Bulldogs show bite in win over Royals

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 3:27 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle delivered a scintillating eight-goal third quarter to come from behind to beat East Perth at Leederville Oval on Saturday to continue to again build some momentum as the finals approach.

South Fremantle had snapped its four-game losing run last week with a win against Swan Districts and were then able to back it up against East Perth on Saturday, despite having to come from behind at half-time to do so.

But the Bulldogs delivered eight goals in the third quarter while holding the Royals scoreless to end up winning 15.16 (106) to 11.7 (73) to make it five consecutive wins for South Fremantle against East Perth.

While Bernie Naylor Medal leader Mason Shaw was kept goalless by East Perth, plenty of other South Fremantle players stepped up to ensure the Bulldogs kicked 15 goals and it was the smaller brigade doing the damage on this occasion.

Kade Stewart kicked all three of his goals in the first quarter for South Fremantle while Andrew Haydon also finished with three while Kyle Russell and Caleb Datson kicked two goals apiece.

Ruckman Brock Higgins had another strong showing for the Bulldogs opposed to Ajang Ajang, finishing with 16 possessions, four marks and 26 hit outs.

Then at ground level in the midfield, Haiden Schloithe was again superb especially when still playing through despite not being 100 per cent. He delivered another 34 possessions, seven marks, four tackles and three inside-50 entries.

Jacob Dragovich racked up another 31 disposals for the Bulldogs while Steve Verrier had 22 touches, Brandon Donaldson 18, Jake Florenca 17 and Dylan Main 17.

Then the South Fremantle defence was again tremendous once more led by Zac Dent up against his former team. He finished with 19 possessions and seven marks while Chad Pearson had 24 disposals and 12 marks. Blayne Wilson also had 18 disposals and eight marks.

Zac Strom celebrated his 100th WAFL game with 13 possessions, six marks and a goal as well.

After starting the game with a couple of behinds, it took Kade Stewart to dribble one through from 40m out to get the first goal of the game. Stewart then added two more for the opening term as well for the Bulldogs but Mitch Dobson kicked two of his own to keep East Perth in touch.

But it was only South Fremantle's inaccuracy with six behinds that cost them a bigger margin than the 12 points at quarter-time.

East Perth came out a different outfit in the second term with the first three goals in the opening 10 minutes through Shaquille McKenzie, Sharrod Wellingham and Ben McGuire.

South Fremantle got a couple of goals of their own courtesy of Andrew Haydon and Zac Strom, but the Royals still went into half-time leading by nine points after a late first half goal from ex-Tiger Eddie Simpson.

South Fremantle had its work cut out at half-time but they responded impressively starting with three goals inside eight minutes to Kyle Russell, Dylan Main and Jake Florenca.

Jacob Dragovich soon added another and the Bulldogs were up by 27 points. Then after another string of behinds, Caleb Datson kicked accurately before Haydon added his second and third of the game, and Datson his second with South Fremantle 45 points to the good at three quarter-time.

After a scoreless third quarter, East Perth did respond with a strong last quarter with four goals but South Fremantle also kicked a couple and remained in control to take away the 33-point victory.

The win is now a second consecutive victory for South Fremantle following a four-game losing run and then a seven-match winning streak prior to that. 

The Bulldogs remain in third position at 10-5 but still remain a chance to snatch second with three games remaining against Peel Thunder, Claremont and West Perth.

SOUTH FREMANTLE        3.6    5.7    13.13    15.16    (106)
EAST PERTH            2.0    7.4     7.4    11.7    (73)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Stewart, Haydon 3; Russell, Datson 2; Dragovich, Florenca, Z Strom, Main, Cabassi.
Best: Schloithe, Pearson, Dragovich, Russell, Dent, Higgins, Wilson, Verrier.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Dobson 3; McKenzie 2; Wright, Wellingham, Samelko, Houghton, Simpson, McGuire.
Best: Ramsay, Cahill, Samelko, Dobson, Blee, Willcocks, Wright.