2024 WAFLW R2 wrap: Field position key as Tigers tame Dogs

CLAREMONT’s goalkicking was perhaps the only negative in an otherwise impressive performance by the Tigers, moving to 2-0 in the 2024 WAFL Women’s season thanks to a 15-point win over contenders South Fremantle. Despite a determined effort from the Bulldogs’ young stars, the Tigers had the answers when challenged and kicked away to secure a 5.12 (42) to 4.3 (27) victory.

The Tigers started the game looking strong with Anjelique Raison having a chance on goal in the first minute and a half. Though the ex-Shark missed her chance she would normally gobble up by hitting the post, she backed up to kick one 30 seconds later and get the Tigers on the board. Talented forward Eva Campo spent far more time through the midfield, looking the goods alongside Dhara Kerr Medalist Jayme Harken.

South Fremantle found its hero through rising talent Poppy Stockwell who after impressing last week, was on the board in the opening term. If she maintained her form this season it would be difficult to imagine her not at least having considerations from AFLW clubs as the cricketer would finish the match with three majors.

Along with Stockwell, the youth of Molly O’Hehir and Renee Morgan through the middle – who were joined by small forward Noa McNaughton on-ball in the second half – ensured the Bulldogs were always within reach. After South’s first goal though, the next half an hour belonged to Claremont as the Tigers kicked 2.7 (19). Had Claremont punished the Bulldogs more, tha game would have been long over, and while the margin did extend out to 19 points, the door was still ajar.

Stockwell took that opportunity to kick two more goals in the third term to counter the response by Eagles small, Emily Elkington. The margin was two straight kicks at the final break, and when Fremantle-listed ruck Ariana Hetherington – who was playing exclusively forward – bobbed up for an important set shot goal six and a half minutes into the final term, it was game on.

Though Claremont did what the Tigers always do, and just found a second wind. Just as the Bulldogs closed, Campo – who was near best-on – kicked a crucial one in the final final minutes to give the breathing space required. With the home side needing three goals to win, the margin was just a bit beyond them, and the Tigers would take home the points, 5.12 (42) to 4.3 (27).

The Bulldogs had plenty of impressive players, but the margin arguably flattered them a little purely because of Claremont’s inaccuracy and the sheer weight of inside 50s. The Tigers ended up with 21 more inside 50s (43-22) and also recorded 71 more disposals, holding a high line from defence and continually putting pressure on the South defence.

Campo (21 disposals, three marks, six inside 50s and a goal) and O’Donnell (19 disposals, four marks, three tackles, six inside 50s and a goal) were the team’s best, while Harken had the ball on a string on her way to 24 touches, two marks, three tackles and three inside 50s. Raison finished with two majors from 10 touches up forward, while Claudia Wright made a successful return to WAFLW off a long-term injury with 16 touches and four marks.

The Bulldogs teenagers were on fire with Morgan (22 disposals, three marks, two tackles and two inside 50s), O’Hehir (18 disposals, four marks, six tackles and six inside 50s) and McNaughton (10 disposals, three tackles and two inside 50s) all lively. Stockwell (three goals from 10 touches, five marks and four tackles was sensational, while Cronin looked good in defence on her way to 18 disposals and three tackles. Former Subiaco talent Madizen Wilkins helped herself to 17 touches, two tackles and three inside 50s as well.

South Fremantle has had a tough start to the season up against last year’s grand finalists, but has an easier assignment next week by taking on the winless Peel Thunder in Mandurah. Claremont sets itself for a grand final rematch against fellow unbeaten side East Fremantle in a top three clash.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.3 | 4.3 (27)
CLAREMONT 1.2 | 2.8 | 4.9 | 5.12 (42)

South Fremantle:
P. Stockwell 3, A. Hetherington
Claremont: A. Raison 2, E. O’Donnell, E. Elkington, E. Campo

South Fremantle: R. Morgan, M. O’Hehir, P. Stockwell, M. Wilkins, H. Cronin
Claremont: E. O’Donnell, E. Campo, J. Harken, C. Wright, M. Webb


East Fremantle held off another tough opponent in Subiaco thanks to a strong first three and a bit quarters where they built a lead of 28 points. The Lions came hard near the end of the match but it was a case of too little, too late with the last two goals of the game only serving to trim the final margin back to 16 in a 6.5 (41) to 4.1 (25) loss.

