In the annual clash between WA Country and SA Country on the expanses of Fremantle Oval, on Saturday, a third quarter blitz from the hosts saw the Croweaters fall to their first defeat since this concept started back in 2011.
The WA State Country team won by a significant 39-point margin - 15.13 (103) to SA 10.4 (64).
Luke Duncan’s troops went into the halftime break with a slender lead, after a tough, physical and uncompromising first half, but SA couldn’t stop the Sandgropers during a dominant third term.
The evening match saw players endure windy, wet and blustery conditions at different times.
“Obviously you’re always frustrated with the result of any game you lose,” SA Country coach Duncan confirmed.
“Until half time it fair to say it was a great contest, but they blew us away in the third quarter with eight unanswered goals.”
MISSED THE MATCH?
“The last quarter was an even battle as well, but that third term was where the result was sorted.
“I thought their attack on the body and ball was probably a little stronger than ours at time. We were probably looked to be a little bit cute with our ball use in the conditions.
“On reflection we should have played our forwards and attacked in a little bit deeper into our forward.
“A lot of our entries were around that 35 to 60 metres mark.
“We didn’t penetrated deep enough and they got us coming out on the flip side.
“They just keep running and going forward and in that third quarter; we just couldn't find a way to stop them.
“They mixed things up at half-time and came out the third quarter with a different, smaller forward line and we were probably a little reactionary.”
Duncan said that Aisea “Magic” Raikiwasa Jnr playing a role as a running tall defender, against a bigger and strong opponent was SA most consistent performer across the course of the contest. He was rewarded for his efforts with the Barry Stringer Medal as the SA’s player in this match.
“I also felt our captain Brian Fenton really worked hard around the contests,” Duncan continued.
“Matt Willson gave us run out on that wing and Campbell Combe was a solid performer all game “Jack Kelly was good at the stoppages and Michael Galley gave a contest in ruck.”
Kelly and key forward Ben Simounds both kicked two goals in this game.
Former AFL footballer Brett Peake was the standout for the Sandgropers, kicking six goals in a best-on-ground performance, which saw him collect the “House Medal”.
David Shipway from the SA Football Commission confirmed that both parties have agreed for this annual will continue for at least the next four years.
SA 1.3 7.4 7.4 10.4 (64)
WA 2.3 5.7 13.9 15.14 (103)
- WA: Goal kickers - Peake 6, Worthington 2, Johnston 2, Houghton 2, Havey, A Russell, Broughton, Waters
- Best - Peake, Borrett, Buxton, Lakas, Bootsma, Haydon
- SA: Goal Kickers - Kenny 2, Simounds 2, Willson, Kelly , Yeomans, Martin, Elliott, Warmington
- Best – Raikiwasa, Kelly, Combe, Fenton, Willson
- Medals - Barry Stringer Medal – Raikiwasa; Terry House Medal - Peake