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Optus WAFL Round 9 WrapTuesday, June 8, 2021 - 11:51 AM - by Chris Pike

WA Day Round stretched from Thursday night all the way through to Monday afternoon and what a long weekend of WAFL action it provided with a Subiaco statement, two tight Saturday battles, Tyler Keitel booting eight and South Fremantle continuing its derby domination.

Round 9 in the Optus WAFL Premiership Season began way back on Thursday night and Subiaco certainly handled the greasy conditions the better and took full advantage of an undermanned Perth to end up winning 16.13 (109) to 1.5 (11) at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park.

The round then continued with two matches on Saturday afternoon which saw Claremont have to fight hard to keep the West Coast Eagles winless, but 49 possessions from dual Sandover Medallist and four-time Simpson Medallist Jye Bolton sure helped their cause in the 14.9 (93) to 9.12 (66) win at Claremont's Revo Fitness Stadium.

The other Saturday afternoon fixture was a tight affair at Mandurah's David Grays Arena with Swan Districts consolidating their top five position with a 10.7 (67) to 7.17 (59) victory against Peel Thunder.

It was then time for the two traditional derbies on WA Day and beginning at Leederville Oval, Tyler Keitel had a day out for West Perth kicking eight goals to lead the Falcons to the 19.5 (119) to 11.10 (76) victory against East Perth.

Finally it was the most famous annual encounter of them all in the WA Day Foundation Derby and South Fremantle made 11 consecutive wins against East Fremantle, but they were made to earn it at New Choice Homes Park winning 11.8 (74) to 8.10 (58).

The results after nine rounds of the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season see Subiaco (7-1) on top of the ladder just percentage ahead of Claremont (7-1) with reigning premiers South Fremantle just the one game back (6-2) in third.

Swan Districts (5-3) remains in fourth position with West Perth (4-4) rounding out the top five.

Perth (4-4) is just outside the top five followed by Peel Thunder (3-5), East Fremantle (3-5), East Perth (1-7) and West Coast Eagles (0-8).


PERTH 1.5 (11) lost to SUBIACO 16.13 (109)

The combination of Subiaco being on song and healthy, and Perth being undermanned and struggling in the night conditions led to a 98-point hammering of the Demons by the Lions on Thursday night.

Perth might have played finals last year and Subiaco didn’t, but the Lions continued their dominance against the Demons on Thursday night at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park.

Subiaco kicked the first 16 goals of the game despite the slippery conditions at night but Perth at least managed to avoid going goalless thanks to Simon Hayward at the 17-minute mark of the final quarter.

It continued a remarkably dominant stretch for Subiaco against Perth, though, with the Lions having now won their last nine meeting with the Demons, and going back further 16 of the past 17.

This was Subiaco's biggest win against Perth since the 133-point win back in Round 18, 2015 and it was enough to consolidate top spot on the ladder for the Lions as they prevailed 16.13 (109) to 1.5 (11).

It was quite the dominant showing from Subiaco as they finished with 154 more disposals than Perth, 26 more marks, 21 extra inside 50s, and 26 scoring shots to six.

There were plenty of standout performers for Subiaco and Ben Sokol opened the night on fire appear on track for a double-figure goalscoring night. He didn’t quite manage that but still had six goals from 15 kicks and 10 marks.

Michael Braut also moved forward and kicked a couple of goals for the Lions just before half-time.

There were a host of massive ball winners for Subiaco and none more so than Greg Clark who continued his career-best form with 42 possessions, eight inside-50 entries and a goal.

Lachlan Delahunty also dominated around the ground with 30 disposals, six marks, 24 hit outs and a goal while captain Leigh Kitchin had 30 possessions, Harry Marsh 25, Liam Hickmott 23, Angus Dewar 21, Wil Hickmott 20 and Chad Harris 19.

Hayden Kennedy was terrific setting up play coming out of the back-line with 29 possessions while Brandon Matera impressed with 18 disposals, eight marks and a goal.

Perth's one goal came through Simon Hayward in one of four kicks for the game.

