WAFLW First Semi-Final Preview

Friday, August 30, 2019 - 3:21 PM by Chris Pike

THE inaugural season of the WAFL Women's competition sees the finals begin this weekend and it has Swan Districts hosting Claremont at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday.

Swan Districts has long been a powerhouse of female football in Western Australia so it was always a given that with the new WAFLW competition formed in 2019 that one of the five clubs to be part of it would be the black-and-whites.

And following the end of the home and away season, Swan Districts finished in third position on the ladder to earn the hosting rights for the first semi-final while Subiaco and East Fremantle do battle in the second semi-final.

The first game of the finals series in the WAFLW takes place at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval and that will be the first semi-final between Swan Districts and Claremont. 

The winner will advance to the preliminary final while the loser's season will be over.

Swan Districts had the bye in the final round and that saw them lose second position, but they still finished third with a 7-5 record and enter the finals on a three-game winning run after victories against Claremont, East Fremantle and Peel Thunder.

Claremont, meanwhile, finished the season in fourth position with a 6-6 record after a 13-point loss to East Fremantle last week following a goalless performance in a loss to Subiaco the week before.

Swan Districts and Claremont met three times during the home and away season with Swans winning all three of the contests by 36 points in Round 2 at Steel Blue Oval, 14 points at Claremont Oval in Round 7 and then 52 points in Round 12 back at Bassendean.

Swan Districts captain Ebony Antonio has been a handy late season inclusion for the black-and-whites with the Fremantle Dockers AFLW star looking forward to seeing what Swans can produce come finals time.

"It's a pretty cliché saying but finals footy is a different kind of footy. We have a one in four chance to get ourselves there but at the same time it's a really good opportunity to be here and in this brand new competition, the WAFLW," Antonio said.

"We have just approached every game this year focusing on ourselves and then come Friday we start to look at the opposition and watch some of their vision. We know that Claremont are really good at moving the ball and they've got some really good inside players.

"Then when they get it up forward they can be really good as well so our defence will have a big job this weekend to play some good defence."

Claremont's Kate Orme knows that the job is ahead of the Tigers, but if they can move the ball well going forward she sees no reason they can't be a chance.

"We'll have to play some really tough footy. Swans move the ball well and they compete really fast, and their skills are really good," Orme said.

"We'll probably have to win it at the coal face, that will be our main priority, and use it from there. For us our main focus has been on moving the ball and getting it inside forward 50. 

"Our mids are quite strong and that's an area we really rely on and it's about putting together that next step of moving it towards the big sticks."