TYLER Keitel piled on eight goals against his original club to help West Perth to a 43-point WA Day demolition of arch-rivals East Perth at Leederville Oval on Monday afternoon.
Midfield stars Shane Nelson and Aaron Black led the stat sheets for the Falcons with 33 and 30 disposals respectively, making up for the loss of Connor West to the West Coast Eagles via the AFL mid-season draft last week.
Angus Schumacher (32 disposals and nine inside 50s) and Rohan Kerr (27 disposals and a goal) worked hard in tough day for the Royals.
The star of the day undoubtedly was Keitel. It was quite the saga when he initially wanted to leave East Perth for West Perth after a standout colts career before he'd even played a league game.
He continues to show why East Perth was so desperate to keep and West Perth so desperate to have him, and it was another standout showing from the versatile big man in this year's WA Day Derby.
He went on to kick eight goals from 13 kicks and eight marks in the best performance by a forward so far this WAFL season to help deliver the Falcons the 19.5 (119) to 11.10 (76) win to consolidate their spot inside the top five.
The raging Falcons looked irresistible as they slammed on four unanswered goals in the opening 10 minutes of play, which laid the groundwork for their rampant victory.
Small forward Keegan Knot briefly put himself atop the Bernie Naylor Medal leaderboard with two first quarter goals as midfielder Tristan Hobley and defender Noah Pegoraro were influential around the ground.
The WA Day crowd watched on in awe at Leederville Oval as the home side looked like boys playing against men with West Perth boasting a healthy 36-point lead into the first break.
The second term started like the first with the Falcons piling on goal after goal in what looked like a training drill with Keitel seemingly unstoppable up forward.
The Royals momentarily managed to stop the bleeding and looked like a completely different team midway through the quarter, kicking three consecutive goals thanks to some superb clearance work from Rohan Kerr.
However, a late goal to Nathan Murray undid all their hard work to give the Falcons a 40-point half-time lead.
The goal-fest continued for the Falcons in the second half with Keitel maintaining his commanding performance, booting three consecutive goals well and truly putting the final nail in the coffin for the Royals with another quarter to go.
A sour last term saw Royals forward Mitch Dobson carried off with an apparent hamstring injury and man of the moment Keitel limped off the ground late with a minor ankle injury.
Late goals when the game was well and truly over has salvaged the score line for the Royals, with a 43-point margin looking extremely favourable in a game that belonged to the Falcons from the very first bounce.
FALCONS FAMILIAR FACES GET IT DONE AGAIN
You’d be hard pressed to find the names Black, Nelson and Keitel not at the top of West Perth’s best each week and this year's WA Day derby was no different. Nelson and Black finished with a team high of 33 and 30 disposals respectively and were particularly influential in the opening 10 minutes of the match when the game was in the balance. But best on ground honours belonged to star full-forward Tyler Keitel finishing with eight goals, eight marks and will finish the round leading the Bernie Naylor Medal on 26 goals. West Perth say his ankle injury isn’t too serious so hopefully he won’t miss any weeks and will be able to defend his Bernie Naylor Medal lead.
MRP CONCERN FOR JONES
A late hit by Royals big man Scott Jones on Falcons forward Mitchell Antonio may come under scrutiny by the MRP. The incident occurred in the second quarter as the late hit by Jones appeared to get Antonio high, resulting in a 50m penalty and a mini melee as many West Perth players came in to fly the flag for Antonio.
COOL SILVER LINING FOR ROYALS
On what was a miserable day for Royals fans, one thing they can be happy with was the performance of fourth gamer Jack Cooley. Cooley won the Mel Whinnen Medal for best-afield in the 2019 Colts grand final playing for Claremont, but he made the move across to the Royals midway through the 2020 season for more league opportunities and found his way into the senior side at the start of this season. No one looked more composed with ball in hand for East Perth today as his skills and decision-making across half back were a standout on an otherwise disappointing day for the Royals. He finished with 22 disposals and, five marks and four tackles for the game.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 9
EAST PERTH 1.0 4.4 6.8 11.10 (76)
WEST PERTH 7.0 11.2 17.3 19.5 (119)
EAST PERTH: Goals – Dobson, Simpson 2; Hille, Edwards-Baldwin, Kerr, Scott, Wright, Sparks, Jones.
Best – Kerr, Cooley, Schumacher, Scott, Wright, Dobson, Lynch.
WEST PERTH: Goals – Keitel 8; Knott, Antonio 3; Murray, Riddoch 2; O'Donnell.
Best – Keitel, Black, Nelson, Hobley, Pegoraro, Antonio, Murray, Guadagnin.