Round 3 of the 2020 WAFL Season featured some finals previews in this shortened season, a rebounding Falcons side against the Thunder, a must win clash for the Lions at Bassendean and a revival for a Royals side needing a boost.
Here is what happened in Round 3 of the WAFL.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 7-6-48 Def CLAREMONT 5-10-40
It may have been a low scoring game but the Bulldogs depth proved too strong at crucial times during their 8 point win over Claremont at Fremantle Oval.
The improvement of midfielders Jake Florenca, Jacob Drageovich and Zach Dent proved how versatile the engine room was, seeing the Bulldogs now less reliant on Sandover Medallist Hayden Schloithe.
Claremont lost little respect despite the 8 point loss with the efforts of Declan Mountford who amassed 30 touches and Alec Waterman supporting the Tigers forward line with 8 Inside 50’s.
Veteran Bulldogs Dylan Main & Schloithe are spending less time in the centre rotation by the work of the younger players proves how they can beat any side in the clearance department, the greatest test of depth will be against Subiaco at Leederville in Round 4 with Subiaco carrying a mounting injury list in the last 3 weeks.
The Tigers in the mean time go into the game against Peel motivated after their competitive performance.
EAST PERTH 15-9-99 Def EAST FREMANTLE 8-8-56
The Royals needed to bounce back after a disappointing start to the season and they did by scoring a 43 point win over a poorly committed East Fremantle side who will count the costs on the injury front with Nick Kommer and Cameron Davidson going down in the game.
The Royals were boosted by new signing Nick Robertson, being used mainly in attack and functioned well inside forward 50.
He booted 3 goals in a lively display after missing last week through suspension.
The Sharks had their own goal snagging forward with big Luke Strnardica booting 3 goals at the other end, but after their win last week against Peel Thunder the commitment by the Sharks toward the ball looked second rate according to many, and it wasnt hard to see why as more of then not, Snadden & Boekhurst were second to the ball and allowed East Perth’s mids to knock them around.
Ramsay & Lynch were keys with another big game in the middle, giving their side confidence ahead of their clash with West Perth.
The Sharks need to win against an inform Perth to keep a final spot alive.
SUBIACO 11-13-79 Def SWAN DISTRICTS 6-4-40
Steel Blue Oval
After their Round 1 loss to Claremont, the Lions needed to step up a gear against a Swan Districts side who have been competitive in the last 2 weeks.
And thanks to a supreme display by Lachlan Delahunty in the ruck and Ben Sokol’s 2nd Half burst in the forward line, Subiaco went on to a 39 point win at Bassendean.
Swan Districts may have amassed more possessions in the game but were handball happy and couldnt find a way to break through Subiaco’s hard defensive pressure.
Ben Newton & Aaron Heal underlined the gap between the 2 sides, Newton delivered with precision and Heal proved to be one of the most composed defenders in the league with another brilliant performance, we havent seen the real best of Heal yet but he is climbing up the ranks.
The Swans through Corey Gault, William Reidy & Sampson cant be ignored for their workrate in the midfield rotation but let themselves down with poor disposal and lack of aggression and will have the bye to work on their polish.
Subiaco will have a date with the Bulldogs to prove their Grand Final domination from last September wasn’t a blip.
WEST PERTH 20-11-139 Def PEEL THUNDER 5-9-39
The Falcons can’t get ahead of themselves just yet but at a 2-1 record after 3 rounds should be content enough.
Besides their win against Peel on Saturday wasn’t just 4 points, they also had a significant percentage boost by 15 goals in an absolute annihilation.
West Perth’s key in this game was about the numbers running through the midfield to keep fresh combinations running at Peel, hitting the scoreboard with Luke Meadows gathering 27 touches to go with his 2 goals while Shane Nelson continues his impressive form in Season 2020 with 30 disposals.
This was backed up by the forwards show led by Tyler Keitel who bagged 5 majors in a dominant showing.
Peel’s midfield couldn’t withstand the bombardment of pressure around the football and allowed the Falcons to lock it in their territory and gather more numbers around the contest.
The Falcons jump up to 2nd Place and are favourites against arch rivals East Perth.
ROUND 4 – SATURDAY AFTERNOON
West Perth Vs East Perth – Joondalup Arena
East Fremantle Vs Perth – East Fremantle Oval
Claremont Vs Peel Thunder – Claremont Oval
Subiaco Vs South Fremantle – Leederville Oval