Tiger Cubs Shine in Defeat

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 11:24 AM

Claremont suffered an 18-point defeat against West Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday in the opening round of the McDonald’s WAFL Premiership Season, but the form of two young Tigers was a big positive to come out of the match.

Turnovers proved costly for the Tigers in the 14.9 (93) to 12.3 (75) defeat, despite brilliant performances from full-back Fraser Gilbert and ruckman Jeremy Goddard.

The unflappable Gilbert, in just his third game, won the players’ player award after dominating West Perth full-forward Tyler Keitel, who kicked 46 goals in 2017, and keeping the spearhead goalless.

Meanwhile, Goddard, in just his second game, won 44 hit-outs and had the better of his duel with the experienced Chris Keunen, while Jordan Law and Corey Mitchell both made their debuts and new recruit Tom Curren played his first official game for the Tigers.

Jye Bolton (39 disposals, one goal) was prominent in midfield and also played as a deep forward, while Ryan Murphy (30 disposals, one goal) also found plenty of the ball.

Oliver Eastland (eight marks, one goal) worked and competed hard, while Beau Maister (six marks) kicked a team-high three goals but was reported for rough conduct.

The returning Kane Mitchell (41 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) worked tirelessly, while Ryan Lim laid a team-high nine tackles.

The Falcons were led by their new captain Aaron Black (40 disposals, 16 tackles), while Rudy Riddoch and Tyson Moulton kicked three goals apiece.

With the Tigers kicking against the breeze in the opening term in fine but blustery conditions, a goal-saving smother from Gilbert prevented Keitel and was a sign of things to come, before a pair of goals to Maister gave Claremont a great start and 11-point lead.

Despite Goddard already impressing with his tap-work and Eastland competing strongly, goals to Jay van Berlo and former Tiger Keegan Knott saw the Falcons reply and take a two-point lead, before K. Mitchell dribbled through Claremont’s third major.

Knott then made the Tigers pay for some poor kicking in defence with his second, before goals to Luke Meadows (50m penalty) and Riddoch saw the Falcons finish the term strongly and take a 16-point lead at quarter-time.

Claremont coach Darren Harris praised the Tigers’ first 20 minutes of play, before Jared Hardisty kicked the first goal of the second term to trim the deficit to 10 points.

Moulton then replied with the first of his three majors, before a great tap from Goddard to Curren allowed the midfielder to find Eastland with a fine pass and the utility to kick the Tigers’ fifth goal.

A flying snap from new captain Ian Richardson gave the Tigers consecutive goals and resulted from some fine efforts from Corey Mitchell and another clearance from Curren, before Maister had his number taken.

A second goal to Moulton saw the Falcons have the final say of the first half and take an eight-point lead at half-time.

A third to Moulton saw the Falcons extend their lead to 14 points early in the second half, before Maister kicked his third after a pinpoint pass from Richardson.

Riddoch then made the Tigers pay for an errant kick-in with his second, before Kody Manning extended the Falcons’ lead to 22 points and Claremont’s Tom Ledger came off under the blood rule.

A goal to Blake Wilhelm gave the Falcons three consecutive majors and had the Tigers in trouble, before Bolton kicked a timely major after winning a free-kick.

Manning then kicked his second after a turnover in Claremont’s defence to give the Falcons a 29-point lead at the final change.

Another turnover resulted in Riddoch kicking his third goal early in the final term and had the Tigers on the ropes, before Murphy kicked truly from outside 50 after a great mark from Gilbert in defence.

Goals to Curren and Alex Manuel gave the Tigers three in a row and cut the margin to 19 points, before Keifer Yu limped off the field.

Trent Manzone then kicked a steadying goal for the Falcons, before a second to Manuel proved little more than consolation in a frustrating performance from the Tigers.

The Tigers have a bye in round two, before hosting East Fremantle at Claremont Oval in round three.

CLAREMONT 3.0 6.2 8.2 12.3 (75)

WEST PERTH 5.4 7.4 12.7 14.9 (93)


CLAREMONT: 3 B. Maister, 2 A. Manuel, 1 K. Mitchell, I. Richardson, T. Curren, J. Bolton, R. Murphy, J. Hardisty, O. Eastland.

WEST PERTH: 3 R. Riddoch, T. Moulton, 2 K. Knott, K. Manning, 1 L. Meadows, T. Manzone, B. Wilhelm, J. van Berlo.


CLAREMONT: F. Gilbert, J. Bolton, R. Murphy, O. Eastland, J. Goddard.

WEST PERTH: A. Black, R. Riddoch, K. Knott, S. Nelson, L. Tedesco.

By Dan Scamozzi