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Royals put Falcons to the sword

Rhys Dickinson  August 8, 2017 11:30 AM

Defender Francis Watson laid an equal team-high seven tackles against the Falcons

Defender Francis Watson laid an equal team-high seven tackles against the Falcons

East Perth jumped into the top five for the first time this year following an unforgiving 84-point win over bitter rivals West Perth on Saturday.

The Royals got off to a slow start at HBF Arena and trailed the Falcons by eight points after the first quarter, but senior coach Luke Webster moved the magnets in an effort to rein in the opposition’s midfield dominance and give his side a more attacking look at the centre bounce.

The tactical ploy, which had experienced Eagle Sharrod Wellingham move from the back line to the midfield and West Coast rookie Jordan Snadden clamp down on influential Falcon Shane Nelson, had an immediate effect.

Fraser McInnes goalled less than a minute after the resumption of play and Julian Ameduri collected East Perth’s second major of the quarter just two minutes later.

Josh Hill slotted an audacious snap from the right pocket in the seventh minute, co-captain Patrick McGinnity pierced the major opening from 40m a minute later and Jake Waterman kicked his first league goal in black and blue after intercepting an attempted West Perth defensive switch and streaming into the goal square for a point-blank shot.

In total, East Perth kicked seven unanswered goals to take a 37-point advantage into the half-time break.

The Royals continued to bring the pain in the penultimate quarter and several West Coast-listed players got in on the act.

Nathan Vardy, Waterman, Hill and Wellingham all contributed to an unanswered six-goal streak that gifted the visitors a healthy 76-point buffer with a quarter to play.

Wellingham and Kurt Mutimer got the Royals on the front foot in the fourth quarter with goals, but just when it looked like East Perth might blow their crosstown rivals out of the water the Falcons got a run on and kicked four goals.

However, their effort was in jest as the Royals booted the final two goals of the game to register an emphatic 21.13 (139) to 8.7 (55) victory.

Wellingham registered 24 disposals, seven pressure acts, four marks and three tackles to go with his two goals, while McInnes – who wreaked havoc in the forward 50 all day – amassed 21 touches, 24 hit outs, eight marks, three tackles and two goals.

Waterman finished the day with 19 disposals, seven marks and two goals, Vardy – who played predominantly forward – won 17 hit outs to go with his two goals and Hill gathered 18 touches, three marks and two goals.

Snadden, who kept prolific ball-winner Nelson to 29 disposals, stuck seven tackles, which was only matched by defender Francis Watson, who got his hands on the ball 17 times.

Backmen Tom Gorter and Tom Cole also wielded plenty of influence in the defensive 50, amassing 16 and 14 disposals respectively.

East Perth 2.3   9.6   15.10   21.13 (139)

West Perth 3.5   3.5   3.6    8.7 (55)