GIVEN we had a significant change in personnel from our bad loss to Subiaco, it was terrific to see the team markedly improve on that performance in the close win against Claremont on Saturday.
We conceded a decent lead late in the game against the Tigers, but it was pleasing the players withheld that comeback to achieve the 17.6 (108) to 17.5 (107) victory at Arena Joondalup.
It was more a case of congratulating the players for the win, rather than criticising them for allowing Claremont back into the game.
There was a breeze to the Tiger’s advantage in the last quarter and given we kicked 17 goals with just six points, it is difficult to criticise an effort like that.
It was a ripping game of football with the players enjoying some dry conditions for a change. The six-goal return of forward Max Duffy was a highlight for us in his first season at the club.
Duffy will be the first to admit his form has been up and down, but it often takes some time to learn a new team system and fit in with a foreign structure.
We had Shane Nelson, Drew Rhode, Laine Rasmussen, Joel Leeson and Joe Morrow forced out through injury and they were well replaced by Luke Tedesco, Corey Chalmers, Jordan Mills, Nick Rodda and Steve Potente.
Mills performed well in his league debut.
We expect all of the injured players except Nelson to be back against Swan Districts for the final game of the season after this weekend’s bye.
Nelson is an outside chance to play after fracturing his nose and other bones in his face against the Lions.
It’s similar to the Hayden Ballantyne injury in the AFL a few weeks back.
He will play with a helmet when he returns.