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WAFL Team of the Week - Round 2

Friday, April 29, 2022 - 9:00 AM by Chris Pike

ROUND 2 of the 2022 WAFL season saw a whole host of standout performances from some familiar faces but also plenty of fresh faces in a fascinating weekend of action across the board.

With COVID having its impact across the early rounds of the competition for 2022, it's opening up some opportunities that some players might not have quite expected and a host of them grabbing those chances with both hands.

That meant that with a host of genuine stars in the league on the sidelines, opportunities were there for some young stars to shine, other experienced heads to grab the chance to lead from the front and the result was a round full of five fascinating matches.

There were three Round 2 matches on Saturday afternoon starting at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with South Fremantle defeating the West Coast Eagles 17.14 (116) to 6.4 (40).

It was then a thriller at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval and East Fremantle finished strongly to defeat Swan Districts 13.11 (89) to 12.8 (80).

The last game on Saturday took place at Revo Fitness Stadium with Claremont coming away with the memorable 13.11 (89) to 11.8 (74) victory against Subiaco.

The other two Round 2 matches took place on Sunday with West Perth beating Peel Thunder 16.8 (104) to 14.9 (93) at Mandurah's Lane Group Stadium.

Then on Sunday evening under lights at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park, East Perth scored a thumping 20.10 (130) to 6.13 (49) win against Perth.

A lot of responsibility as a leader fell onto his shoulders with the huge slew of outs Claremont had for Saturday's game and he produced one of the best performances of his career in a memorable win against Subiaco.

It was quite the eventful week at Tigerland after they opened up the new season with a thrilling Good Friday win against West Perth before then losing more than half their team leading into the clash with Subiaco through COVID protocols.

From that Round 1 win, Claremont lost Jack Lewsey, Bailey Rogers, Declan Mountford, Ronin O'Connor, Lachlan Martinis, Jye Bolton, Sam Alvarez, Callan England, Anthony Davis, Max Spyvee, Alex Manuel, Declan Hardisty, Logan Guelfi and Louis Passera.

That's quite the impressive group of key players who took plenty of leadership and experience out with them, that's where a lot fell back onto Ryan Lim and he couldn’t have done a better job of stepping up in terrific fashion.

The veteran now of 132 games for Claremont came up huge and it was more than just with his 37 possessions, nine marks, two tackles and two inside-50 entries either.

A lot of the leadership fell onto his shoulders especially in the absence of Rogers, Mountford, Martinis, Bolton, Manuel and Hardisty, and he provided exactly that standard bearer for the fresh and new faces in the team that they needed.

It's hard to imagine he'll look back on many of his 132 games so far with more pride and fondness of a win he had such a big part in securing.

Players of the Round
Round 1 – Jake Florenca (South Fremantle)
Round 2 – Ryan Lim (Claremont)

BACK: Toby McQuilkin (SF), Josh Rotham (WC), Kye Willcocks (EP)
HALF-BACK: Ben Edwards (C), Tony Notte (SD), Cody Leggett (EF) 
CENTRE: Trent Manzone (WP), Jesse Turner (SD), Blaine Boekhorst (EF) 
HALF-FORWARD: Ben Elliott (C), Jye Amiss (PT), Tristan Hobley (WP)
FORWARD: Tom Medhat (EP), Timm House (C), Keegan Knott (WP)
RUCK: Hamish Free (SF), Kyle Baskerville (EF), Ryan Lim (C)
INTERCHANGE: Angus Schumacher (EP), Sebit Kuek (EP), Neil Erasmus (PT), Aidan Clarke (SD)


Has started the new season in fine form after cementing himself in the South Fremantle team on the way to the Grand Final in 2021. Has become one of the best emerging mid-size defenders in the competition and put together a game on Saturday against West Coast that included 23 possessions and 11 marks.

He put himself right back in the hunt for an AFL call up with the Eagles after a strong defensive showing against West Coast in the WAFL on Saturday against South Fremantle. He finished the afternoon at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with 20 disposals, nine marks and three inside-50 entries.

Not only did he kick the first goal of his 38-game WAFL career and the celebration was memorable, but he produced a tremendous all-round performance across half-back in East Perth's thumping Sunday night win against Perth. He finished with 28 disposals, seven marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and that goal.

It was quite the memorable win for Claremont on Saturday against Subiaco given all the circumstances surrounding the game, and he was right at the forefront of everything the Tigers did in beating the Lions. Produced what was likely the best performance of his 30-game career with 33 possessions, nine inside 50s, five tackles and a goal.

His team might now be winless after two rounds of the 2022 season, but it's through no fault of his as he has started off the new campaign in outstanding form in his familiar centre half-back role. The 266-game veteran was tremendous against on Saturday against East Fremantle finishing with 20 possessions and 10 marks.

His presence creating play for East Fremantle off half-back early in the new season is only highlighting just how much the Sharks missed him in the back half of 2021 when he was out injured. Had a significant impact in Saturday's come from behind win against Swan Districts with 20 disposals, five marks, four tackles and four inside-50 entries.

He took on extra responsibility in the West Perth midfield with the absence of Aaron Black and Luke Meadows, and he stepped up once again as he continues to be in outstanding form once again to start the 2022 season. In his 143rd game for West Perth, he was terrific with 26 touches, six marks, three inside 50s and a goal.

