League Report - Tigers roar past Royals
By Dan Scamozzi
Claremont have continued their dominant start to the season after defeating East Perth by 36 points at Leederville Oval last Friday night.
Despite trailing by five points at the opening change, the Tigers put in a blistering second term, kicking 6.2 to no score on the way to a third straight win, 16.9 (105) to 11.3 (69).
A brilliant team effort, with all 22 players displaying an appetite for the contest and will to work for one another, was arguably the most pleasing part of the win, while sharp ball movement, immaculate skills and 10 goal kickers were also highlights of the victory.
Ryan Lim played one of the best games of his career to finish with 36 disposals, four inside 50s and one goal, with the ball-magnet involved in several scoring plays through his repeat efforts and relentless running.
Speaking of relentless running, Tom Ledger was another key player for the Tigers, racking up 30 disposals (22 in the first half), laying five tackles and delivering the ball inside 50 five times, with the ability to consistently hit targets with both sides of his body.
Matt Guelfi (30 disposals, one goal) and Zac Langdon (three goals) were other prolific performers, while Anton Hamp won the players’ player award for his outstanding efforts in defence.
Jack Bradshaw (five tackles, one goal) and Bailey Rogers impressed upon their League recalls, with the duo replacing Ryan Neates (knee) and Harrison McCracken (shin).
On a sour note, Jack Richardson suffered a hamstring injury early in the third term and is set for a stint on the sidelines.
East Perth were led by William Maginness (23 disposals, four goals), Francis Watson (24 disposals, one goal), Dom Sheed (37 disposals, eight tackles, seven inside 50s, one goal) and Eric Mackenzie (11 marks), but had no answers to the Tigers’ ferocious attack on the ball and ability to apply scoreboard pressure.
Watson, a former Claremont player, gave the Royals a quick start to the game after snapping truly in the opening minute, before Lim displayed great courage to spoil a ball in defence and earn a free kick for the Tigers.
Despite the ball-winning efforts of Jye Bolton in midfield, the Tigers were allowing the Royals to rebound too easily from defence, however, goals to J. Richardson and Langdon soon followed as Claremont begun to wrestle back momentum.
With Jesse Laurie already showing the composure and tenacity in defence which has endeared him to the Claremont faithful throughout his career, Aaron Holt capped off some outstanding link-up play and three individual efforts to kick truly and give the Tigers three consecutive goals.
Julian Ameduri then made Claremont pay for a sloppy turnover in defence, before goals to Sheed and Maginness gave the Royals three in a row and a five-point lead at quarter-time.
Claremont coach Darren Harris encouraged the team to match East Perth’s pressure and rectify lapses in concentration, with the simple message proving to be a masterstroke as the Tigers turned it on in the next 30 minutes.
Goals to Tom Lee and captain Jake Murphy gave the Tigers a flying start to the second term, before a hard-ball get and brilliant snap from Lim saw the team out to a 14-point lead.
With Guelfi becoming more prominent by the minute, an inspired play by Rogers then lit up the game.
The recalled Tiger left his opponent to brilliantly read and mark the ball at half-back before playing on and delivering a precise pass to vice-captain Ian Richardson, who kicked truly to give Claremont four consecutive goals.
The effort was not lost on Rogers’ teammates, with several swamping the young Tiger to pay tribute to his inspiring passage of play.
It’s acts like this which have been a highlight of the Tigers’ early-season form.
Not to be outdone, a great chase and tackle from Alex Manuel and a desperate attack on the ball from Bradshaw soon followed, before I. Richardson made it consecutive goals following some more repeat efforts by Lim.
I. Richardson then went from goal scorer to provider, with a 60m kick being marked by Beau Maister who coolly went back to give the Tigers six in a row, eight first-half goal kickers and a 33-point lead at half-time.
Compounding the Royals’ woes, ruckman Fraser McInnes was reported for striking Hamp in an off-the-ball incident while the hosts were lining up for a shot at goal which was then reversed.
Daniel Venables gave the Royals’ first blood in the second half with a goal and the hosts’ first score since the 28-minute mark of the opening term, as J. Richardson (hamstring) had his game prematurely ended.
Another booming finish from Langdon and second goals to Murphy (50m penalty) and Maister saw Claremont respond, before Lee hauled in a strong one-handed mark and kicked truly as the result of some outstanding play from Keifer Yu at half-back.
This resulted in a 52-point lead to the Tigers, with the team kicking 10 of the last 11 goals, before second majors to Maginness and Venables saw the Royals briefly respond.
A great piece of roving and kick-to-advantage from Ledger allowed Guelfi to kick the Tigers’ 14th goal and gave the team a 46-point lead at the final change, with Yu putting in an outstanding term as a sweeping defender and playmaker.
Two more goals to Maginness (four) gave the Royals a fast start to the final term, before the hard-working Bradshaw replied for Claremont.
A brilliant smother by Murphy and strong mark from Maister then followed, before Langdon kicked his third goal, with Lim involved once again.
Goals to Scott Jones and the previously unsighted Tom Lamb proved little more than consolation for the Royals, on a night that belonged to the Tigers and left the hosts still searching for their first win of the season.
Claremont face South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Good Friday in round five.
CLAREMONT 3.1 9.3 14.5 16.9 (105)
EAST PERTH 4.0 4.0 7.1 11.3 (69)
CLAREMONT: 3 Z. Langdon, 2 B. Maister, I. Richardson, J. Murphy, T. Lee, 1 M. Guelfi, R. Lim, J. Richardson, J. Bradshaw, A. Holt.
EAST PERTH: 4 W. Maginness, 2 D. Venables, 1 D. Sheed, S. Jones, F. Watson, J. Ameduri, T. Lamb.
CLAREMONT: R. Lim, T. Ledger, M. Guelfi, Z. Langdon.
EAST PERTH: W. Maginness, F. Watson, D. Sheed, E. Mackenzie.
Full Game Stats - Click here
Round 4 Development (Reserves) Report - Click here