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Simply Energy Colts Grand Final Preview – Claremont v Swan DistrictsFriday, October 1, 2021 - 10:57 AM - by Chris Pike

SWAN Districts and Claremont resurrect their fascinating WAFL Colts rivalry when they lock horns in Saturday's Simply Energy Grand Final at Optus Stadium.

Swans and the Tigers played in two fascinating Grand Final battles at colts level back in 2014 and 2015 where they won a premiership each against the other, and now they clash with another flag on the line this Saturday.

Swan Districts won 15 of 16 matches of the 2021 colts season to secure themselves top position and the minor premiership, but it was Claremont that ended their winning streak in the second semi-final.

Claremont booked their place in that game with a 41-point qualifying final win against East Perth, the only team to beat Swan Districts during the season, and the Tigers then scored the upset win over Swans.

Claremont prevailed by nine points in a terrific contest to mean that the Tigers have had a week's break to prepare for the Grand Final while the black-and-whites had to do it the hard way to get there.

Swan Districts did open up a 27-point half-time lead in the preliminary final against East Fremantle last Sunday, but the Sharks stormed home and got back as close as one-point at three quarter-time.

Swans stood tall in the finish to win by two points and then lock in their place in the Grand Final at Optus Stadium against Claremont.

It should be quite the fascinating contest. Swans have won 16 of their 18 games in 2021 but losing that second semi-final to Claremont means the Tigers deserve to come in confident on the back of that performance.

There are plenty of emerging stars to keep your eyes out for on both teams too with the match up in Claremont's forward-line between their key target Jacob Van Rooyen and Swan Districts' defender Rhett Bazzo one to especially keep a watch for.

Max Chipper is coming off a best on ground performance in the preliminary final for Swan Districts with 30 possessions while Ben Hewett finished with 18 disposals and Noah Hannan 17. 

But Kendyll Blurton, Angus Sheldrick and ruckman Eric Benning were among the standouts too for Claremont in the second semi-final along with Van Rooyen who kicked four goals.

Swan Districts is attempting to win its first colts premiership since 2014 and eighth overall while Claremont continues to dominate the colts competition.

Prior to losing last year's Grand Final to Subiaco, Claremont had won colts premierships in 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2019. 

The Tigers are now attempting to win their fourth flag in the past seven years, sixth in the last 13 and 17th overall since breaking through in 1976 for the first time.

This year's Grand Final brings back memories of those back-to-back deciders between Swan Districts and Claremont in 2014 and 2015.

Swan Districts were the similarly dominant team throughout the season in 2014 losing just twice during the season under the coaching of Trent Cooper.

Swans then advanced straight to the Grand Final on that occasion before beating Claremont at Subiaco Oval by 18 points for what was the club's last premiership to this day.

Sean Fletcher, Chad Daniels, Robert Mostert and John Shaw all kicked two goals that day for Swan Districts while Jason Daniels won the Mel Whinnen Medal on the back of his 25 possessions.

Ethan Maguire also had 18 disposals, Chad Daniels 17, Jacob Coniglio 17 and Albert Dean 17 while Warrick Wilson had 13 and even spent time in the ruck. He is the only player still at Swan Districts.

Current Claremont co-captain Jared Hardisty had 26 possessions in the losing Grand Final for Claremont while current Essendon forward Alec Waterman had 22 disposals and Sandover Medallist Bailey Rogers 17.

Hardisty, Ryan Lim, Rogers, Francis Watson, Alex Manuel and Harry McCracken remain Claremont players from that team while Eddie Simpson is now at East Perth and Sam Petrevski-Seton in the middle of his AFL career.

The two teams did it all again in the Colts Grand Final of 2015 and this time Claremont were too strong beating Swan Districts by 69 points at Subiaco Oval.

This time Jake Waterman kicked three goals for Claremont and Declan Mountford, Simpson and Regan Smith two each. Mountford also had 25 possessions, Ryan Murphy 23, Rogers 21, Petrevski-Seton 20, Bailey Banfield 19 and Petrevski-Seton 19.

Dylan Smith kicked two goals for Swan Districts while Brayden Hackett racked up 25 touches, Brad Lynch 21, Josh Cipro 17 and John Grimson 17.

From that Claremont team, Jake Waterman is now at the West Coast Eagles, Mountford is Claremont co-captain, Matt Guelfi is at Essendon, Banfield at Fremantle and Morgan Davies at East Fremantle.

From that Swan Districts team, Cipro is now a regular league midfielder, Aidan Clarke emerged in 2021 as a quality player, Griffin Logue is a solid Fremantle defender and Jesse Glass-McCasker was drafted to Carlton.

That was a classic rivalry and plenty of stars were made from those Swan Districts-Claremont Grand Final battles and now it will be fascinating to see who stands up to set up their futures on Saturday.


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