TOUGH conditions greeted the WAFL clubs for NAIDOC Round action on Saturday afternoon with eventual victories for Swan Districts, East Fremantle, South Fremantle, West Perth and East Perth.
West Perth, East Fremantle, South Fremantle and Swan Districts all consolidated their finals positions with wins on Saturday afternoon as the rain bucketed down in celebrations of NAIDOC Week in the WAFL while East Perth kept its finals hopes alive too.
NAIDOC Round in the WAFL began on Saturday afternoon at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval with Swan Districts coming from behind to kick seven goals to one after half-time to beat Perth 9.11 (65) to 7.6 (48).
Tom Edwards kicked four goals for Swan Districts with Aidan Clarke racking up 30 touches and Tobe Watson 27 to go with 11 tackles. Sam Perkusich and Sam Stubbs kicked two goals each for the Demons while Corey Byrne had 27 disposals.
South Fremantle bounced back strongly to kick six goals to two after quarter-time and beat Claremont to retain the Jimmy Melbourne Cup with the 7.13 (55) to 3.3 (21) victory at Revo Fitness Stadium.
Brendon Ah Chee racked up 29 possessions for South Fremantle, Steve Verrier 28, Haiden Schloithe 25 and Glenn Byron 25. Tyron Smallwood kicked two goals for Claremont and Jye Bolton picked up 33 touches and Bailey Rogers 27.
East Fremantle further consolidated their hold on a top two position and made Subiaco's job of staying in the finals hunt all that harder with a 9.11 (65) to 6.4 (40) win at Leederville Oval.
Jonathon Marsh and Reuben McGuire both kicked two goals for East Fremantle and Blaine Boekhorst racked up another 37 disposals and Cam Eardley 33. Ben Sokol kicked two goals for Subiaco and Liam Hickmott collected 32 disposals.
East Perth kept itself in the finals race this WAFL season by beating the West Coast Eagles 7.8 (50) to 4.3 (27).
Christian Ameduri and Ben McGuire kicked two goals for East Perth with Hamish Brayshaw amassing 35 possessions and Jackson Ramsay 29. Josh Burke kicked two goals for West Coast and Patrick Naish picked up 32 touches.
The tight one of the afternoon took place at Joondalup's Pentanet Stadium with West Perth maintaining their hold on top spot with the narrow 7.5 (47) to 6.8 (44) victory against Peel Thunder.
Tyler Keitel kicked three goals for the Falcons and Shane Nelson racked up 33 possessions as he approaches his 200th game. Guy Barnes kicked two goals for the Thunder and Connor Blakely compiled 26 disposals.
Following Round 12 of the WAFL season, it's West Perth a game clear on top of the ladder with a 9-2 record with East Fremantle in second position at 8-3.
Only percentage then separates South Fremantle, Claremont and Swan Districts who all hold 7-4 records to round out the top five.
Peel Thunder is in sixth position at 5-6 percentage ahead of East Perth followed by Subiaco (4-7), Perth (2-9) and West Coast (1-10).
Round 13 of the 2022 WAFL season will all take place this Saturday afternoon with West Coast taking on East Fremantle, Peel Thunder hosting Subiaco, East Perth facing Perth, Claremont battling West Perth and South Fremantle at home to Swan Districts.
WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 12
SWAN DISTRICTS 9.11 (65) defeated PERTH 7.6 (48)
Swan Districts overcame a 27-point deficit to dominate the second half and beat Perth by 17 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday.
Swan Districts were playing host to Perth as part of the WAFL NAIDOC Round looking to consolidate their hold on a top five position up against a Demons team on a six-game losing slide.
However, it was Perth who started strongly and kicked six goals to two in the first half to open up a lead by as much as 27 points to appear on track for a third win of the 2022 season.
Swans had to dig deep and they did exactly that throughout the second half to end up kicking seven goals to just one from Perth to see them end up winning 9.11 (65) to 7.6 (48).
The win improves Swan Districts to a 7-4 record on the season to be just percentage out of third spot while Perth slips to 2-9 following a seventh consecutive loss.
It was former Swan Denzel More who gave Perth the perfect start to the game with a goal inside two minutes and even though the rain hadn't fully yet arrived, it took 23 more minutes for the next goal of the contest and that went to Swans courtesy of Tom Edwards.
However, Sam Stubbs responded in the jumper he designed to give Perth the four-point edge by quarter-time.
Stubbs then kicked his second goal to give the Demons the perfect start to the second term and when Sam Perkusich kicked truly, the margin was out to 15 points and a drought breaking win for Perth was right on the cards.
That was even more so the case with a goal to Brodie Gray to push the lead out to 20 points, and it was 27 points when Jye Clark added their fourth goal of the quarter.
