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WAFL Team of the Week – Round 6

Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 10:32 AM by Chris Pike

ONCE again there were no shortage of standout performers across the board in Round 6 of the 2022 season with plenty of players putting up their hands for the WAFL Team of the Week.

The Round 6 action began on Saturday at Mandurah's Lane Group Stadium with Peel Thunder impressive in beating Claremont 12.12 (84) to 9.8 (62).

East Perth returned to the winner's list with a big win against the winless West Coast Eagles, 18.10 (118) to 6.4 (40) at Leederville Oval.

Subiaco might have won 14 of its last 16 against East Fremantle, but it was a different story at the WACA Ground on Saturday with the Sharks proving too strong winning 13.12 (90) to 6.10 (46) to return to top spot.

It was a bit of a low scoring grind between West Perth and Perth at Joondalup's Pentanet Stadium, but the Falcons made it 21 of the last 22 against the Demons with the 7.12 (54) to 7.6 (48) victory.

Swan Districts avoided a 10th consecutive loss against South Fremantle with a hard earned 9.10 (64) to 8.7 (55) victory at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval on Saturday.

Following six rounds of the 2022 WAFL season, East Fremantle is back on top of the ladder with a 5-1 record to be percentage ahead of the also 5-1 West Perth.

Claremont is in third position but a game back with a 4-2 record while East Perth (fourth), South Fremantle (fifth), Peel Thunder (sixth) and Swan Districts (seventh) are all sitting at 3-3 following six matches.

Subiaco (eighth) and Perth (ninth) have 2-4 records while the West Coast Eagles remain winless after six matches with a percentage of just 39.1.

Among the standout performers across the five games of Round 6 included key defenders Chad Pearson, Brandon Erceg, Rhett Bazzo, Declan Hardisty, Will Collins, Joel Hamling, Matthew Jupp and Kasey Nicholas.

Mid-size defenders Tobe Watson, Jack Lewsey, Angus Dewar, Zac Guadagnin and Toby McQuilkin were also impressive while attacking backmen Drew Rohde, Cam Eardley, Nathan Wilson and Michael Sinclair put forward strong cases too.

Meanwhile, up forward there wasn’t quite as many standout performers this week with Hugh Dixon, Cody Leggett, Jonathon Marsh, Blair Bell and Mitch Dobson among those to impress.

There were several impressive ruck performances from Hamish Free, Lloyd Meek, Scott Jones, Lachlan Delahunty and Ajang Ajang.

There were once more plenty of on-ballers putting up their hands for the Team of the Week including those doing the hard work inside like Tom Blechynden, Josh Cipro, Lachlan Riley, Mitch Peirce, Leigh Kitchin, Jared Hardisty, Connor Blakely, Shane Nelson, Sam Fisher and Mitch Crowden.

Usual guns Angus Schumacher, Bailey Rogers, Hamish Brayshaw, Jake Florenca, Jye Bolton, Brayden Ainsworth and Aaron Black were tremendous too while Aidan Clarke, Lachlan Riley, Milan Murdock, Jarrad Jansen, Jackosn McDonald, Harley Sparks and Mitch Crowden were others to shine.

Then you had the hard running and damaging brigade including Blaine Boekhorst, Jesse Turner, Liam Henry, Karl Worner, Ben Edwards, Ryan Lim, Angus Scott, Michael Tassone, Stefan Giro and Trent Manzone.

That all adds up to it being a tough job to pick the WAFL Team of the Week for Round 6.


With his 100th WAFL game approaching, the dual premiership power forward produced one his best performances in Peel Thunder colours in Saturday's win against Claremont.

Since settling into the Peel line-up in 2016, he has been a powerful presence in the Thunder forward-line capable of kicking big goals, applying some good pressure and being an impressive physical force.

Along the way he played a key role in the premierships of 2016 and 2017, and has put together a strong and consistent career ever since to now be on the verge of playing 100 games while also having played a State game representing the WAFL against South Australia in 2019.

Then on Saturday in a game where Peel faced a significant test against Claremont at Lane Group Stadium, he stepped up to produce a match winning performance.

He showed all of his talents in showing made up of kicking three goals to go with 13 kicks, eight handpasses, six marks, five tackles, four entries inside the forward 50.

It was a tremendous performance in an impressive 22-point victory for Peel in what was his 97th WAFL appearance with him now having kicked 112 goals in those matches, including 10 so far from five games in 2022.

