Triple-figure bypass

Triple-figure bypass

No, that’s not the title of the latest list of reasons why the WAFL’s AFL-alignment model will cause an unfair competition.

That’s the size of the defeat handed to the West Coast Eagles-aligned East Perth Football Club by the Joondalup-based West Perth Football Club at Leederville Oval on Saturday.

The Falcons’ 22.17 (149) to 7.7 (49) demolition job changed not only the dynamic of its own season, but that of the entire premiership race.

Yes, East Perth lost a number of key players to a depleted Eagles outfit, but the weight of the defeat will surely dampen expectations of a Royals reign in 2014.

The endeavour of the side’s WAFL players compared with its AFL-listed talent was telling.

The more than 100-year rivalry between the two clubs did not appear to mean much to the majority of the 10 West Coast players on the ground.

Its importance was clear to every one of West Perth’s 22 players. And the raucous cheers coming from the Falcons’ block of travelling fans suggested it meant even more to the supporters.

Only former Falcon Mark Hutchings, who gives his all no matter what occasion, was a standout among East Perth’s Eagles contingent.

Tireless WAFL stalwart Craig Wulff was easily the Royals’ best.

Just six players from the home team were a part of last year’s derby grand final, while the Falcons boasted 17 grand finalists.

The five who missed West Perth’s flag-winning performance looked intent on ensuring the Falcons would threaten for another one this year.

Veteran Anthony Tsalikis outplayed peppy West Coast backman Jacob Brennan to produce six goals.

Imposing recruit Marcus Adams provided the force coach Bill Monaghan had willed from him, taking some strong contested marks up forward and kicking five majors.

Youngster Brayden Antonio, wearing club great Jason Salecic’s number 2 jumper, stamped himself as one to watch with a lively 18-disposal display, including an exciting 50m goal in the second quarter.