Importantly Swan Districts did get a goal back just before half-time through Tarir Bayok to make the margin 21 points.
That gave the black-and-whites some belief and they built on it to start the third term with a quick goal to Ryan Kemp and another to Edwards to make it a nine-point ball game just five minutes into the second half.
It was Will Collins with his first score of the season that brought Swan Districts to within a point before a third to Edwards saw the home team grab the lead, and still be on top by three points at three quarter-time after Seb Bright kicked truly to close the quarter.
It was then all Swan Districts in the fourth quarter with the only two goals from Edwards and Kemp to see them complete the comeback with seven goals to one after half-time for the 9.11 (65) to 7.6 (48) victory.
Swan Districts came into the game without Sandover Medallist Sam Fisher and leading goalkicker Chris Jones while usual key players Jesse Turner and Jesse Palmer were down with ruckman Matthew Germs picking up a leg injury.
However, Swans still found a way to dominate after half-time with Tom Edwards kicking four goals from 15 touches. Ryan Kemp was the other multiple goalscorer with two.
Aidan Clarke stepped up in the midfield for Swans with 30 possessions and eight tackles with Tobe Watson superb with 27 touches and 11 tackles. Josh Cipro also had 23 disposals, Jarvis Pina 22, Brenton Hilton 21, Tony Stephens 19 and Tarir Bayok 18.
Sam Perkusich and Sam Stubbs, the man who designed Perth's NAIDOC Week jumper, kicked two goals apiece for the Demons.
Corey Byrne battled hard in the midfield for the Demons by racking up 27 possessions while Regan Clarke collected 18 disposals (five tackles), Austin Davis 18 (six tackles), Kasey Nicholas 18 (five tackles), Fraser McInnes 18 (15 hit outs), Andrew Fisher 17 and Dakota Baldwin-Edwards 17 (24 hit outs, six tackles).
CLAREMONT 3.3 (21) lost to SOUTH FREMANTLE 7.13 (55)
South Fremantle hit back impressively from their most disappointing performance of the season to deliver their best showing to beat Claremont by 34 points at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday.
Claremont and South Fremantle continued their annual tradition of playing during NAIDOC Week for the Jimmy Melbourne Cup, and the Bulldogs made it three straight wins on the occasion with a tremendous performance in tough conditions.
South Fremantle was coming off a disappointing 41-point loss to the West Coast Eagles two weeks ago, but they bounced back strongly on Saturday despite the absence of Dylan Main, Mason Shaw and Jake Florenca.
The rain began to pour down at Revo Fitness Stadium just as the players ran out onto the ground and it didn’t let up most of the afternoon, and it was South Fremantle who handled the conditions considerably better.
Playing a physically strong brand of football putting a premium on winning the territory battle, South Fremantle held firm in the first quarter into the breeze and then controlled the rest of the contest.
The Bulldogs kicked six goals to two after quarter-time to end up winning 7.13 (55) to 3.3 (21) to have now beaten the Tigers in nine of their previous 12 meetings.
The win leaves both teams on 7-4 records after 12 rounds of the 2022 season with South Fremantle ahead of Claremont in third position by percentage.
The rain began to pour down at Revo Fitness Stadium just as the teams entered the arena and during the Welcome to Country to celebrate NAIDOC Week, and the rain was at its heaviest during the opening quarter.
That made clean possession a challenge but Claremont got the first goal of the game with Sandover Medallist Bailey Rogers kicking it off the ground in congestion at the six-minute mark.
It took until just before quarter-time for the next goal and that went the way of South Fremantle through Steve Verrier and it saw the Bulldogs lead by three points at quarter-time.
The driving rain made it difficult for the breeze to make much of an impact, but South Fremantle did have it behind them in the second quarter and they took advantage with an early goal to Tom Blechynden after a 50m penalty.
George Wessels then made the most of his return to the league side to add another for South Fremantle and when Brandon Donaldson kicked another, the Bulldogs were out to a 21-point lead and were still on top by 23 points at the main break.
It took more than 10 minutes for the first goal of the second half and it again went the way of South Fremantle through big man Jimmy Miller.
Claremont finally kicked its second goal of game at the 18-minute mark of the third quarter thanks to small forward Tyron Smallwood, but only two minutes later South Fremantle responded through Haiden Schloithe when he sneaked through a low trajectory set shot.
That meant the Bulldogs were right on top by 29 points at three quarter-time and there would be no Claremont fightback with a goal each in the last term with South Fremantle ending up winning 7.13 (55) to 3.3 (21).
Brendon Ah Chee had a memorable performance in his first game in NAIDOC Week for South Fremantle by producing a best on ground performance with 29 possessions and seven tackles.
