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Impressive Tigers Maul Falcons

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 11:16 AM
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Claremont’s Reserves have started their season in emphatic fashion, with the Tigers smashing West Perth by 61 points at HBF Arena on Saturday.

The 17.7 (109) to 6.12 (48) demolition gave new coach Steven Armstrong an ideal start to his reign and featured nine debutants, with the Tigers’ win built on the back of some outstanding team play and a collective effort across the board.

After winning the first two quarters, the Tigers put their foot down in the second half, kicking 11 goals to three, and achieved their win after laying 20 more tackles than the Falcons.

Tom Lee was outstanding at full-forward with eight marks and a game-high four goals, and also assisted and played a role in several others, with the Tiger one of 11 goal kickers, while defender Anton Hamp won the players’ player award.

Jack Beeck (22 disposals, seven tackles, one goal), playing his first official game since round 23, 2016, set the tone with his ferocious attack on the ball and regularly drove the Tigers forward with a team-high six inside 50s, while the speedy Shaquille Morton was dangerous at ground level, front and centre at several contests and laid a game-high 10 tackles.

Nick Yarran (on debut), along with Morton, was a constant threat at ground level with his pace and pressure, while Rhett Lloyd (on debut) had an equal team-high 24 disposals, along with the tireless Jacob Sideris, and also impressed.

The Falcons were left to rue their inaccuracy, highlighted by a return of 0.5 in the second term, and had no multiple goal kickers or answers to the Tigers’ second-half onslaught.

In fine but blustery conditions, Lee made the Falcons pay for some ill-discipline and kicked the game’s first goal, before a great chase and tackle from Corey Hitchcock (on debut) was an early indication of the Tigers’ appetite for the contest.

Ewan Larmett then kicked the Falcons’ first goal, before Lee replied with his second after a great centre clearance and pass from Sideris.

The busy Jake Stergiou soon added the Tigers’ third major, with Morton crumbing the ball at full pace and delivering to Lee in the build-up, before Alexander Coe replied for the Falcons halfway through the opening term.

Morton then kicked truly from a tight angle to give the Tigers a 13-point lead, with the goal resulting from a great spoil from Beeck across half-back which created a turnover.

Stergiou then kicked his second goal to give the Tigers consecutive majors and a 19-point lead, before Joel Bennett kicked the Falcons’ third to trim Claremont’s advantage to 13 points at quarter-time.

With the Tigers’ energy, intensity and pressure on display, Armstrong paid tribute to the good start but encouraged the team to kick the ball long and direct, with Lee and Kaiden Gilbert looking dangerous and providing key targets.

West Perth’s Sam Rotham was reported for rough conduct early in the second term which resulted in a 50m penalty, with a smother from Morton and consecutive tackles from Beeck highlights for the Tigers.

Addison Dew (on debut) kicked the only goal of the term after a pass from Lee, as the Tigers extended their lead to 16 points at half-time.

A strong mark from Brett Wilson saw the Tiger kick the team’s seventh goal after a long kick from Stergiou and gave the team a 21-point lead early in the second half, before Mitchell Antonio replied for the Falcons.

Enter Beeck.

Like a raging bull, the ferocious Tiger hit the ball at speed before kicking truly from outside 50 to add the team’s eighth major before being mobbed by teammates after providing arguably the highlight of the game.

Hitchcock then benefited from some hard running and a pass from Morton to give the Tigers consecutive majors and a 28-point lead, before Dew provided a goal-saving rushed behind at the other end.

The Falcons’ woes then increased, with Larmett joining Rotham in the umpire’s book.

Goals to Gilbert and James Egan (on debut) soon followed, with Lee involved in the latter, before Wilson sensationally snapped the Tigers’ 12th goal and gave the team a 46-point lead at the final change after a scintillating six-goal-to-one third term.

A goal to West Perth’s Corey Chalmers early in the final term briefly halted Claremont’s momentum and a run of five consecutive majors, before Yarran finished with aplomb on the run to reply for the Tigers.

Lee then kicked his third goal after a downfield free-kick resulted from Ben Higgs copping some late contact from an opponent, which ended his game, before Eddie Simpson gave the Tigers a 59-point lead after benefiting from some great transition from defence as well as some hard running and repeat efforts from Stergiou.

Consecutive 50m penalties and a bullet pass from Lloyd saw Lee mark strongly and kick his fourth, before a second to Egan resulted from a string of passes from unmarked Tigers, with the team now out to a 70-point lead and the Falcons waiting to be put out of their misery.

A late goal to Dylan Yem saw the hosts kick their sixth major, before an outstanding pack-mark from Jordan Reid (on debut) in front of the interchange bench capped off a fine display from the Tigers.

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

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts recorded a 17-point win against an inaccurate West Perth, 12.6 (78) to 8.13 (61), after a six-goal-to-one final term.

CLAREMONT 5.1 6.3 12.5 17.7 (109)

WEST PERTH 3.0 3.5 4.7 6.12 (48)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 4 T. Lee, 2 B. Wilson, J. Stergiou, J. Egan, 1 J. Beeck, N. Yarran, E. Simpson, K. Gilbert, S. Morton, A. Dew, C. Hitchcock.

WEST PERTH: 1 C. Chalmers, M. Antonio, A. Coe, D. Yem, J. Bennett, E. Larmett.

BEST

CLAREMONT: J. Beeck, S. Morton, T. Lee, N. Yarran, R. Lloyd.

WEST PERTH: A. Coe, A. Lynch, S. Nelson, B. Antonio.

By Dan Scamozzi