Preview | WAFLW R12: Jungle cats clash in Broome
REIGNING premiers Claremont will host Subiaco in a battle of the Tigers and Lions up north in Broome. The special WAFL Women’s contest will bring state league football to the region, more than 2000 kilometres north of Perth.
Claremont has a near-perfect season after taking out the flag last year, with a draw against East Fremantle the only half-blemish in 2023. Since that low-scoring draw at the WACA, the Tigers have destroyed Peel Thunder (56 points) and taken care of second placed South Fremantle (29) in a couple of impressive results.
Subiaco is coming off a heartbreaking one-point loss to Swan Districts after upsetting East Fremantle by 10 points the week before. The Lions are just percentage outside the top four, so if they could cause an upset, they would be in the box seat for finals this season given third placed Swan Districts and fourth placed East Fremantle face off this weekend.
Claremont will be minus youngster Eva O’Donnell, as well as Taylah Angel and Amalie Moe for the clash. The Tigers recall a stack of players on an extended bench, with the likes of Tess Blackburn, Sarah Garstone and Paige Hamilton-Smith return to the line-up.
Subiaco has only made one forced change with forward Kelsey Patterson coming out the side, and duo Liana Burchell – the hero against the Sharks – and Meg McAullay returning.
With winners all over the park, the Claremont midfield is ticking along nicely, highlighted by the form of Jayme Harken, Matilda Sergeant and Ella Slocombe. Forwards Jacinta Valentini and Rachel Ortlepp have been applying scoreboard pressure, while defender Mackenzie Webb plays her role each and every week at full-back.
Subiaco has a great young core of players coming through, with double bottom-agers Olivia Crane and Olivia Wolmarans key players already. Eva Popovsky and Madison Dodd earned call-ups to the State Academy for their season form, while skipper Tarnica Golisano and winger Grace Hahnel. Inside 50, Hanna Dethlefsen has caused more than a few headaches for the opposition.
Claremont are favourites for this game having not lost a match all season, but Subiaco has shown it can compete with the best. The Lions will need to be at their best to be a chance, but with the Broome locals likely to get down and check out some high quality action, fans will hope the sides can but on a fantastic showcase.