Steve Verrier continued his terrific form in the midfield too for the Bulldogs with 28 disposals, nine tackles and a goal while Haiden Schloithe did a power of work with 25 touches, 13 tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal.
Glenn Byron also continued his career-best run of form with South Fremantle with another 25 possessions while Tom Blechynden had 18 touches, Nick Suban 18, Jarrad Doney 17 and ruckman Hamish Free 16 along with 39 hit outs.
South Fremantle's back-line was again miserly conceding just the three goals with Toby McQuilkin picking up 20 touches while Chad Pearson, Blake Schlensog and Noah Strom proved impenetrable.
Tyron Smallwood was the only multiple goal scorer in the game kicking two for Claremont to go with 15 touches and nine tackles.
Dual Sandover Medallist Jye Bolton gathered 33 possessions for Claremont while Bailey Rogers finished with 27 touches, Ben Edwards 24, Ronon O'Connor 19, Lachlan Martinis 18 and Ryan Lim 17 to go with 10 tackles.
Kieran Gowdie also produced the best performance of his seven-game career in the ruck in the absence of Oliver Eastland with 20 possessions, 45 hit outs and five tackles.
SUBIACO 6.4 (40) lost to EAST FREMANTLE 9.11 (65)
If anything shows how far East Fremantle has come in 2022, it's a second straight comprehensive win against Subiaco after Saturday's 25-point win at Leederville Oval.
Subiaco has been the dominant team this century and coming into 2022 had won 14 of the last 16 meetings between the two teams, but East Fremantle broke through to win by 44 points back in Round 6.
The Sharks then backed it up with a dominant showing on Saturday at Leederville Oval set up by kicking the first four goals of the game inside nine minutes.
They maintained that advantage the rest of the afternoon in challenging conditions to win 9.11 (65) to 6.4 (40).
The win improves East Fremantle to an 8-3 record on the season to remain clear in second position while Subiaco falls further from the finals race at 4-7 in their premiership defence.
East Fremantle started the game on fire to make a real statement within minutes of their intentions. It took little over 30 seconds for the Sharks to open their account through Jarrad Jansen.
Ryan Lester-Smith, Jonathon Marsh and Reuben McGuire then all added goals inside the first nine minutes before Subiaco knew what hit them and the Sharks were on top by 25 points.
The Lions managed to respond with a couple of goals to Stefan Giro and Ben Sokol, but still the Sharks had the last laugh of the first quarter with a late goal to Alex Montauban to be up by 20 points at the first change.
Scoring became tougher from there with the rain settling in and it took 15 minutes for a goal to come in the second quarter which was kicked by Subiaco captain Leigh Kitchin.
East Fremantle responded with a goal to Luke English and that ensured the Sharks maintained their 24-point advantage at the major break.
Marsh then kicked his second of the day to open the second half and it would take until the 20-minute mark for another goal to come which went the way of the Lions through Wil Hickmott.
Once again, East Fremantle continued to have all the answers and Lester-Smith kicked a second goal heading towards three quarter-time to give the Sharks the 31-point edge.
It was only fitting that the man who designed East Fremantle's NAIDOC Round jumpers, McGuire, who kicked the sealer in the last quarter as the Sharks went on to win 9.11 (65) to 6.4 (40).
There was a lot to like in the East Fremantle performance including Jonathon Marsh, Reuben McGuire and Ryan Lester-Smith all kicking two goals apiece despite the wet and windy conditions.
Blaine Boekhorst continued his career-best run of form with his ability to gain huge metres with his run and kicking skills making him potentially the most damaging player in the competition. He had another 37 touches and seven inside 50s.
Cam Eardley was superb once again off half-back for the Sharks with 33 disposals and five marks while Jackson McDonald gathered 26 possessions, Corey Holmes 20, the returning Kyle Baskerville 18, Lester-Smith 18 and Milan Murdock 16.
Jeremy Goddard was a strong presence in the ruck as well for East Fremantle amassing 56 hit outs.
Ben Sokol was Subiaco's lone goal scorer with two majors from just four kicks and two marks.
Liam Hickmott was another player to continue his career-best form for Subiaco by collecting 32 possessions to go with six tackles and six inside-50 entries.
Stefan Giro also picked up 26 touches for the Lions, Jordan Snadden 24 against his former team, Leigh Kitchin 19, Harry Marsh 19 and defender Galen Savigni in the best showing of his five-match career.
WEST COAST EAGLES 4.3 (27) lost to EAST PERTH 7.8 (50)
East Perth kept its season alive with a strong performance to beat the West Coast Eagles by 23 points at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park on Saturday.
The Royals returned to the winner's list two weeks ago against Claremont in what was their best performance of the season and they backed it up against the Eagles who were coming off their own breakthrough win over South Fremantle a fortnight ago.