Players of the Round
Round 1 –
Jake Florenca (South Fremantle)
Round 2 – Ryan Lim (Claremont)
Round 3 – Luke Meadows (West Perth)
Round 4 – Jesse Turner (Swan Districts)
Round 5 – Leigh Kitchin (Subiaco)
Round 6 – Blair Bell (Peel Thunder)


Will Collins (SD), Joel Hamling (PT), Matthew Jupp (EF)
HALF-BACK: Cam Eardley (EF), Kasey Nicholas (P), Drew Rohde (S)    
CENTRE: Jesse Turner (SD), Jake Florenca (SF), Blaine Boekhorst (EF)
HALF-FORWARD: Hamish Brayshaw (EP), Mitch Dobson (WP), Bailey Rogers (C)
FORWARD: Blair Bell (PT), Jonathon Marsh (EF), Cody Leggett (EF)
RUCK: Hamish Free (SF), Angus Schumacher (EP), Shane Nelson (WP)
INTERCHANGE: Tobe Watson (SD), Sam Fisher (SD), Jack Lewsey (C), Mitch Crowden (PT)


He has come back full-time to Swan Districts this year having been picked up by West Coast last year, and is settling impressively into the back-line. With Chris Jones settling up forward and with Tony Notte's consecutive games streak coming to an end, he had to step up further and put the clamps on South Fremantle's Bernie Naylor Medallist Mason Shaw. He kept him scoreless and to four kicks while having 11 touches and six marks himself.

He is an AFL premiership player and has 87 games under his belt at the top level, and while he might not be quite able to break into the Fremantle Dockers back-line at the moment, he is in good enough form to be called upon at any time. He was impressive on Saturday in the win against Claremont not only helping to keep the Tigers' key forwards in check but he had 20 touches and five marks too.

The East Fremantle back-line has been a key factor in them sitting on top of the WAFL ladder after six rounds and their captain has been the leader of the pack. He produced another standout performance in Saturday's win against Subiaco not only locking down the Lions' key forward options, but finishing with 19 touches, nine marks, three tackles and three inside 50s himself.

What a run of form the 134-game veteran is now showing since moving to the half-back flank to be the virtual quarterback in setting up play from there for the Sharks midway through 2021. He has started the 2022 season in brilliant form and delivered another 30 disposals and four marks in Saturday's win against Subiaco at the WACA Ground.

He has managed to turn himself into one of the more consistent key defenders in the competition having now played 45 matches with Perth since making his debut back in 2017. He could very well be leading Perth's fairest and best count for how well he's started the 2022 season and that impressive form continued on Saturday against West Perth where not only did he do well defensively but he had 30 possessions and eight marks.

He is a triple premiership player and now has 114 WAFL games under his belt to have become a regular key part of the Subiaco back-line since joining in 2018 after a year off in 2017 following his career starting with West Perth. Despite the loss to East Fremantle on Saturday, he was tremendous with 26 possessions and four marks.

WING – JESSE TURNER (Swan Districts)
The co-captain seemingly continues to get better week after week in his leadership role with Swan Districts in 2022. Just two weeks after making his State debut representing the WAFL, he produced another standout performance in Swans' win against South Fremantle with 31 touches, nine marks and four entries inside the forward 50 in what was just the second win of his career against the Bulldogs from 14 attempts.

CENTRE – JAKE FLORENCA (South Fremantle)
Continues to be in the form of his life 58 games into his WAFL career and it's hard to imagine he's not going to be selected in the AFL Mid-Season Draft as a result. Having made an AFL debut at West Coast and then playing for the WAFL State team, he continues to lead the way in the midfield for South Fremantle and produced another 32 touches, six tackles, five marks and four inside-50 entries.

He is now a WAFL veteran of 90 matches on top of his 25 AFL games with Carlton, and the dynamic wingman was right at his very best at the WACA Ground on Saturday to help the Sharks back to the top of the ladder. He finished the win over Subiaco with 37 touches, nine marks, seven inside 50s and five tackles.

He was coming up against his old West Coast WAFL team for the first time since returning full-time to East Perth this year and produced an outstanding performance in the big win for the Royals. Spent most of the day in the midfield and racked up 22 disposals, eight marks and seven tackles but was also impressive in getting forward to kick three goals.

