Veteran fits in back at the den
Shaun Hildebrandt tries to break free of Ryan Lester-Smith. Pic: Natasha Gilmartin

Shaun Hildebrandt has wasted no time slotting back into Subiaco's line-up after two seasons with Swan Districts.

Hildebrandt amassed 31 possessions and kicked two goals in the Lions' 16.12 (108) to 6.16 (52) win over East Fremantle at WA Country Builders Stadium in Geraldton on Saturday.

The silky-skilled midfielder was creative with his possessions and was among several Lions midfielders who outworked their East Fremantle opponents.

This year is Hildebrandt's first back in Subiaco colours after two solid seasons with Swan Districts, his third WAFL club.

"I have really enjoyed it (coming back to Subiaco)," he said.

"It has changed a bit, with the personnel, but myself and a few of the recruits have slotted in nicely and the club has been welcoming.

"We controlled their forward ball movement really well. They usually get out the back and when they do get goal-side they can really hurt you.

"Their defenders can read the play really well, so it was important for us to hit the short targets and take them out of the game."

Hildebrandt was partnered in the midfield by Jason Bristow (24 possessions), who was influential around stoppages.

Another former Swan Districts player, Wayde Twomey (23 possessions), was damaging across half-back.

East Fremantle did not have too many winners. The classy Bradd Dalziell (24 possessions) worked tirelessly and ran hard all day.

Sandover medallist Rory O'Brien collected 31 possessions for the Sharks but did not have a major impact.

A deflated East Fremantle coach Steve Malaxos said he would head back to the drawing board and try to fix the Sharks' misfiring forward line.

"Disappointing is probably not even the right word," he said. "There were some aspects of our play that we haven't seen for quite a while.

"Forward of centre was terrible, so you could argue we created enough opportunities.

"It was not just the shots though, our ball use and shots for goal forward of centre were average."

Subiaco got off to a fine start with a contested mark and goal by forward Matthew Boland in the first minute.

The Lions' Christopher Deluca added another major and his second handed Subiaco a 21-point quarter-time lead.

East Fremantle dominated much of the possession and time in forward half through the first half.

But wasteful ball use and goal kicking hurt the Sharks, who could have easily led at half- time.

A James Bristow goal clawed East Fremantle back to six points behind during the opening 10 minutes of the third term but it was the last joy for the Sharks.

The Lions responded with the next seven goals to put the result beyond doubt. Adding to Malaxos' headache were the reports of Steven Dodd and Cameron Eardley for striking.

"It has changed a bit … but myself and a few of the recruits have slotted in nicely …" *Shaun Hildebrandt *

The West Australian

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