Subiaco had more inside 50s (36 to 28) and four more disposals (218-214) but could not capitalise off that, despite being accurate with its goalkicking. Claudia Langley kicked three of her four goals in defeat, while Olivia Wolmarans (19 disposals) impressed after six majors last week, and Eva Popovsky and Maggie MacLachlan were also busy.

Zippy Fish (20 disposals, five marks, three tackles and a goal) and Amber Kinnane (20 disposals, three marks, six tackles and seven inside 50s) were both prolific, while Chloe Wrigley laid a massive 15 tackles to go with 17 touches and five marks. Sarah Wielstra, Natasha Entwistle and Taya Chambers also had their moments.

Swan Districts crushed Peel Thunder to the tune of 63 points to bounce back from a Round 1 defeat in style. Forward Courtney Zappara was on fire, slotting 5.3 from 14 disposals and four marks as the Black Ducks took control from the start and never looked liked losing in the 10.13 (73) to 1.4 (10) win. Peel Thunder struggled to score in defeat, with Gracie Fenton kicking her side’s only major.

By half-time Swan Districts had racked up 12 scoring shots to three, and continued to keep the foot down even with some inaccuracy plaguing them. In the end, Zappara’s five goals was too mcuh for the Thunder, as she and teenagers Carys D’Addario (24 disposals, four marks, six tackles and five inside 50s) and Lily Paterson (24 disposals, nine marks, three tackles, five inside 50s and a goal) starred in the win.

Other players to step up for the Black Ducks included Taylah Edwards and Naomi Baker, while Hope Ugle-Hayward provided plenty of drive into attack. For Peel, Ebony Bilcich (28 disposals, four marks, seven tackles and six inside 50s) was outstanding, as captain Ebony Dowson (21 disposals, two marks and five tackles) was also prolific in the loss.

West Perth went to the top of the WAFLW ladder following a 55-point thrashing of East Perth at Leederville Oval. The Falcons proved too good for Peel Thunder last week, and were more convincing against the Royals, though inaccuracy hurt the visitors in the game. Producing 23 scoring shots to three, West Perth came away with an 8.15 (63) to 1.2 (8) victory.

Yet again the Falcons started a little slowly, kicking 2.9 to 1.1 in the opening half to lead by 14 points at the main break. But like Round 1, West Perth found a way to up the ante in the second half, piling on 6.6 to 0.1 after half-time to run away big winners. The Falcons racked up 42 inside 50s to 18 and had 77 more disposals in a comprehensive victory.

AFLW-listed talent Megan Kauffman was easily best on ground with a ridiculous 15 inside 50s to go with 25 touches, two marks and six tackles, while after four goals in Round 1, Brooke Hongell was busy yet again, but a touch inaccurate, kicking 1.4 from 21 disposals and eight marks. Imahra Cameron (17 disposals, five marks and 0.3 was also a little wayward, while Katherine Bennett and recruit Tarnica Golisano found their fair share of the ball.

For East Perth, number two draft pick Jess Rentsch finished with 14 disposals, five marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and kicked her side’s only goal, while Taylah Suda and Layla Firns were the other prominent ball-winners for the Royals.


South Fremantle 4.3 (27) defeated by Claremont 5.12 (42)
Subiaco 4.1 (25) defeated by East Fremantle 6.5 (41)
Swan Districts 10.13 (73) defeated Peel Thunder 1.4 (10)
East Perth 1.2 (8) defeated by West Perth 8.15 (63)

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