A MEASURE of revenge is sweet for Claremont, who triumphed over South Fremantle in the nail-biting Grand Final rematch at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Lead by a star-studded midfield of Jye Bolton (31 disposals) and Jake Patmore (26) with Lachlan Martinis (32) providing great run off half-back, the Tigers were able run over South Fremantle despite a dominant ruck performance from Brock Higgins for the reigning premiers.
Captain Dylan Main (26 disposals) and Sandover Medallist Haiden Schloithe (24) led the way for the bulldogs while Claremont’s Kane Mitchell and Alex Manuel (three goals each) and South Fremantle’s Mason Shaw (five) and Cody Ninyette (four) kept the Bulldogs in touch.
A real arm wrestle in the first quarter saw the term played mostly between the arcs with former Tigers skipper Kane Mitchell popping up with his sides only two goals for the quarter.
But the Bulldogs took a three-point advantage into the first break thanks to a strong 10-possession opening term from Blayne Wilson in his first game of 2021 having missed last week's win over West Perth due to being part of the wedding party for former Peel Thunder teammate Brennan Gillam.
The Bulldogs were the stronger side in the second quarter with 10 scoring shots to four, however inaccuracy cost them only converting four of their opportunities.
That included two missed simple set shots in less than a minute from Travis Abbott, which caused South Fremantle to lead by just nine points at the main break.
There’s no love lost between these two great teams with spot fires and verbal battles taking place throughout the game including an incident involving Haiden Schloithe’s errant elbow, which could be looked at by the match review panel.
The third term belonged to a dominant Tigers side who looked far more skilled and composed when going forward being able to hit leading forwards.
While the Bulldogs were caught out by a tough Tigers defence spoiling and intercepting anything that came their way, which helped Claremont take a 14-point lead at three quarter-time.
The Bulldogs wasted no time in clawing their way back thanks to two goals in the opening two minutes from Mason Shaw, however it wasn’t enough as the Tigers were able to hold on to go out 16-point winners in another epic game between these two great teams.
MITCHELL GETS BETTER WITH AGE
Turning 32 this year, the former captain didn’t show any signs of slowing down, bursting out of the gates with a two goal 10 disposal opening term that provided the Tigers only real scoreboard pressure for the quarter. A fired-up Mitchell also enjoyed an engaging verbal stoush with young Ben Rioli in the third quarter, which excited the fans on the boundary. The Sandover Medallist finished with three goals and 25 disposals for the game.
CARTER’S LEAGUE RETURN
After being forced to make his comeback to WAFL footy through the reserves, former Docker Jason Carter showed glimpses of what got him drafted with his pressure and run out of defence breaking open the game at times, which certainly impressed despite only managing the eight disposals for the match.
SHAW A STANDOUT IN WASTEFUL BULLDOGS TEAM
An inaccurate Bulldogs will rue their missed opportunities in front of goal kicking 6.11 in the first half compared to Claremont’s 6.2, however reigning Bernie Naylor Medallist Mason Shaw can’t be blamed, kicking five goals straight including three in the final quarter. He looked like he was going to single-handedly drag the Bulldogs over the line one stage with the Tigers having no answer for him defence.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 2
CLAREMONT 2.2 6.2 13.3 17.6 (108)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 2.5 6.11 9.13 13.14 (92)
CLAREMONT: Goals – Mitchell, Manuel 3; Rogers, England, Treacy 2; Bolton, Patmore, Hamp, Barton, McCracken.
Best – Mitchell, Bolton, Patmore, Martinis, Rogers, Treacy, England.
SOUTH FREMANTLE: Goals – Shaw 5; Ninyette 4; Schloithe, Donaldson, Abbott, Parker.
Best – Main, Schloithe, Ninyette, Shaw, Schlensog, Z Strom, Dragovich.