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Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - 12:20 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle might have lost a third game in the opening month of the WAFLW season, but they have been against the reigning premiers and this year's two undefeated teams with the Bulldogs still battling hard.

It's been a challenging start for South Fremantle to the 2024 WAFLW season just purely on a fixturing point of view given the first up opponent was East Fremantle fresh off winning last year's premiership.

Next up was Claremont who hasn’t lost a game in the home and away season since 2022 and then on Saturday it was a trip to Joondalup to take on the undefeated West Perth at Pentanet Stadium.

In between South Fremantle had a strong win against East Perth but it's been a significant challenge to start the season so far and the 1-3 record doesn’t quite tell the story of the competitiveness of the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs did manage just the two goals, though, in the third quarter on Saturday as the Falcons beat them for the first time in the WAFLW competition with the 9.8 (62) to 2.4 (16) victory.

South Fremantle's goals for the afternoon were kicked by Pippa Sideris and Zoe Huggett.

Caitlin Pears put in an impressive performance for the Bulldogs despite the result finishing with 21 possessions to go with four marks and three tackles.

Poppy Stockwell continued her hot start to the season with 19 disposals and nine marks while Tahleah Mulder had 19 touches and reigning fairest and best winner Ariana Hetherington 18 to go with six marks.

Captain Lauren Vecchio worked tirelessly once more for 17 possessions with 2022 fairest and best winner Liusaidh Gilchrist ending up with 17 touches while Madizen Wilkins had 12 disposals as did Alyssa Smogavec and Holly Ifould.

While South Fremantle was yet to lose against West Perth so far in the WAFLW competition, the Falcons got the first goal of the contest on Saturday on home turf thanks to Elissa Price at the five-minute mark.

West Perth also added another goal just before quarter-time to take a 12-point advantage into the first break.

It was then all West Perth in the second quarter with South Fremantle not managing to score while the Falcons kicked three more goals to go into the half-time break in control leading by 33 points with the Bulldogs managing just the one behind.

South Fremantle had plenty of work to do by half-time but the Bulldogs did come out strongly to start the second half with a goal to Pippa Sideris just two and-a-half minutes into the third quarter.

While Zoe Huggett also added a goal before three quarter-time, West Perth did add another three goals in the term as well to extend the lead to 39 points by the last change.

The Falcons then kicked the only goal of the final term to secure the 46-point win to beat the Bulldogs for the first time and keep their undefeated season going.

The Rogers Cup match up between the two teams was a rematch of the Grand Final of not only last year but also back in 2021.

West Perth won both those premierships and also prevailed on Saturday beating South Fremantle 9.4 (58) to 2.4 (16) at Pentanet Stadium.

Both South Fremantle's goals for the game were kicked by Nicole Taylor-Thorpe who now has seven goals in the four matches so far in the 2024 season.


SOUTH FREMANTLE                        0.1          0.1          2.2          2.4          (16)

WEST PERTH                                      2.1          5.4          8.5          9.8          (62)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Sideris, Huggett.

Best: Stockwell, Pears, Mulder, Vecchio, Hetherington, Wilkins, Gilchrist.

WEST PERTH – Goals: Ferguson, Price, O'Brien, Kauffman 2; K Bennett.

Best: Kauffman, Ferguson, Webb, Golisano, Russo, Heer, E Bennett.