bells began to ring for Claremont.
The Tigers responded emphatically, kicking eight majors to the Swans’ one to take a 16-point lead at the main break.
Their resurgence came was led by the Tigers’ midfielders Bolton and Ryan Lim, who had 25 and 23 disposals at half-time respectively.
Claremont stretched their lead to 35 points during the third term, before the Swans fought back, kicking the last three goals of the quarter to give themselves a chance at the final break.
The momentum in the last quarter was with Swan Districts, as they kicked three straight to the Tigers’ three behinds to get the margin to two points.
However, Claremont were able to weather the storm and wrestle back the momentum, kicking the next five goals to seal victory.
NO WATERMAN, NO WORRIES FOR CLAREMONT
When Alec Waterman was picked up by Essendon in the AFL, the question of who would step up in the Tigers’ forward line began to surface. Alex Manuel put his hand up to take the mantle, kicking an equal game-high four goals. He was well supported, with 11 other Tigers hitting the scoreboard, showing they are at no shortage of targets in front of goal.
PIN-POINT ACCURATE SWANS
A few factors could be considered for the Swans’ loss, but accuracy certainly wasn’t one of them. Swan Districts kicked 18 goals and just one behind, showing the accuracy on display. Forward Thomas Edwards was the best of the Swans in front of goal, kicking four goals.
TIGERS DISPOSAL DOMINANCE
Despite losing the hit out count (53-36), the Tigers were able to control the football around the ground. In the end, they had 108 more disposals than the Swans, which in turn translated to scores on the board. Led by midfielders Jye Bolton (39), Bailey Rogers (36), and Ryan Lim (34), Claremont were able play the game on their terms.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 1
SWAN DISTRICTS 6.0 8.0 13.1 18.1 (109)
CLAREMONT 2.1 10.4 15.6 20.13 (133)
SWAN DISTRICTS: Goals – Edwards 4; Palmer 3; Jetta, Noble 2; Bayok, Clarke, Collins, Fisher, Jones, Riggio, Turner.
Best – Turner, Fisher, Gault, Anderson, Cipro, Waite.
CLAREMONT: Goals – Manuel 4; Barton 3; Van Rooyen, Edwards, England 2; Buller, Rogers, Treacy, Bolton, Eastland, Lim, McCracken.
Best – Bolton, Rogers, Lim, Mountford, Martinis, Manuel.