TABtouch Team of Round 6

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 11:43 AM by Chris Pike

ROUND 6 of the 2018 WAFL season saw victories for South Fremantle, Subiaco, Peel Thunder and East Perth while a host of players put their hands up to be part of the State match this Saturday against South Australia as well.

Three of the four Round 6 matches took place on Saturday afternoon with Subiaco pushed for the first time in 2018, but ending up beating West Perth 13.10 (88) to 10.6 (66) at Leederville Oval.

South Fremantle made it four straight wins beating Swan Districts 16.11 (107) to 14.10 (94) at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and Peel Thunder returned to the winner's list defeating Claremont 14.14 (98) to 11.12 (78) at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

The round concluded on Sunday with East Perth making it four straight wins defeating the struggling East Fremantle 10.21 (81) to 6.12 (48) at East Fremantle Oval.

The results leave Subiaco (5-0) clear on top of the WAFL ladder ahead of South Fremantle (4-1), East Perth (4-1), West Perth (3-3) and Swan Districts (3-3).

Just outside the top five is Peel Thunder (2-3) ahead of Perth (1-4), Claremont (1-4) and East Fremantle (1-5).

The competition now takes a break for the KIA WAFL State Team to play the SANFL this Saturday in the State Game for 2018 at Adelaide Oval.

TABtouch TEAM OF THE ROUND (times named)
BACK: Haydn Busher (3), Jordan Mills (1), Hayden Kennedy (3)
HALF-BACK: Shane Kersten (1), Tony Notte (1), Jayden Schofield (3)
CENTRE: Danyle Pearce (2), Jye Bolton (2), Luke Partington (2)
HALF-FORWARD: Ben Newton (1), Corey Gault (2), Matthew Rogers (2)
FORWARD: Kyle Halligan (1), Beau Maister (1), Cory Dell'Olio (1)
RUCK: Fraser McInnes (4), Marlion Pickett (1), Kyal Horsley (4)
INTERCHANGE: Luke Strnadica (1), Mason Shaw (1), Aaron Black (2), Traye Bennell (1)

Continues to be the form key defender of the competition as he has been over the past 18 months having settled into that role at Claremont after starting his career as a forward, big-bodied midfielder or wingman, or sometimes ruckman. Had another strong showing Saturday against Peel Thunder and ended up with 23 possessions, six marks, six inside 50s and three tackles.

He is quite the story of persistence. The 27-year-old had racked up 100 games in the reserves at West Perth since 2011 and had only managed three league appearances coming into 2018. But following the departures of Nick Rodda, Scott Simpson and Joe Morrow, West Perth needed a key defender and his opportunity came. He has never looked back cementing his place in the line-up and Saturday's performance was the best of his career at league level against Subiaco.

The premiership small defender continues to show just how much he has been missed when battling shoulder problems over the past couple of years since the 2016 flag. He is in some stunning form at the moment in a team that looks unstoppable. He had another 26 possessions and nine marks in Saturday's hard fought win against West Perth at Leederville Oval.

The former Fremantle and Geelong AFL forward has started 2018 in a new role across half-back with Peel Thunder in the WAFL and he is doing it well. Showing a good ability to read the ball coming into attack for the opposition and then set up play going the other way, he is fitting well into the new role. Ended up with 21 disposals and 10 marks in Saturday's win against Claremont.

The 207-game veteran and Swan Districts co-captain is showing no signs whatsoever of slowing down with the 28-year-old starting the 2018 season in just as strong and consistent form as he's ever been in. That included another good showing on Saturday in a loss to South Fremantle where he took on the battle of Ben Saunders and held the triple Bernie Naylor Medallist goalless while having 13 possessions and eight marks himself.

He is the reigning fairest and best winner at East Fremantle and despite the struggles of his team so far in 2018, he remains a shining light with his consistently strong performances setting up play off half-back. He had another 31 possessions and 11 marks despite a 33-point loss to East Perth on Sunday. But a two-week suspension now will hurt the Sharks.

He could be excused for dropping head being back in the WAFL at Peel Thunder given he is an AFL veteran of 256 games with both Port Adelaide and Fremantle. But instead he continues to bang the door down to earn a recall with the Dockers. He had another scintillating display in Saturday's win against Claremont for Peel with 33 possessions, five marks, five tackles and five inside-50 entries.

