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Monday, July 25, 2022 - 11:47 AM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle might have been on unfamiliar territory at the WACA Ground on Saturday, but took little time to reassert their dominance over East Fremantle on the way to an eventual 33-point victory.

Round 14 in the WAFL saw a Fremantle Derby played at the WACA Ground for the first time since the Grand Final of 1917 with the Bulldogs also played at the venue for the first time at all since 1994.

However, South Fremantle asserted its dominance early holding East Fremantle scoreless in the first quarter and kicking the game's first five goals to set the tone for the arvo in tough conditions with the rain and the muddy centre around the wicket area.

In the end the Bulldogs defeated the Sharks 9.13 (67) to 5.4 (34) to make it a remarkable 14 consecutive derby victories dating back to 2016. They've also still never lost now to East Fremantle at the WACA Ground.

It was also the perfect way for South Fremantle to celebrate the 150th game of premiership player and WJ Hughes Medal winner Zac Strom.

South Fremantle captain Dylan Main continued his love affair with stepping up in derbies by kicking four goals from 10 touches and four marks.

He could well be the forward target the Bulldogs have been missing this year and now has had three of his best goalkicking hauls of his career against the Sharks. He kicked a best of five back in 2018 while Saturday was the second time he's kicked four goals against East Fremantle.

Manfred Kelly also kicked two goals for South Fremantle from three kicks and three tackles to make the most of his chances and apply some good pressure.

Haiden Schloithe is in a purple patch of form as well for the Bulldogs 194 games into his WAFL career. He was outstanding again on Saturday with 28 possessions, 15 tackles and a goal.

Glenn Byron stepped up impressively for South Fremantle too to finish with 23 touches while Tom Blechynden had 21 disposals and eight tackles, Steve Verrier 18 possessions and six tackles, Jarrad Doney 17 touches and eight tackles, and milestone man Zac Strom 17 touches and six marks.

Hamish Free produced a dominant performance in the ruck with 13 touches and 56 hit outs while down back, South Fremantle again only conceded five goals with Noah Storm holding Jonathon Marsh goalless among the standout performers.

Having won 13 derbies in-a-row coming into the contest despite the new venue, it was a familiar start to the match with South Fremantle dominating the opening quarter which had to rock the confidence of East Fremantle against their old foe.

It started with an early goal to captain Dylan Main for the Bulldogs before he added a second almost 20 minutes later. Manfred Kelly then added another just before quarter-time with a clever snap and the Bulldogs led by 22 points having held the Sharks scoreless.

It was the worst possible start for an East Fremantle team attempting to beat South Fremantle for the first time in seven years. 

Things didn’t get much better in the second quarter with a quick Bulldogs goal to big man Jimmy Miller and then Haiden Schloithe adding another to put them up 34 points at the 10-minute mark.

Eventually East Fremantle got its first goal of the game at the 12-minute mark of the second term thanks to Alex Montauban on what was their 11th inside-50 entry of the game.

However, it didn’t lead to any momentum with South Fremantle getting its next one courtesy of Kelly to go up by 36 points.

East Fremantle did get another just before half-time through Montauban but it was the Bulldogs in control by 29 points at the major break.

Eddie Simpson marked his East Fremantle debut following stints at Claremont and East Perth with a goal to start the second half after moving forward having started in the ruck.

But again the Sharks couldn’t get any momentum from it with Main's third goal the immediate answer for the Bulldogs. Milan Murdock did kick another for East Fremantle just before three quarter-time, but still South Fremantle was 25 points to the good.

South Fremantle made sure of the 14th consecutive derby win with a fourth goal to Main and then another to Nick Suban to start the fourth quarter before winning 9.13 (67) to 5.4 (34).

The day at the WACA Ground started on Saturday with South Fremantle's colts beating East Fremantle 5.5 (35) to 3.6 (24).

South Fremantle's goals came from Jordan Douglas, Liam Piper, Isaiah Hayden, Toby Verney and William Roe. 

Douglas also had 21 possessions to go with 10 tackles while Christian Wilson finished with 17 touches and 20 tackles.

South Fremantle's reserves also defeated East Fremantle 5.4 (34) to 3.5 (23).

Kobe Farmer kicked two goals for South Fremantle with Jacob Sax racking up 21 possessions, Angus Fraser 18 and Nathan Spooner 17 to go with 39 hit outs and 11 tackles in the ruck.


SOUTH FREMANTLE        3.4    6.6    7.10    9.13 (67)
EAST FREMANTLE        0.0    2.1    4.3    5.4 (34)

SOUTH FREMANTLE: Goals – Main 4; Kelly 2; Schloithe, Suban, Miller.
Best – Schloithe, Blechynden, Main, N Strom, Byron, Free, Verrier, Doney, Z Strom.
EAST FREMANTLE: Goals – Montauban 3; Murdock, Simpson.
Best – Baskerville, Murdock, Eardley, Jupp, Bennett, Montauban.