With Round 1 just a few days away, the final preseason matches against strong East Perth squads proved the perfect rehearsal, leaving the Sharks faithful and coaches encouraged.
With East Perth boasting 17 West Coast players the Sharks started well and despite kicking against the breeze matched the Royals by kicking three goals for the quarter, two the result of fantastic ball movement from kick ins. The Sharks controlled the second quarter, with many of the key playmakers getting plenty of the ball. At half time East Fremantle led by 19 points.
Although the boys never stopped giving 100%, the skill level dropped away in the second half and some costly turnovers gave East Perth opportunities to hit the scoreboard. With East Fremantle only kicking one goal for each quarter of the second half, the Royals clawed their way to hit the front with only a few minutes left in the game.
Despite the disappointment of not getting over the line the Sharks will have plenty of positives to take away from the game. They matched the Royals run for most of the day and won more than their fair share of contested ball, particularly in the first half.
East Fremantle 9.7 = 61 def. By East Perth 9.13 = 67
Goals: Watson 2, L.Anthony, Omodei, McNamara, Henson, Adamini, Perham, Franklin
Best: L.Anthony, Lester-Smith, Eardley, Crichton, Omodei
The Development League fronted the 2016 grand finalists and got the jump on their opponents early kicking 3 goals to 1 in the first quarter. The remaining three quarters were an arm wrestle, with The Royals winning the second quarter by 4 points and the Sharks the third quarter by 3 points.
Heading in to the final quarter with a 14 point lead and the Royals kicking with the breeze, the Sharks were able to hang tough and run out 6 point winners. Pleasing for the senior coaching staff was the form of many players who played in some of the other preseason matches, meaning there should be good healthy discussions on round one teams for season 2017.
East Fremantle 8.11 = 59 def. East Perth 8.5 = 53
Goals: Kalajzic, Moreno, Mirco, Parish, McCarrey, Williamson, Cronan, Krakouer
Best: Kalajzic, Moreno, Stephen, Tingey, Hebiton, Parish
The Colts, with the injection of some senior players, played their best match of the preseason, defeating East Perth by 22 points. The Sharks missed a few easy scoring opportunities in the first quarter but after an even first stanza the boys still held a five point lead. East Perth took control in the second quarter, holding our boys to a single point and at the main break the Royals had an 8 point lead.
It was a far slicker Sharks team after half time. With strength around the contest, winning clearances and moving the ball far more fluently East Fremantle really dominated the second half, kicking 7 goals to 2.
East Fremantle 10.10 = 70 def. East Perth 7.6 = 48
Goals: Ritchie 3, Elsbury 2, Quill, Lewis, Alone, Liddelow, B.Stone
Best: Parfitt, Patat, Rajanayagam, Eastaugh, McGrath, Ritchie
The East Fremantle 16s Development squad kicked off their season against East Perth on Saturday evening at East Fremantle Oval after the league match.
The boys were itching to get out for the first-round, lead by Pierse Cant, Luke Dobson, Zachary Hayward, Conor McPartland and Bay Tucek.
We started the game off a bit slow with some missed opportunities and missed tackles, which enabled East Perth to get some early possessions. Our back line held up well with Benjamin Wardle (#30), Luke Dobson and Daniel Schmidt working hard to rebound the football. Tom Wallis and Mid-West product Angus Wood looked very dangerous up forward, bringing the quarter time score to 1 goal 2 points for both sides.
The second quarter displayed some great efforts from our onballers and some run and carries from the half back line. Josh Harris-Walker showed some brilliant pace with his speed and agility to set up some goals for our forwards. Trey Ruscoe was a force of strength through the middle creating some opportunities as was Mid-West product Jai Jackson off half back.
After the half time break the boys hit another gear and displayed some exceptional football in what was our best quarter. Leroy Pigrams run and carry along with Zac Hayward was fantastic which created opportunities at goal. Trent Rivers, Ben Wardle and Bay Tucek showed some real football smarts when switching the ball to create space.
The final quarter saw the boys work really well in defence to hold East Perth to only 2 goals 2 points. Mid-West duo Dylan Curley and Angus Wood were very dangerous around goal both finishing the game with two majors. Trent Rivers was also influential in front of the big sticks with 2 majors for himself. Overall our ball carry and transition worked very well and enabled us to get the ball inside fifty and hit the score board.
Head Coach Larry Cavallo after the game said, “the win was reward for the hard work put in at training over the months.”
East Fremantle 14.6 = 90 Def. East Perth 6.8 44
Goals: Tom Wallis 2, Angus Wood 2, Trent Rivers 2, Benjamin Wardle 2, Dylan Curley 2. Conor McParland 1, Sean Henley 1, Luke Dobson 1, Jai Jackson 1.
Best: Josh Harris-Walker, Trey Ruscoe, Leroy Pigram, Benjamin Wardle and Dylan Curley
The 16’s play Claremont this Saturday March 18th, after the League game.