WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 20 – Perth vs. South Fremantle
PERTH capped off its WAFL Colts season in style, downing the finals bound South Fremantle by 28 points in this week’s match of the round. The Demons held a two to three-goal buffer at every break, before extending it even further come the final siren to end up 11.10 (76) to 7.6 (48) victors. We noted some of the top performers from either side, before taking a look around the grounds in Round 20.
By: Hayden Narducci
#21 Coen Livingstone
Fresh off selection in the U17s Futures squad set to strut their stuff before the AFL Grand Final, PSA winner Livingstone was standout in this game. A genuine ruck-forward prospect, Livingstone shone most in this game in that forward role, where he managed to slot two goals in the final quarter, both a result of strong marking either in the pack or one-on-run. He capped off a beautiful display from the Demons in the midfield as well, creating scoring opportunities with his kicking from the centre of the ground.
#25 Connor McDonald
This year’s Aquinas best and fairest winner in the PSA, McDonald’s last game of the season could not have gone much better to cement his status as a possible draft smokey. The younger brother of Sydney’s Logan McDonald, who was selected early in the 2020 draft, Connor is a completely different player. He is an excellent midfielder on the inside or the outside, and despite his kicking and clearance work, his strongest assets are his smarts and ability to read the ball. This vision was the foundation for his two goals in this game, the second coming off a beautiful sale of some candy to open a gap for him to burst inside 50 and slot one on the run. He can win his own footy, and set up beautifully to be an option for the hands outside the contest and finished with 18 disposals in this game.
#28 Aiden O’Driscoll
Another PSA talent and another younger brother, this time of two siblings who have made it to the top level, Fremantle would definitely be keen to complete the set of O’Driscoll’s following his display in this game and the 2022 season. The bottom-age winger has been a standout for Wesley in the PSA competition and has carried that form into the few Colts games he has played. His speed and acceleration on the outside allow him to create separation from his man with ease to dish off the ball with his beautiful lace out kicking. Another multiple goal scorer in this game, O’Driscoll found the big sticks twice, first with a beautiful soccer from the goal square and second as the finisher in a chain of handballs, unable to be chased down by his man and slotting one from 50 out on the run. He reads the play well to know when to time his runs and looks to be one to watch next season.
#3 Chase Bourne
Impacting across the ground in this game, the Fremantle NGA product showed off his wares away from his usual forward. He looks to take the game on wherever he finds the footy, sometimes to his detriment, though more often than not he can use his speed and agility to break away from would be tacklers, or to drag some defenders in and dish out the hands to an open teammate. He capped off his 16 disposal game with a goal, combining with a teammate to create an unforced error from the Demons backline, break away from the defender with his speed and score from an open goal. His tackling pressure is also a highlight of his game, and could prove an important player for the Dogs heading into finals.
#7 Christian Wilson
Leading the disposal charts in the Colts by a whopping 110 disposals and one of the leading candidates for the Jack Clarke Medal, Wilson did his chances no harm in this game as he continued to do what he has done all season. He is a tenacious player in the contest, but his best work comes outside the pack, showing grace and composure to evade opposition players with ease, and dish off great disposal by foot time and time again. Finishing with 18 disposals in this game, it was certainly one of the quieter performances for a man averaging over 26 disposals a game this season, but his impact per disposal was still one of the stand outs in this game as he continues to lead by example.
#18 Jacob Whan
This bullish medium defender had one of his best performances for the season in this game. Still only 17, Whan is a very strong player for his age, and uses this strength to confidently play on opponents much taller than him. Finishing with seven marks in this game from both intercepting and the contest, Whan rarely lost a one-on-one on this game and even managed to find the scoreboard, albeit from a bit of a luck with a 50-metre penalty.
AROUND THE GROUNDS:
By: Michael Alvaro
Despite Peel Thunder’s monster 101-point drubbing of Swan Districts, and a three-point loss to Subiaco, West Perth took the Colts minor premiership. The Falcons were mown down by Subi in the final term, with the Lions piling on four goals to nil in a dramatic 8.3 (51) to 6.12 (48) triumph.
Despite going down, West Perth had the top six ball winners, lead by Nate Dimanlig‘s 25 disposals. He and Byron Sherwood were the sole players to tick over 20 touches, while Toby McDonald was Subiaco’s most prolific player with 15. Riley Mayfield was one of just three multiple goalkickers, and arguably the most important given one was the winning score.
Peel’s best effort against Swan Districts was only good enough to hold onto second spot, setting up a week one finals meeting against Subiaco. The Thunder shot out of the blocks with six unanswered goals in the first quarter, and added seven more at the same end in term three to set up a 18.20 (128) to 4.3 (27) victory.
Ethan Logan (six goals) and Byron Finch (four) did the scoreboard damage for Peel, while Scott Tuia (29 disposals) and Ethan Donaghy (26, seven marks, one goal) were prolific on-ball. Meanwhile, Evan Smith was the Swans’ sole multiple goalkicker, as Kade Szyska and Ethan Williams collected a team-high 19 touches each.
Round 20’s other big winner was East Perth, who downed East Fremantle by 74 points. In a confidence boosting result on the eve of finals, the ruthlessly accurate Royals slammed home nine goals to one after half time to run out impressive 16.6 (102) to 4.4 (28) winners.
Kobe Foster booted an equal round-high six goals for East Perth, and draft prospect Reuben Ginbey also got among the scoring with two majors from 19 disposals. Darcy Miller lead all comers with 28 touches, as Kaleb Smith (22 disposals) was the most prolific Shark afield.
Looking up the grades, Darcy Jones and Riley Hardeman featured at Reserves level for Swan Districts. The former was busy with 22 disposals, seven tackles and a goal, while the latter managed 14 touches in a 14-point win over Peel Thunder.
South Fremantle midfielder Steely Green made a splash upon his League return, collecting 31 disposals in his side’s big win over Perth. While the Bulldogs qualified for finals, Elijah Hewett‘s Swan Districts will miss out. The AFL Draft prospect kicked a goal from 13 disposals in a heavy loss this weekend.
Meanwhile, fellow state Under 18 squad members Jed Hagan and Jack Cleaver continued their top flight runs as East Fremantle prepares for finals. Hagan was again solid for his 18 disposals and seven marks, as Cleaver managed 12 touches in a 21-point win over East Perth.