Austin Davis battled hard in defence for Perth to finish with 20 possessions while Brant Colledge had 18 disposals, Kasey Nicholas 17, Corey Byrne 15, Jack Avery 15 and Regan Clarke 15 to go with 13 tackles.

Christian Eyres fought hard in the ruck contests too to end up with 40 hit outs.

The Thursday night clash soon turned ominous when in the opening seven minutes of the game despite the tricky conditions Ben Sokol took a couple of marks and kicked a couple of goals for Subiaco.

He added a third goal shortly after before Chad Harris and James Faraone got in on the fun. Sokol was anything but done yet and kicked two more goals himself to close out the opening term with Subiaco leading by 40 points and Perth not managing a score of any kind.

Perth did at least manage a couple of scores to open the second quarter but they were behinds to Sam Stubbs and Kristian Cary. 

Six minutes in and Sokol kicked his fifth goal of the night already bever Jack Beverley kicked another for the Lions, and Michael Braut closed the first half kicking two of his own with Subiaco heading into the main break with 10 goals to nil on the board to lead by 61 points.

Ruckman Lachlan Delahunty opened the second half with his first goal of the night for the Lions before Brandon Matera got in on the act. It was a string of behinds from there until Bailey Matera kicked truly for Subiaco.

Leigh Kitchin and Greg Clark did the same to close the third term and with Perth still goalless, Subiaco was on top by 94 points at three quarter-time.

Subiaco's lead got to 100 points with a goal to Harry Marsh to start the final term but that would be their last game of the night. Perth blew a couple of chances but eventually Simon Hayward kicked truly with a set shot at the 17-minute mark to ensure they at least didn’t go goalless.

CLAREMONT 14.9 (93) defeated WEST COAST EAGLES 9.12 (66)

The West Coast Eagles delivered their most competitive showing of the WAFL season so far but Claremont still managed to prove too strong and come away with the 27-point win on Saturday at Revo Fitness Stadium.

Claremont needed the win to maintain pace with Subiaco at the top of the WAFL ladder following the Lions' thumping of Perth on Thursday night to open Round 9 of the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season.

The Tigers ended up getting the win they were after but they were made to work significantly harder for it than they might have expected against the winless Eagles.

West Coast came out ready to put in a strong showing and they even doubled the scoring shots of Claremont in the opening quarter, but they couldn’t kick inaccurately while the Tigers could to lead by five points by quarter-time.

It was another five goals from Claremont in the second quarter but West Coast was sticking with them and managed to kick another four goals themselves to limit the lead of the Tigers to 11 points by half-time.

Claremont added another two goals to one in the third quarter, and then two more goals to one in the final term with the Tigers running out 14.9 (93) to 9.12 (66) winners.

The result improves the Tigers to a 7-1 record on the season after the opening nine rounds while the Eagles are 0-8 but this could have been their best showing of the season to date.

Jack Buller kicked another two goals from seven kicks and six marks for Claremont with Callan England, Jake Patmore, Alex Manuel and Cameron Anderson all managing two goals as well.

Jye Bolton is in a remarkable run of form and the dual Sandover Medallist and four-time Simpson Medal winner was simply unstoppable in the midfield for the Tigers. He amassed 49 possessions, 12 marks, six inside 50s and a goal in remarkable performance.

He wasn’t the only huge ball winner on the day for the Tigers either with Bailey Rogers racking up 37 possessions and 12 marks, Kane Mitchell 30 disposals and nine marks, Ryan Lim 30 touches and four tackles, Ben Edwards 26 possessions and five tackles, and Jared Hardisty 20 disposals.

Lachlan Martinis was back to his brilliant best creating out of the back-line with 36 possessions and eight marks while Oliver Eastland was strong in the ruck again with 20 disposals and 28 hit outs.

Kieran Hug kicked three goals for the Eagles from 18 possessions and five marks while Cooper Nitschke added three goals from 16 touches, six marks and four tackles.

Just days after being selected by the Eagles in the AFL mid-season rookie draft from West Perth, Connor West lined up for West Coast in the WAFL against Claremont and was outstanding in the midfield with 29 possessions, eight inside 50s, seven tackles, six marks and a goal.

