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Tigers Triumph Caps Off Stunning Day for WAFLWMonday, July 4, 2022 - 3:18 PM - by Mark Readings

IN a stunning advertisement for local women’s football, Claremont has claimed its first WAFLW premiership in an upset victory. 

The Tigers defeated a brave East Fremantle in a high-tempo, high-scoring decider by eight points at Revo Fitness Stadium. 

The Sharks entered the Grand Final unbeaten this season with 15 consecutive wins but were outplayed by the Tigers on their home turf. 

For Claremont coach Jack Schwarze, the thrilling win capped off a remarkable season. 

“It was an incredible achievement and the culmination of a lot of hard work and sacrifice through the season," Schwarze said.

"I’m so proud of the group to be able to absorb the pressure, maintain belief and never waiver from our system against a quality side like East Fremantle, even when they kicked two goals clear early in the second quarter. 

"We had a focus on maintaining possession after East Fremantle laid over 100 tackles in our second semi-final, and they’re a side which pounces on opposition turnovers. 

"We convincingly won uncontested marks and were able to shift lanes and move the ball well, which meant our Inside 50s were more effective." 

Midfielder Jasmin Stewart produced a stand-out performance. 

The former Docker collected a game-high 29 disposals and was named the Lou Knitter Medallist as best afield. 

“Jas was elite and played exactly the way the team needed," Schwarze said.

"When she returned after the AFLW season we initially had a plan to play her as an outside midfielder, but when we lost Ella Smith and Sasha Goranova to West Coast, plus Emily Elkington to injury, she had to fill that inside mid role." 

The Claremont coach reserved praise for captain Rachel Ortlepp. 

“I can’t speak highly enough about Rach and her leadership and performance," he said.

"She’s another we had to swing late in the season to cover the loss of Tess Doumanis to Port Adelaide so I’m proud of her ability to become a forward so effortlessly.” 

Claremont’s triumph is a huge boost to the women’s game at the club. 

“This result means so much to so many people, whether they’re still active at the club or not," Schwarze said.

"It reaffirms all the difficult decisions made around our strategic planning, selection calls, training commitment and expectations. 

"We’ve had incredible support from our sponsors and the Men’s club, so to reward their investment bodes well for the future." 

Claremont also won the Reserves Grand Final against East Fremantle, while East Fremantle took home the Rogers Cup Youth Girls premiership with a win against Peel Thunder.