Bulldogs fall to Tigers in annual NAIDOC clash

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 3:06 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle has fallen to a third successive defeat following Saturday's annual NAIDOC Round contest against Claremont at Claremont Oval.

South Fremantle does remain a game clear in third position on the WAFL ladder, but the Bulldogs have now lost three consecutive matches to Subiaco, West Coast and Claremont following an impressive seven-match winning streak.

That now sets up a crucial match up this coming Saturday evening against the fourth placed Perth at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park as the Bulldogs attempt to return to the winner's list.

South Fremantle did play well in the first half at Claremont Oval on Saturday in the 13th consecutive NAIDOC Round clash with Claremont. 

The Bulldogs kicked the last three goals of the second quarter to take all the momentum into half-time, but the Tigers kicked eight goals to two in the second half to end up winning 12.6 (78) to 9.8 (62).

The ruck battle was a fascinating one with Jeremy Goddard having 55 hit outs for Claremont but South Fremantle's Brock Higgins had 15 possessions, six tackles and 35 hit outs opposed to him.

Haiden Schloithe was tremendous for South Fremantle kicking two goals to go with 26 possessions and six tackles.

Steve Verrier was another to work tirelessly for the Bulldogs to rack up 30 disposals, six marks, five tackles, five inside-50 entries and a goal in his 99th WAFL appearance.

Jacob Dragovich also finished with 20 touches (12 tackles), Kade Stewart 19, Zac Strom 18, Andrew Haydon 18 and Kyle Russell 16.

South Fremantle was again limited with rotations for much of the game after Dylan Main copped a knock early and Adam McIntosh also injured his hand early in the piece. 

Claremont scored the game's first goal and it was the surprise move of throwing star defender Anton Hamp forward that paid immediate dividends as he kicked truly.

But South Fremantle got the immediate response thanks to captain Dylan Main and then Haiden Schloithe showed his clash with a clean pick up and classy finish in challenging conditions early in the game.

Claremont then got a goal back thanks to Ian Richardson with both teams continuing to go goal for goal with Jye Bolton adding another for the Bulldogs and Mason Shaw and Kyle Russell also kicking majors for the visitors.

That saw South Fremantle lead by a goal at quarter-time before Tom Lee brought Claremont back within a point when he goaled 11 minutes into the second term.

It was all South Fremantle, though, for the rest of the second quarter with the Bulldogs kicking goals courtesy of Jacob Dragovich, Caleb Datson and Steve Verrier to head into half-time leading by 18 points and with all the momentum.

It took 10 minutes for a goal in the third quarter but then Claremont kicked two in a minute thanks to Lee and Ryan Lim. The Tigers then closed to within a point when Jack Bradshaw also kicked truly.

Claremont kicked another just before three quarter-time thanks to Hamp as they held South Fremantle goalless for the term and found themselves up by five points at the last break.

South Fremantle did manage its first goal of the second half a minute into the last term when Brandon Donaldson kicked straight. That made it a one-point game but then Matthew Palfrey kicked two impressive goals in two minutes on his left-boot to put the Tigers on top.

Despite Schloithe getting one back for the Bulldogs, Claremont had assumed control and kicked the last two goals of the game thanks to Anthony Treacy and Bolton to end up winning by 16 points.

WAFL NAIDOC ROUND 

SOUTH FREMANTLE        4.1    7.2    7.5    9.8    (62)
CLAREMONT            3.1    4.2    8.4    12.6    (78)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Schloithe 2; Dragovich, Russell, Datson, S Verrier, Donaldson, Main, Shaw.
Best: S Verrier, Schloithe, Higgins, Dragovich, N Strom, Stewart, Z Strom.
CLAREMONT – Goals: Lee, Bolton, Palfrey, Hamp 2; Richardson, Lim, Bradshaw, Treacy.
Best: Mitchell, Lim, Martinis, Bolton, Hamp, Busher, Mountford.