Hamish Brayshaw also had 26 possessions for the Eagles, Mark Hutchings 24, Joey Deegan 22, Ben Johnson 20 and Zane Trew 19.

Despite being winless and coming up against a team fighting for top spot, the Eagles started impressively having the first five scoring shots of the game including goals to Kieran Hug and Chris Paunich.

Claremont eventually scored courtesy of a gaol to Ben Edwards but West Coast was out to a handy 17-point advantage with Hug adding a second at 20-minute mark of the opening term.

Claremont soon steadied, though, and a goal to Callan England and two quickly to Alex Manuel, and then another to Jack Buller saw the Tigers take a five-point advantage into the first break.

West Coast wasn’t going away, though, and again started the second quarter promisingly with a pair of goals to former Tiger Cooper Nitschke and then another to the recently drafted Connor West.

When Nitschke added a third soon after, the Eagles were leading by 14 points and had thrown the challenge right back at the Tigers, but they again responded. 

Jake Patmore kicked a goal, then so did Jye Bolton before Buller kicked his second and Cameron Anderson another on half-time to give Claremont the 11-point edge.

It took almost 15 minutes for the first goal to come of the second half and it went the way of the Eagles with Hug kicking his third of the afternoon to bring West Coast back within five points.

Claremont was able to pull away again, though, with goals to England and Patmore just before three quarter-time.

The Tigers then had the answers in the last term too to do enough for the hard earned 27-point win and to stay only percentage behind Subiaco for top spot on the WAFL ladder.

PEEL THUNDER 7.17 (59) lost to SWAN DISTRICTS 10.7 (67)

Little separated Swan Districts and Peel Thunder in Mandurah on Saturday, but Swans did enough to get over the line by eight points at David Grays Arena to further solidify themselves in a finals position.

It always shaped as a potentially season-defining game for both clubs in Mandurah on Saturday and now following the 10.7 (67) to 7.17 (59) victory, finals are now looking a reality for the first time with Adam Pickering as coach for Swan Districts.

The eight-point win improves Swans to a 5-3 record on the season and into third position on the ladder at least until South Fremantle has the chance to take that position back on WA Day against East Fremantle.

But it has put Swans clear in the top five with a two-game gap now back to a Peel team who sits on a 3-5 record in sixth position.

Swans had the better of the start to the game in Mandurah on Saturday with eight scoring shots to four in the first term, and that saw the visitors take a 14-point advantage into the quarter-time break.

Peel was able to turn it around in the second quarter at least in terms of dominating possession and scoring opportunities. 

Swans managed just one goal from their lone score in the quarter while the Thunder had nine scoring shots but only two of those were goals with Swan Districts still leading by a point by half-time. 

Peel was able to kick straighter in the third quarter with four majors to three from Swan Districts and that meant the Thunder went into three quarter-time leading by five points on home turf.

Swan Districts were rewarded for their accuracy in the final term as they kicked three goals and the Thunder managed five behinds while Swans went on to score the eight-point wins to make it consecutive victories.

Lachlan Riley and Warrick Wilson kicked two goals apiece for Swan Districts while Jesse Palmer only kicked the one goal but still worked hard for nine kicks and six marks.

Frank Anderson continued his tremendous form in the midfield for Swan Districts with another 24 possessions and 11 tackles.

Jesse Turner also had 24 disposals for the black-and-whites, Sam Fisher 23 touches and eight tackles, Brandon Erceg 17 touches and four marks, Aidan Clarke 16 possessions and five marks, and Josh Cipro 16 disposals, eight tackles and six inside-50 entries.

Meanwhile down back for Swans, Nelson Waite finished with another 22 possessions and seven marks and Chris Jones finished with 16 disposals and nine marks while Corey Gault delivered another 15 touches, 36 hit outs and five marks.

Lloyd Meek fought hard both in the ruck and up forward for Peel to finish with 13 possessions, 34 hit outs, four marks, four tackles and two goals. Stefan Giro also kicked two goals for the Thunder.

Jackson Merrett compiled 23 possessions, seven marks, five tackles and a goal for Peel while Michael Randall delivered 22 disposals, Brett Bewley 21, Luke Valente 21, Nathan O'Driscoll 20 and Traye Bennell 18.