East Perth was in control of the contest throughout the afternoon to end up winning 7.8 (50) to 4.3 (27).
The victory improves the Royals to a 5-6 record in the season to remain in contention for a finals position while the Eagles remain in last place now at 1-10.
West Coast started well on the back of their impressive breakthrough win two weeks ago against South Fremantle when Josh Burke kicked the game's first goal at the nine-minute mark.
It didn’t take long for Elijah Taylor to get East Perth on the board with his first goal for the Royals and then Kyle Hamersley gave East Perth a seven-point lead by the end of the opening quarter with a late goal.
Burke's second goal for the Eagles gave them the ideal start to the second term as well but East Perth again responded this time through Ben McGuire.
The trading of goals continued with Jayden Johnstone kicking truly for the Eagles before Mitch Schofield replied and that meant the Royals were on top by nine points at the major break.
West Coast got back into it with the first goal of the third quarter with Logan Young delivering it but the only other goal of the term was from Christian Ameduri to keep East Perth in front by 10 points at three quarter-time.
The Royals then opened up the match-winning advantage with goals in the fourth quarter to McGuire and Ameduri and they kept their finals hopes alive with the 7.8 (50) to 4.3 (27) victory.
Christian Ameduri continued to prove dangerous as a small forward for East Perth by kicking two goals to go with 17 touches and six tackles while Ben McGuire celebrated NAIDOC Week by kicking two goals from his four kicks and two tackles.
Hamish Brayshaw delivered a best on ground performance for East Perth in the midfield with 35 possessions and nine tackles while Jackson Ramsay gathered 29 touches, Angus Scott 27, Angus Schumacher 25, Stan Wright 24 and Jack Cooley 22.
Scott Jones was a powerful presence in the ruck racking up 54 hit outs for the afternoon.
Josh Burke kicked two goals from just three kicks for the afternoon for West Coast to make the most of his opportunities.
Patrick Naish put his hand up for an AFL call up for the Eagles with 32 possessions while Xavier O'Neill gathered 25 touches, Josh Browne 25, Alex Witherden 22, Callum Jamieson 21, Ambrose Ryan 18 and Harry Creasey 18.
Joey Deegan worked hard for West Coast too with 13 possessions and 14 tackles.
WEST PERTH 7.5 (47) defeated PEEL THUNDER 6.8 (44)
West Perth had to come from behind to win a thriller by three points against Peel Thunder at Joondalup's Pentanet Stadium on Saturday.
The Thunder made a strong start on Saturday away from home in tough conditions as they tried to maintain pace with the top five and went on to lead by five points at quarter-time, 12 at half-time and still by five at the last change.
However, West Perth finished the better and it was ultimately Anton Hamp who kicked the winning goal late to seal the 7.5 (47) to 6.8 (44) victory.
The win is a third straight for West Perth to keep them a game clear on top of the WAFL ladder with a 9-2 record while Peel slips two games out of the five at 5-6 with the defeat.
The famous Joondalup breeze was in the favour of Peel in the opening term and the visitors were able to take advantage with the first seven scoring shots of the contest, with Heath Chapman and Sebit Kuek converting those into goals.
However, Aaron Black and Tyler Keitel kicked late goals for West Perth to keep them within five points of the Thunder by quarter-time.
Peel maintained their advantage throughout the second quarter as well with goals to Josh Treacy, Guy Barnes and Lloyd Meek. That saw the Thunder still lead by 12 points at the long break despite the second quarter goals for the Falcons from Keitel and Mitch Antonio.
The weather closed in during the second half but it was the Falcons who adjusted the better on their home turf with the only goal of the third quarter thanks to Mitch Peirce.
Keitel then kicked his third of the day to start the fourth quarter to put the Falcons in front but Barnes responded for Peel with his second to regain the lead for the Thunder.
It wouldn’t last long with West Perth kicking the last goal of the game thanks to Anton Hamp before holding on for the 7.5 (47) to 6.8 (44) victory.
Building on the confidence of kicking three goals two weeks ago, Tyler Keitel continued his best run of form for the season for West Perth by kicking another three goals to go with 24 possessions, five tackles and three marks.
In his 199th appearance for West Perth, Shane Nelson thrived in the conditions with another 33 possessions for West Perth while Luke Meadows gathered 26 touches, Trent Manzone 24, Mark Hutchings 22, Tristan Hobley 21 and Conal Lynch 17 to go with nine tackles.
Guy Barnes kicked another two goals as a small forward for Peel from four kicks and three tackles to now give him 11 goals in the first five games of his career.
Connor Blakely also racked up 26 possessions for the Thunder, Karl Worner 23, Heath Chapman 23, Neil Erasmus 22, Darcy Tucker 21 and Haydn Matthews 18.