THE lure of playing next week’s WAFLW Grand Final at Revo Fitness Stadium is just one reason Claremont is desperate to qualify for this year’s decider.
The Tigers play Swan Districts on Sunday afternoon in the preliminary final for the right to meet East Fremantle.
As part of a bidding process, Claremont won the right to host this year’s Grand Final.
The Sharks enter the biggest game of the year unbeaten this season, winning all 14 home and away matches before grinding out a five-point win against Claremont in Sunday’s second semi-final at New Choice Homes Park.
Claremont held an eight-point lead at half-time but didn’t score a goal after the main break as the Sharks kept their perfect record intact.
Tigers coach Jack Schwarze was incredibly proud of his team.
“To hold an undefeated team scoreless in the first half in conditions which didn’t suit us was outstanding," Schwarze said.
"We lost a wing rotation midway through the first quarter, so the midfielders did it tough for the rest of the game.
"The girls battled it out right until the end and never gave up, including a last-ditch effort in the last minute."
The Claremont coach is confident his players will learn lessons from the defeat.
“Maintaining our concentration throughout the match will be a focus," he said.
"We had a 10-minute lapse in the third quarter against East Fremantle where we lost hold of the roles we were given and allowed our opposition a couple of scoring opportunities, which they took."
Claremont has lost Claudia Wright for the rest of the season after she fractured her radius in Sunday’s loss.
Victory this weekend would set up a mouth-watering rematch with East Fremantle, this time on Tiger turf, after Claremont emerged as the successful bidder to host the premiership decider.
“The news of hosting and potentially being able to play in a Grand Final at our home ground was met with a huge roar when announced to the group," Schwarze said.
"However, the hunger is there regardless of the location. I haven’t seen a group driven like this before."
Beaten in last year’s decider, Swan Districts is full of confidence after ending Peel Thunder’s quest for three successive WAFLW flags with a five-point win in Sunday’s first semi-final.
Swans coach Adam Dancey is tasked with guiding his side into another Grand Final.
“The group is buoyant and looking forward to another week where the stakes are so high," Dancey said.
"The win over Peel showed true character by our players and let’s just say there were a few hoarse people after the game.
"Peel were quality opponents who never gave up and we had to fight until the final siren."
Dancey declared the win a team effort.
“I think there were half a dozen players with 15 possessions each, so the group really worked hard together," Dancey said.
"Nat House was enormous for us all day, Bella Edgley was solid in the final term in defence, our midfielders played their role, and Jaime Henry hit the scoreboard early.
"But Claremont is a new challenge, and it should be a great game to watch."
The Tigers have won all three matches against Swans this season, by 52 points in Round 1, 42 points in Round 8, and 31 points in Round 12.
Claremont hosts Swan Districts in the WAFLW preliminary final at Revo Fitness Stadium at 2pm on Sunday.