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League Report: Tigers Overrun by Bulldogs

Monday, July 10, 2017 - 10:41 AM
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Tigers Overrun by Bulldogs

by Dan Scamozzi

A barnstorming five-goal-to-one opening term wasn’t enough for Claremont to stop South Fremantle, who claimed a 25-point win over the Tigers in NAIDOC Round at Claremont Oval.

Despite Claremont leading by 24 points at quarter-time, the Bulldogs slammed on 13 goals to five in the next three terms to prevail 14.7 (91) to 10.6 (66) and win the Jimmy Melbourne Cup.

The result sees Claremont drop to seventh position on the ladder after consecutive losses, trailing sixth-placed East Perth on percentage but still just one win outside the top five.

Led by Haiden Schloithe (27 disposals, eight marks, five goals) in his 100th game, and the silky Tim Kelly (25 disposals, five inside 50s, one goal), the Bulldogs’ run, spread, disposal efficiency and ability to kick goals in quick bursts were the differences between the teams after quarter-time.

Claremont were led by Jye Bolton (36 disposals, six tackles, four inside 50s), while Anton Hamp and Haydn Busher continued their excellent form in defence and ensured that South Fremantle’s Mason Shaw and Ben Saunders had no impact on the game.

Jared Hardisty laid a game-high 12 tackles, while Bailey Banfield (27 disposals, seven inside 50s) and Ryan Lim (27 disposals, eight tackles) provided strength in the contest and consistently pushed the Tigers forward.

Meanwhile, Ian Richardson (three goals), playing more as a deep forward, won the players’ player award for consistently putting his body on the line and typifying the team’s blue collar standard, while Mitch Andrews (50 hit-outs, one goal) had the better of South Fremantle’s Brock Higgins.

Beau Maister and Nick Winmar came into the Claremont team who lost to Peel Thunder seven days earlier for Jack Richardson (omitted) and Ryan Murphy (calf).

With the Tigers kicking to the northern end of the ground in the opening term, a front-and-centre crumbing goal by Alex Manuel saw the hosts pounce, before Richardson was rewarded for a strong one-on-one contest with a free-kick and soon added the team’s second.

Jesse Laurie, who would go on to play one of his best games of the season, then got forward to kick his first major of the season and Claremont’s third, before a second to Richardson soon followed and gave the Tigers four goals and a 25-point lead over a lacklustre and shocked South Fremantle.

A goal-saving touch by Laurie denied the Bulldogs their first major, before Saunders recorded it four minutes later.

However, before the ball had returned to the centre circle, some ill-discipline by Souths resulted in a free-kick and 50m penalty to Andrews, who kicked his first goal of the season and Claremont’s fifth to give the Tigers a 24-point lead at quarter-time.

With Claremont’s midfield well on top, led by Bolton (12 disposals), Banfield and Lim, coach Darren Harris lauded the team’s efforts and implored them to be brave with the ball, however, it would be all Souths in the second term.

Led by Schloithe, who kicked two of his five goals, the Bulldogs slammed on six goals to one, as the visitors showed why they’re second on the ladder with their superior outside run, which the Tigers denied them in the opening term, and ability to hit targets resulting in an eight-point lead at half-time.

With the Tigers needing to lift, a goal to Maister following a long kick by Bolton provided an ideal start to the second half and saw Claremont close to within two points, before the Bulldogs put their foot down once again.

Two more goals to Schloithe (four) and one to Kelly pushed the visitors’ lead out to 17 points at the final change, with Claremont’s ball use and decision making in need of improvement.

An errant kick in defence saw Blaine Johnson kick his second goal and make the Tigers pay from a tight angle, before goals to Chris (CJ) Oakley and Richardson (third) breathed life into the game.

However, the Bulldogs once again responded with three quick goals, including a fifth to Schloithe, to claim their third consecutive win.

The Tigers will aim to rebound when they face Subiaco in Esperance on Saturday.

CLAREMONT 5.1 6.3 7.6 10.6 (66)

SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.1 7.5 10.5 14.7 (91)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 3 I. Richardson, 1 B. Maister, A. Manuel, M. Guelfi, N. Winmar, C. Oakley, J. Laurie, M. Andrews.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: 5 H. Schloithe, 3 J. Florenca, 2 B. Johnson, B. Saunders, 1 T. Kelly, S. Edwards.

BEST

CLAREMONT: J. Bolton, A. Hamp, H. Busher, J. Hardisty, B. Banfield.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: H. Schloithe, J. Pullman, B. Verrier, A. McIntosh, J. Florenca.

CROWD: 1, 572 at Claremont Oval.