Preview | WAFLW R9a: Grand Final rematch – Part II

REGAINING their top young stars following the AFL Women’s Under 18 and Under 16 Championships, Claremont and East Fremantle will do battle in a massive standalone Round 9 Saturday evening clash. Kicking off from 5pm local time, the undefeated Tigers will take on the struggling Sharks who have dropped the last two games without their talented youngsters, who they bring back in for the massive clash.

  • Team
  • East Fremantle
  • Claremont


Claremont is yet to have a blemish in the 2023 season, playing the role of the Sharks last season, and if there is a team that knows anything can happen in finals, it is the reigning premiers who upset East Fremantle last year. Having beaten them in Round 1, they will head in as favourites here, with the Sharks losing two on the trot since their State Academy players went out, after four straight wins preceding that fortnight.


East Fremantle will be relieved to welcome back twin towers Georgie Cleaver and Anjelique Raison, as well as the silky Zippy Fish and versatile Natasha Entwistle. Defender Leanne Gubbins also returns as part of a five-in, five-out team selection. Among those outs though is Sharks skipper Ashleigh Gomes, while Sophie Johansen and Tiani Teakle, the latter of who drops back to Rogers Cup level. Katelyn Catalano and Lauren O’Connor have also made way to be named emergencies.

Claremont will lose Kate Orme to go with Jasmin Stewart‘s departure the week before, but do regain a host of young talents as part of an extended bench, including Ella Slocombe, Eva O’Donnell and Mackenzie Webb from the Under 18s squad and Juliet Kelly from the Under 16s team. Key forward Amalie Moe is the other player included in the 25-player squad.


Without Gomes, the experience of Sharon Wong and Beth Beckett will be crucial for the Sharks against the likes of Matilda Sergeant and Sarah Viney. Raison and Cleaver will stretch a Claremont defence that also has to contend with the likes of Roxanne Roux and Laura Catherine. For the Tigers, O’Donnell and Slocombe add extra pace to the team and will look to beat them at ground level, but they will need to be wary of the dangerous Fish going back the other way.


With the couple of key outs for Claremont, East Fremantle actually looks the stronger side on paper and could be the first to knock off the Tigers this year. Though it would be tough to go against Claremont and what it has already achieved. A fast start is crucial in this game, but the height of the Sharks appeals and might be a worry for the Tigers. Whoever wins the midfield will likely take home the four points.

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