It took more than 21 minutes for the first goal of the game to come and in that time both teams had managed three behinds, but that drought breaker came courtesy of Brayden Lawler for Peel.

Warrick Wilson almost immediately responded for Swan Districts and then a couple of more Swans goals from Matt Riggio and Jiah Reidy saw them lead by 14 points by quarter-time.

A pair of Stefan Giro goals for Peel to open the second quarter put the home team back within two points but Jackson Beck got a steadier for Swans to help them hold on to a one-point advantage at the major break.

Wilson kicked a quick goal less than a minute into the third term but then Lloyd Meek kicked a couple for the Thunder and the home team was up by six goals. Swan Districts immediately hit back, though, with goals to Lachlan Riley and Sam Fisher to be back up by five.

Peel would have the last say of the quarter, though, with goals to Jackson Merrett and 100-gamer Ben Howlett to be up by five points at the three quarter-time break.

Jesse Palmer's lone goal of the game then came to start the final quarter to put Swans back in front before Thomas Edwards and Riley stretched the lead further before ending up recording the eight-point victory despite the seven fewer scoring shots.

EAST PERTH 11.10 (76) lost to WEST PERTH 19.5 (119)

An eight-goal haul from Tyler Keitel and dominant midfield performance from West Perth saw the Falcons continue their strong recent form to beat East Perth by 43 points in the WA Day Derby at Leederville Oval.

West Perth came out on fire with seven goals to one in the opening quarter and from there the Royals could never find a way to get back into the contest with the Falcons continuing their improved run of form.

They have now won three of their past four now matches to be 4-4 on the season after being in a bit of trouble at 1-3, but they produced an outstanding showing in front of 3631 fans at Leederville Oval on Monday to beat East Perth 19.5 (119) to 11.10 (76).

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.

Keegan Knott kicked another three goals as well for the Falcons with Mitch Antonio also kicking three to go with 14 possessions, nine marks and four inside-50 entries. Nathan Murray and Rudy Riddoch also added two goals each.

There were some impressive performances in the West Perth midfield too with Shane Nelson racking up 33 possessions, Aaron Black 30, Tristan Hobley 28, Mitch Peirce 21, Matthew Lloyd 21 and Murray 19.

Noah Pegoraro was tremendous again at centre half-back with 18 disposals while also down back, Zac Guadagnin had 21 disposals, even marks and four tackles.

Mitch Dobson kicked two goals from 19 possessions with Eddie Simpson also managing two goals for East Perth.

Angus Schumacher fought hard against the tide for the Royals with 32 possessions and nine entries inside the forward 50 while Rohan Kerr racked up another 31 disposals, eight marks and a goal.

Stan Wright also finished with 27 possessions, Angus Scott 26 disposals and eight marks, Jack Cooley 22 touches and five marks, Aidan Lynch 21 possessions and five marks, and Christian Ameduri 20 disposals and four tackles.

Scott Jones battled away in the ruck for the Royals with 13 possessions, six tackles, 26 hit outs and a goal.

Keegan Knott opened the derby with a goal for West Perth just a minute into it and then the Falcons had very quickly opened up a big lead with goals to Mitch Antonio, Rudy Riddoch and Knott again all inside the opening 10 minutes.

East Perth did receive a steadier thanks to Harley Sparks but it didn’t stop West Perth's momentum who finished the opening term with goals to Tom O'Donnell, Riddoch and Tyler Keitel to lead by 36 points at quarter-time.

Keitel was then in unstoppable form to open the third quarter for West Perth with three goals inside the space of six minutes and all of a sudden the Falcons led by 53 points.

East Perth managed the next three goals to Stan Wright, Rohan Kerr and Thomas Edwards-Baldwin to get back within 35 points, but West Perth's lead was still 40 points at the main break after a goal to Nathan Murray.

Mitch Dobson and Knott then traded goals to open the second half before Keitel hit another purple patch with three goals in six minutes. That gave him seven for the game at that point and West Perth was leading by 58 points.

