A DOMINANT and classy eight goal second term from Swan Districts set the platform to claim a 44-point win over a valiant East Fremantle at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday.
The battle was won in the midfield, with Frank Anderson having a big influence on the game, claiming 26 disposals and a goal for Swan Districts in the eventual 16.9 (105) to 8.13 (61) win that snapped a two-game losing streak and returned them to the top five.
The rain kept away for the entirety of the game, but the effects were still visible with the ground still wet from earlier in the day and overnight.
It didn’t take away from the contest, as East Fremantle’s Tim Bockman in the 10th minute of the first term gave East Fremantle an early lead.
The Swans responded in quick time, kicking two majors off the boots of forwards Tom Edwards and Jesse Palmer to give the home side a five-point lead at the first break.
Swan Districts came out firing at the start of the second quarter, putting the Sharks on the back foot.
Swans kicked three goals in the space of four minutes, and seemed to have all the answers to everything the Sharks threw at them, kicking eight in total for the quarter to East Fremantle’s two.
Palmer had been everywhere, kicking three majors to half time, while midfielder Josh Cipro had a big influence in the first half, with 16 disposals, as they took a 39-point lead into the second half.
East Fremantle looked a completely different side after half time, with coach Bill Monaghan making changes to great effect.
Jonathon Marsh and Cam Eardley were sent into the midfield, while Matthew Jupp was sent to Jesse Palmer to play a lockdown role.
The Sharks had the majority of the play and looked to be back in the game, as Nick Kommer kicked two of their four goals for the term.
To make matters worse for Swans fans, backman Brayden Spackman left the field with an injury, leaving them a man down for the rest of the game.
However, Swan Districts proved they were up to the challenge, kicking three goals of their own to lead by 33 points at three quarte- time.
Everything needed to go right for the Sharks to come back, and after lifting the intensity of the game in the third term, East Fremantle would have sensed they were still in the game.
Swans were able to equal the Sharks’ in the contest, before scoring three goals in quick succession to put the exclamation point on a convincing 16.9 (105) to 8.13 (61) victory.
BATTLE OF THE BIG MEN
Onlookers at Steel Blue Oval were treated to an intriguing battle in the ruck, with the two in-form ruckmen of the competition going head to head. Swan Districts’ Corey Gault and East Fremantle’s Luke Strnadica looked to do everything for their respective teams to get the advantage. The two men were competitive all day, with both men having an influence at stoppages and around the ground. Gault finished with 19 disposals and 36 hit outs, while Strnadica had 18 touches, 39 hit outs and a goal. The two were both influential for their sides, and showed why they are the benchmark for ruckmen in the WAFL.
CIPRO’S TRADEMARK STANDS OUT
In the Swan Districts midfield, the accolades often go to Sam Fisher and Frank Anderson. But on Saturday it was Josh Cipro who was important when the game was there to be won. He picked up 22 disposals and seven tackles, but it was his penetrating kick to clear the ball which impressed most. While Swans have had some solid talent come in from the East coast of the country, they have been able to breed impressive local talent, with Cipro setting a fine example for his side.
CHANGE OF MINDSET EFFECTIVE FOR SHARKS
The game seemed to be gone heading into half time, with the Sharks being outplayed by the Swans in the first half. East Fremantle’s coaching staff had nothing to lose by making a couple of changes, with the results clearly shown in the third quarter. Cam Eardley and Jonathon Marsh both were thrown into the midfield in the third quarter, with the pair proving to be influential for their midfield. They finished on 29 and 17 disposals respectively, and while the Sharks weren’t able to overcome the deficit, they gave the coaching staff some different options for the future.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 8
SWAN DISTRICTS 2.2 10.3 13.6 16.9 (105)
EAST FREMANTLE 1.3 3.6 7.9 8.13 (61)
SWAN DISTRICTS: Goals – Palmer 3; Clarke, Riley, Edwards, Noble 2; Anderson, Fisher, Reidy, Riggio, Wilson.
Best – Anderson, Gault, Cipro, Beck, Palmer, Notte, Clarke.
EAST FREMANTLE: Goals – Kommer 2; Bennett, Strnadica, Burton, Bockman, O'Reilly, English.
Best – Eardley, Strnadica, Snadden, Kommer, Marsh.