CENTRE – JESSE TURNER (Swan Districts)
He is co-captain at Swan Districts this year and is clearly ready to take his game to the next level both in terms of his leadership but also to become one of the truly elite midfielders in the competition. Despite the narrow loss to East Fremantle on Saturday, he was outstanding with 33 possessions, 11 marks, seven inside 50s, six tackles and a goal.

The former Swan Districts wingman returned to his old home ground on Saturday and was instrumental in East Fremantle storming home to record their first win of the 2022 season. He was outstanding with his running and ball use once more to finish the afternoon with 33 disposals, 10 marks, six inside-50 entries and three goals.

It was his first game of 2022 and just the fifth league game of his career, but what a performance he produced in a Claremont victory that won't soon be forgotten against Subiaco. He pulled together quite the impressive showing made up of 32 possessions, nine tackles, five inside 50s, three marks and three goals.

The young Fremantle Dockers draftee showed some exciting signs in attack for Peel Thunder in Sunday's narrow loss to West Perth that will leave an AFL debut in his near future. He kicked five goals for the Thunder to go with seven kicks and eight marks.

He was another West Perth player to fully embrace the opportunity that opened up in the absence of Luke Meadows and Aaron Black as he continues to emerge as one of the up and coming stars of the competition. Produced a terrific performance in Sunday's win against Peel with 18 touches, six marks, six tackles and two goals.

He has joined East Perth from West Perth this year and is having a significant impact already helping to give the Royals a target in the forward-line to support Eddie Simpson. He kicked four goals in Sunday night's big win against Perth to go with 15 disposals, seven inside-50 entries and six marks.

He came into the Claremont team mid-season last year and made a solid impact kicking 11 goals in six games, but the way he has now started 2022 suggests he is capable of much more. He provided a strong target up forward for the Tigers in the win over Subiaco on Saturday and kicked four goals from 11 kicks and eight marks in the finish.

The 84-game small forward continues to be the best in his craft in the competition to start 2022 and he was a major factor in the Falcons scoring their first win of the season against the Thunder on Sunday. He kicked four goals from 15 disposals, four marks and four entries inside the forward 50.

RUCK – HAMISH FREE (South Fremantle)
He came into the fold at South Fremantle last year as a backup to Brock Higgins and now has taken on the No. 1 ruck mantle upon his retirement, and has started the 2022 season impressively. He was again the best big man in the win over the Eagles on Saturday finishing with 49 hit outs along with 10 possessions, two marks, two tackles and three inside-50 entries.

He is the reigning Lynn Medallist and East Fremantle's fairest and best winner for 2021 and showed on Saturday that he could still be improving as a midfielder now in 2022. Produced perhaps the best performance of his career in Saturday's win against Swan Districts with 39 touches, eight tackles, seven marks and three inside-50 entries.

He showed his quality when up and going in 2021 as one of the best midfielders in the competition and he's now started the new season in tremendous form. He continued that on Sunday night in a thumping win against Perth to finish the game with 32 touches, six inside-50 entries, five tackles, four marks and a goal.

He is another player at East Perth who is grabbing his opportunity to provide a target in attack, and his making the most of his chances. He was impressive on Sunday night in a big win against Perth kicking four goals to go with his eight kicks and five marks.

Another young Fremantle Dockers draftee who couldn’t have been more impressive for Peel Thunder against West Perth on Sunday to put himself in line for an AFL call up before too long. He finished the afternoon with 34 possessions, 11 marks, nine inside-50 entries and seven tackles.

Is another player at Swan Districts who is proving himself ready and able to take his game to a new level in 2022 as a permanent on-baller. Despite the loss to East Fremantle on Saturday, he put together an eye-catching performance made up of 33 disposals, 11 marks, seven inside 50s, six tackles and a goal.

There were plenty of players who delivered tremendous performances across Round 2 but couldn’t quite fit into the Team of the Round, including:

South Fremantle's Zac Strom, Brandon Donaldson, Haiden Schloithe, Jake Florenca, Chad Pearson, Dylan Main and Trent Newton.

West Coast's Greg Clark, Joey Deegan, Josh Browne and Sam Petrevski-Seton.

Swan Districts' Jesse Palmer, Sam Fisher, Tobe Watson, Chris Jones and Jak Watson.

East Fremantle's Dillon O'Reilly, Milan Murdock, Cam Eardley, Luke English and Jarrad Jansen.

Claremont's Patrick Kitchener and Cameron Anderson.

Subiaco's Ben Sokol, Corey Robinson, Leigh Kitchin, Stefan Giro, Lachlan Delahunty, Aaron Heal, Bailey Matera and Liam Hickmott.

Peel Thunder's Haydn Matthews, Josh Treacy, Wade Dersken, Karl Worner, Mitch Crowden and Nathan Wilson.

West Perth's Sam Rotham, Troy Yukich, Shane Nelson, Aidan Lynch, Conal Lynch and Mitch Peirce.

Perth's Michael Sinclair, Regan Clarke, Brayden Ainsworth, Austin Davis and Andrew Fisher.

East Perth's Nick Robertson, Harley Sparks, Angus Scott, Jacob Msando, Stan Wright and Christian Ameduri.

Image courtesy of James Worsfold