What an astute signing he continues to prove to be for West Perth having crossed from East Perth in the off-season. He turned match winner on Saturday against Perth on a day where Tyler Keitel and Keegan Knott were held to a combined one goal. Not only did he kick two goals from 23 possessions, 11 marks and eight inside 50s, but his second goal came after the final siren to win the game for the Falcons to break the deadlock.

The reigning Sandover Medallist did all he could to try and lift Claremont against Peel Thunder in Mandurah on Saturday. Spending most of the game in the midfield, he was right at his best to put up hand up for selection in the AFL Mid-Season Draft on the back of racking up 36 touches to go with 10 marks and seven inside 50s.

Without Dillon O'Reilly and on the back of losing Hugh Dixon on the eve of the season, he's become the main forward target for East Fremantle and he showed on Saturday why he's more than up to the task. He missed last week's win against Perth on the back of representing the WAFL in the State game, and he kicked five goals from 12 kicks, five marks, five tackles and three inside 50s against Subiaco.

He did spend some time playing as a forward early in his WAFL career in Perth before settling into the midfield and then eventually at half-back where he could use his powerful right foot to set up play. That's where he has mostly played since joining East Fremantle, but he went forward on Saturday and was effective in kicking four goals from 11 kicks, six marks and three tackles in the win against Subiaco.

RUCK – HAMISH FREE (South Fremantle)
Could have already consolidated himself as the prime ruckman in the competition in what is his first full season in the No. 1 slot with South Fremantle. Shared the duties with Brock Higgins last year, but has stepped up superbly so far in 2022 and against Swan Districts on Saturday he put together a performance made up of 16 touches, 55 hit outs and a goal.

The gun on-baller is considered a prime candidate to be picked up in the AFL Mid-Season Draft and he did those prospects no harm whatsoever in a best on ground display in East Perth's big win over the West Coast Eagles. Finished the afternoon at Leederville Oval with 38 touches, nine inside 50s, five marks, two tackles and two goals.

The four-time West Perth fairest and best winner is warming into the 2022 season nicely and was tremendous again in the midfield in Saturday's win against Perth. The 194-game Falcons veteran put together a trademark performance at Joondalup with 32 touches, six tackles, four inside 50s and three marks.

Has come back to Swan Districts this season after time in the AFL system with Peel Thunder and spent time both in the midfield and forward early on. But settled into his more familiar role in the back-line on Saturday against South Fremantle and was tremendous finishing with 22 possessions and five marks.

Claremont might have lost in Mandurah to Peel on Saturday, but their back-line was impressive led by Declan Hardisty, but he was outstanding as well. He was rock solid defensively and also did some nice things setting up play out of the back-line with his 18 possessions, six tackles and five marks.

The Fremantle Dockers hard nut is becoming quite the physical presence in the Peel Thunder midfield as he tries to break back into the AFL team. He's proving effective in winning the ball too and doing good things with it which was all on show in the win against Claremont where he finished with 27 touches, six marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and two goals.

The 2020 Sandover Medallist continues to show that he's right back to that form of two years and was tremendous again in the midfield in Swan Districts' win at home against South Fremantle on Saturday. Ended the afternoon with another 31 touches, seven tackles, three marks and three inside-50 entries.

There were plenty of players who delivered tremendous performances across Round 6 but couldn’t quite fit into the Team of the Round, including:

Peel Thunder's Karl Worner, Connor Blakely, James Ewing, Lloyd Meek, Liam Henry and Nathan Wilson.

Claremont's Jared Hardisty, Jye Bolton, Ryan Lim, Ben Edwards, Lachlan Martinis and Declan Hardisty.

East Perth's Harley Sparks, Angus Scott, Stan Wright, Jack Cooley, Damon Greaves and Scott Jones.

West Coast's Hugh Dixon, Joey Deegan, Ethan Hansen, John Levien, Harry Creasey and Rhett Bazzo.

East Fremantle's Milan Murdock, Jarrad Jansen, Michael Tassone, Luke English and Jackson McDonald.

Subiaco's Leigh Kitchin, Noah Ash, Stefan Giro, Lachlan Delahunty and Angus Dewar.

West Perth's Trent Manzone, Aaron Black, Mitch Peirce and Zac Guadagnin.

Perth's Brayden Ainsworth, Michael Sinclair, Chris Mayne, Matthew Taylor, Jack Avery and Ajang Ajang.

Swan Districts' Aidan Clarke, Josh Cipro, Lachlan Riley and Brandon Erceg.

South Fremantle's Tom Blechynden, Toby McQuilkin and Chad Pearson.