Another couple of goals to Antonio and the Falcons were still on top by 61 points at three quarter-time and they would cruise to the 43-point win to consolidate their position in the top five and hold East Perth to the one win still so far in 2021.

EAST FREMANTLE 8.10 (58) lost to SOUTH FREMANTLE 11.8 (74)

South Fremantle came away with an 11th straight win over East Fremantle in the WA Day Foundation Derby but the Sharks made them earn it more than a long time at New Choice Homes Park.

The Bulldogs have dominated recent derbies against the Sharks not having won 10 straight meetings coming into Monday's game, but they had enjoyed life at Shark Park even more having won 11 in-a-row at the venue.

South Fremantle looked set for another thumping win too after kicking the opening four goals of the game, but East Fremantle was able to fire back and make a real game of it.

The Bulldogs were able to kick away again with the only four goals of the quarter but the Sharks kept fighting and while South Fremantle still won 11.8 (74) to 8.10 (58), it wasn’t the same dominant type of win they have delivered against East Fremantle in recent times.

The win was still South Fremantle's 11 in-a-row against East Fremantle, 12th consecutive at Shark Park and improves the Bulldogs to a 6-2 record on the season in third place. The Sharks are showing signs of improvement but are 3-5 down in eighth.

South Fremantle's main duo in attack Mason Shaw and Cody Ninyette stood up once again kicking four goals apiece.

South Fremantle captain Dylan Main continued his run of form since returning from injury too for another 30 possessions, five marks, five inside-50 entries, three tackles and a goal.

Zac Strom dominated a lot of the game from his wing for the Bulldogs with 26 disposals, eight marks, seven inside 50s and four tackles.

Brock Higgins was terrific in the ruck with 18 possessions and 39 hit outs while Chad Pearson finished with 18 disposals, Haiden Schloithe 17, Jacob Dragovich 17, Jarrad Doney 17 (nine tackles), Brandon Donaldson 17 and Blake Schlensog 17.

Tim Bockman kicked three goals for East Fremantle from 14 possessions and five marks with Hugh Dixon also kicking three to go with 11 disposals, nine marks and four tackles.

Cam Eardley might be losing quality teammates alongside him in East Fremantle's midfield, but it's not hurting his form as he delivered another 31 possessions, six marks and four tackles.

Jarrad Jansen also had 21 disposals for the Sharks, Michael Tassone 19, Matthew Jupp 18 and Kyle Baskerville 18.

South Fremantle has dominated recent derbies in emphatic fashion and the way they started again on Monday, that average winning margin of 75 points looked well and truly on the cards again.

Inside the first 17 minutes, Cody Ninyette kicked two goals for the Bulldogs with captain Dylan Main and vice-captain Dylan Main also chipping in.

In fact, East Fremantle didn’t even go inside their forward 50 until the 14-minute mark of the term and the horror misdirected spoil on the goal line from Jamie Meade leading to a Ninyette goal summed up the game's opening.

The ominous signs of another demolition derby wouldn’t eventuate, though, and the Sharks were able to steady before quarter-time with goals to Tim Bockman, Hugh Dixon and Jonathon Marsh to only trail the Bulldogs by six points.

Shaw's second goal to start the second quarter put South Fremantle back out to a 13-point lead but East Fremantle responded soon after through Dixon and the game was really beginning to heat up as a tightly-contest battle.

There was just the one more goal before half-time and that was courtesy of Ninyette who booted his third and helped the Bulldogs to the 11-point edge at the main break.

South Fremantle was again able to kick away and control much of the third quarter with the advantage of the slight breeze at Shark Park.

Jacob Dragovich opened the half with a good set shot goal before Shaw kicked his third and fourth. Jarrod Salmeri kicked the first goal of his career in his second game even if it appeared a bit lucky to count with the likelihood he kicked it after the siren.

Still, South Fremantle led by 36 points at three quarter-time and they were still 31 points up with Ninyette's fourth at the eight-minute mark of the last quarter.

East Fremantle kept on fighting, though, and kicked the last three goals of the game with two of those to Bockman and another to Ryan Lester-Smith to cut South Fremantle's final winning margin to 16 points.