Development report: Rogers shines in Tigers’ loss
A herculean performance from Bailey Rogers wasn’t enough to stop Claremont’s Reserves suffering a 53-point defeat to East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval in the opening round of the 2017 McDonald's WAFL Premiership Season.
Rogers, thriving in his new role as a midfielder, worked tirelessly to finish with 31 disposals, several smothers and Claremont’s players’ player award in the 7.4 (46) to 15.9 (99) defeat, as the Tigers were outscored 13 goals to five after quarter-time.
The Tigers trailed by 16 points at the final change after a barnstorming third term had got them well and truly back in the game, but a scoreless final quarter capped off a patchy performance in which the team never hit top gear.
Tom Shanahan put in a commanding performance to finish with 30 disposals, five tackles and eight inside 50s, while the Tigers were also well served by Gerrick Weedon (six tackles, two goals) and Bailey Bennett (23 disposals, eight tackles, one goal).
Jack Bradshaw showed his versatility when moved into midfield after being blanketed by East Fremantle’s Andrew Stephen, however, the Tigers could only manage 39 inside 50s in a disappointing start to the season.
On a positive note, Jack Griffiths, Tom Lawrence, Oliver Eastland and Ben Rushforth all made their debuts.
East Fremantle were best served by Ben Harding (28 disposals), Jesse Mirco (six marks, two goals), Alex Moreno (three goals), Carl Green and Jake Schleicher (34 disposals, one goal), as the Sharks’ work rate, spread and cleaner ball movement proved too much for the Tigers.
With Dylan Ross captaining the team, Jeremy Goddard opposing East Fremantle’s Andrew Stokes in the ruck and Eddie Simpson lining up at full-forward, the Tigers kicked to the northern end of the ground in the opening term with the aid of a breeze, however, the Sharks were first to strike through Moreno.
Debutant Zac McCarrey then doubled the Sharks’ advantage, before a long-range goal from Jake Stergiou and major to Weedon saw the Tigers take a one-point lead at quarter-time.
Claremont coach Kepler Bradley paid tribute to the early efforts of Morgan Davies but implored the rest of the team to follow the example of the young Tiger and lift their work rate.
A free-kick enabled Simpson to give the Tigers first blood in the second term, before East Fremantle’s Tyler Sorrell made Claremont pay for an errant kick-in and restored the Sharks’ lead.
Four more goals to the Sharks saw Claremont trailing by 28 points at half-time after East Fremantle dominated the second term despite the best efforts of Rogers, who had already gathered 19 disposals.
With the Tigers needing to respond, a major to the bullocking Justin Speed provided the perfect start to the second half before Bennett capped off a terrific transition from defence to give Claremont consecutive goals.
A second goal to Weedon soon followed after a booming clearance from John Williams and gave the Tigers three in a row, with the Sharks unable to clear the ball from Claremont’s forward half due to outstanding pressure from the Tigers’ forwards.
Two goals to Mirco either side of a major to Bradshaw saw East Fremantle hit back and take a 16-point lead into three-quarter time, however, the Tigers had produced their best quarter for the match, resulting from a better work rate which was typified by a desperate smother late in the term by Rogers.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, there would be no comeback in the final term as the Sharks slammed on six unanswered goals.
Claremont will now regroup with a bye in round two, before facing Perth at Lathlain Park a week later.
Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts suffered a seven-point loss to East Fremantle, 7.3 (45) to 6.16 (52).
CLAREMONT 2.2 3.2 7.4 7.4 (46)
EAST FREMANTLE 2.1 7.6 9.8 15.9 (99)
CLAREMONT: 2 G. Weedon, 1 J. Stergiou, J. Bradshaw, B. Bennett, J. Speed, E. Simpson.
EAST FREMANTLE: 3 A. Moreno, 2 J. Mirco, Z. McCarey, 1 T. Sorrell, J. Williamson, M. Cronan, J. Clements, A. Montauban, B. Tingey, J. Schleicher, A. Stokes.
CLAREMONT: B. Rogers, T. Shanahan, G. Weedon, B. Bennett.
EAST FREMANTLE: B. Harding, J. Mirco, A. Moreno, C. Green, J. Schleicher.
League report: Landon leads Tigers row - read here.