Sharks in for the kill after Falcons fade

East Fremantle's Alex Howson crashes a pack. Pictures: Dan White
East Fremantle's Alex Howson crashes a pack. Pictures: Dan White

The under-manned Falcons, who lost senior player Anthony Tsalikis to a broken collarbone and made last-minute exclusions with Matt Guadagnin and Andrew Strijk due to soreness, suffered a heavy 20.14 (134) to 9.7 (61) defeat.

The Falcons expect Strijk, Guadagnin, midfielder Jay van Berlo and ruckman Chris Keunen all to return against Swan Districts for the last round of the season after this weekend’s bye.

Despite the 73-point loss, the club was buoyed by an attendance of more than 6000 supporters who turned out for West Perth’s International Round to celebrate multiculturalism in football.

And the bumper crowd was treated to a tight contest up to half time, with the Sharks holding a mere 7.6 (48) to 7.5 (47) lead into the main break.

But a nine-goal Sharks thrashing in the third quarter proved to be insurmountable for the Falcons, who kicked just two goals in the second half.

West Coast midfielder Mark Hutchings made a dominant return to West Perth after recent impressiveness in the AFL, racking up 26 touches and kicking two goals.

His Eagles teammates Brad Dick and Jacob Brennan proved to be a headache for the Falcons, with Dick snaring four goals and Brennan rebounding strongly from halfback for the Sharks.

Falcons fill-in ruckman Frank Stockley stepped up confidently in Keunen’s absence amassing a game-high 33 hitouts on his way to 16 possessions.

Prolific East Fremantle midfielder Rory O’Brien was uncontainable with 38 disposals including seven inside-50s.