The 2016 Sandover Medallist continues to be one hell of a terrific recruit for Claremont. Aside from a couple of down weeks in the first half of 2017 as he battled a knee injury, the majority of his 45 matches with the Tigers have been superb and the 2016 State game Simpson Medallist geared to play in the KIA WAFL State Team again on Saturday against Peel with 33 possessions, 10 inside-50 entries, three marks and three tackles.

The emerging West Coast midfielder returned for East Perth on Sunday in the 33-point win against East Fremantle and picked up from the man who he replaced, Mark Hutchings. Delivered a tremendous performance finishing the afternoon with 29 disposals, five marks, four inside-50 entries and a goal.

The former Port Adelaide and Melbourne-listed AFL player has settled in solidly at Subiaco this year in the undefeated team and has split his time between the midfield and a half-forward flank. He had an impressive showing in Saturday's win against West Perth kicking two goals to go with 20 possessions and six marks.

He won the fairest and best at Swan Districts last year playing in the ruck but has shown he's equally as capable as a key forward so far in 2018 as well. He did end up spending a lot of Saturday's game in the ruck against South Fremantle in a fascinating battle with Brock Higgins, but also kicked four goals including a purple patch with three of those late in the third term. Also finished with 19 touches, seven marks and 22 hit outs.

The burly half-forward was sorely missed by Swan Districts in the second half of 2017 through a shoulder injury, but has started 2018 in impressive form across half-forward. Is now an experienced campaigner with 118 WAFL games under his belt and his strong body and powerful left-boot make him a dangerous presence. He kicked three goals from 24 possessions, 10 inside-50 entries and seven marks on Saturday against South Fremantle.

It's quite a Subiaco forward-line at the moment and considering Liam Baker, Liam Ryan and Clancy Wheeler aren’t there from last year it's even more impressive. Then even with Ben Sokol and Rhys Waters goalless against the Falcons, he was the one to come up big with a season-best four goals from 10 kicks and five marks.

The Claremont veteran forward of 152 games showed he can still be a strong target in attack for the Tigers after kicking four goals from seven kicks and six marks in Saturday's loss to Peel Thunder in Mandurah. The 32-year-old celebrated earning life membership for Claremont a couple of weeks ago and has kicked seven goals now for the season to date.


The experienced small forward was coming off a strong 2017 season of kicking 53 goals but missed the opening four games of 2018 through suspension. He was right back into the team on Saturday and had a big say in the 13-point win against Swan Districts kicking three goals to go with 15 possessions and seven marks.

He has now played 106 games in the WAFL and is a fairest and best winner at East Perth, but he continues to be in career-best form to start 2018 and had another impressive performance on Sunday against East Fremantle. Had another 19 possessions, seven marks, 29 hit outs and a goal. With Nic Naitanui's suspension, will likely be rewarded with a call up for West Coast this week. 

He has made his mark as a defender over the past three seasons, but has been used into a variety of roles so far in 2018 including playing as an inside midfielder over the past couple of weeks. He delivered a best on ground performance for South Fremantle in Saturday's win against Swan Districts on the ball finishing with 30 possessions, seven tackles and five inside-50 entries. He was named M & J Chickens Player of the Round and added to the KIA WAFL State Team as a result.

The Subiaco captain could consider himself decidedly unlucky to not be named M & J Chickens Player of Round 4 after yet another stunning performance in the midfield for the Lions against West Perth on Saturday. The 166-game veteran has started 2018 in remarkable form and on Saturday had 40 possessions, five marks and five entries inside the forward 50.

The West Perth captain has certainly shown that the new leadership role he's taken on in 2018 suits him nicely. The premiership-winning Sandover Medallist has been a strong performer all season for the Falcons mostly playing as an inside midfielder and he did well against Subiaco on Saturday finishing with 36 disposals, nine marks and seven tackles.

He is the newly appointed vice-captain at South Fremantle in 2018 and he played his best game of the season on Saturday in the win against Swan Districts. He was a strong presence in attack kicking two goals but it was his presence further up the field and even drifting down back on occasion to take crucial contested marks that was most telling. Finished with 14 possessions and eight marks.