Preview | WAFLW Preliminary Final: Sharks and Dogs do battle

A FREMANTLE Derby will determine which side meets Claremont in the 2023 WAFL Women’s Grand Final when the Bulldogs and Sharks clash today. South Fremantle finished second on the ladder but went down to the Tigers last week, while East Fremantle got past Swan Districts to make this penultimate match.

  • Team
  • South Fremantle
  • East Fremantle


These sides have played twice this year, splitting the head-to-head at one apiece. In the most recent battle at the WACA, East Fremantle held its opponent to just one behind for the match in a tough clash, kicking 3.1 (19) to 0.1 (1), with two of those majors coming in the first term.

Zippy Fish (23 disposals, two marks and four tackles) was superb), with skipper Ashleigh Gomes and the experienced Larissa Versaci also among the best. For the Bulldogs, Kloe Bassett racked up a match-high 24 disposals and laid six tackles, while Ariana Hetherington (17 disposals, nine tackles and 29 hitouts) and Renee Morgan tried hard all game.

Back in Round 7, South Fremantle got past East Fremantle after trailing by 11 points at half-time. The Bulldogs booted 4.3 to 1.4 after the main break to secure the win at Fremantle Oval, with both sides missing their Under 18 State Academy members.

Hetherington (20 disposals, 24 hitouts) was sensational again, while future Tiger Charli Wicksteed and key forward Bethany Bond were also among the best. For the Sharks, midfielders Beth Beckett and Sharon Wong were the standouts,



Both sides are loaded for the do-or-die semi-final with State Academy key forwards Anjelique Raison and Georgie Cleaver holding down East Fremantle’s key roles up front. Bottom-ager Fish has been sensational through the middle, while the midfield of Wong, Gomes and Beckett has plenty of experience.

South Fremantle’s youth including double bottom-ager Morgan, small forward Noa McNaughton and utility Molly O’Hehir has held it in good stead, while Hetherington through the ruck has been outstanding all season. In defence, the likes of Bassett and Kahra Sprylan are also critical to the team’s makeup.


South Fremantle has been the better team this season, but as East Fremantle showed in its most recent clash with the Bulldogs, it has the talent to win. The Sharks are primed to add another chapter to their ongoing history with Claremont, but it will not be easy, and this game is predicted to go down to the wire.

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