Bulldogs continue strong form to beat Eagles

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 7:03 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle continued its impressive start to the 2019 WAFL season winning its first ever game against the West Coast Eagles' reserves team by 59 points to take great momentum into the State Game break.

South Fremantle dominated the contest from start to finish at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday in the first ever meeting with the Eagles' WAFL team.

The Bulldogs ended up winning 20.11 (131) to 9.18 (72) to continue their impressive start to the season to have won four of the five games with the one loss by less than a kick against the still undefeated Perth.

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Despite significant turnover over summer with the loss of a host of quality, senior players, South Fremantle has been able to start 2019 strongly and that was confirmed with their dominant win over the Eagles on home soil on Saturday afternoon.

South Fremantle kicked the first two goals of the contest and it was both from marks deep inside-50 from key forwards Mason Shaw and Zac Strom. 

The Eagles did respond thanks to Matthew Allen, but the Bulldogs got the last two goals of the opening term courtesy of Brandon Donaldson and then with Shaw's second to go into the quarter-time break with a 19-point advantage.

Then after West Coast kicked the opening goal of the second term from captain Fraser McInnes, South Fremantle took control of the contest. 

The Bulldogs kicked the next four goals from Haiden Schloithe, a beauty from excitement machine Dion Munkara, a terrific crumbing effort from Donaldson and then a third of the day for Shaw.

That saw South Fremantle lead by 36 points but the Eagles hit back with their best period of the match with goals to Bailey Williams, McInnes and Josh Smith to be just 16 points down at half-time.

It only took 12 minutes for South Fremantle to again put the game beyond the reach of the Eagles opening the second half with goals to Jake Florenca, Shaun Bewick and Shaw.

By the time Shaw added a fifth for the day just before three quarter-time, South Fremantle's lead had grown to 46 points and then the Bulldogs really rammed home their advantage in the last term.

South Fremantle kicked six goals to two in the final quarter to run out 20.11 (131) to 9.18 (72) winners.

That improves the Bulldogs to a 4-1 record on the season while the Eagles slip to 2-3.

Spearhead Mason Shaw ended up kicking six goals for South Fremantle in a dominant performance, even more impressive considering he was in doubt to play all week after pulling up sore in the second half last week against East Fremantle.

Brandon Donaldson was also lively at ground level in attack kicking three goals for the Bulldogs with Dion Munkara adding two goals, Zac Strom two and Shaun Bewick continuing to thrive in his new role with two as well.

Jacob Dragovich continued his career-best form for South Fremantle to open the season with another 28 possessions and 12 tackles in the midfield with Jake Florenca finishing with 27 disposals, Haiden Schloithe 26, Brendan Verrier 23 and ruckman Brock Higgins 21 along with 29 hit outs.

South Fremantle's back-line again stood strong led by Noah Strom while Nick Suban racked up 24 possessions, Chad Pearson 22, Blayne Wilson 21 and Zac Dent 17 to go with six tackles.

The WAFL will now take a break for this Sunday's State Game against the SANFL at Optus Stadium before South Fremantle is back in action next Saturday against the undefeated Subiaco at Leederville Oval.

SOUTH FREMANTLE        4.4    8.7    14.8    20.11    (131)
WEST COAST EAGLES        1.3    5.9    7.11    9.18    (72)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Shaw 6; Donaldson 3; Bewick, Z Strom, Munkara 2, Schloithe, Florenca, Stewart, Verrier, Main.
Best: Dragovich, Shaw, Schloithe, Higgins, Pearson, Suban, Wilson, Bewick.
WEST COAST EAGLES – Goals: Williams, McInnes, Allen, Smith 2; Nelson.
Best: Ah Chee, Nelson, Allen, Ainsworth, Brooksby, Reid, Rotham.