Matt Rogers has played 49 matches in stints at Perth and Swan Districts but it is unlikely he has ever had an impact like his match-winning display at Steel Blue Oval yesterday.
His attack on the ball and physical presence in Swan Districts’ forward line was the critical factor in the home team accounting for West Perth by seven points to deliver their fourth victory of the season.
When Rogers kicked his first goal from 50m into a strong sea breeze early in the last quarter, Swans’ 17-point lead was their biggest of the day.
West Perth pressed hard and had a chance to snatch the lead when Andrew Krakouer had a set shot from close range but the kick was astray and with it the Falcons’ bid for victory.
Seventeen-year-old rising star Aidan Anderson soon made no mistake from a free kick and 50m penalty before Rogers found Ricky Cary close to goals to seal the win 11.9 (75) to 9.14 (68).
Rogers’ inspirational display overshadowed the appearance of Swans’ 2010 grand final hero and Sandover medallist who took on his old team for the first time since joining West Perth this year.
The day was expected to be about Krakouer’s triumphant return to the scene of some of his greatest glories but it did not go to script.
It took until the second quarter for Krakouer to have his first significant involvement and provide the lively crowd the opportunity to engage in a long but good-natured bout of booing.
Krakouer’s riposte was two goals in a minute and he could have had a third later in the quarter when a long shot faded off line in the fluky breeze. He finished with 2.4.
The Sandover medallist has not lost his smarts and is slowly finding the touch that made him such a brilliant player during stints with Swans, Richmond and Collingwood.
Krakouer at his most mercurial would have matched the display by promising Swans youngster Blaine Boekhorst who produced the play of the day in the opening stanza when he sidestepped smoothly through heavy congestion to set up a Tony Notte goal.
Matt Spencer was brought into the West Perth team to help counter the danger posed by Tim Geappen who was cleared to play after receiving a reprimand at the Tribunal this week.
It was Spencer’s first match for his new club and came four years after he made his previous WAFL appearance – for Swans in their 2010 premiership victory.
A dour defender who lined up against the league’s leading goalkicker in Ricky Cary, Spencer complemented the strong work of his hardened colleagues Luke Tedesco, Steven Browne and Andrew Strijk.
|GOALS – SWAN DISTRICTS: Cary 3; Anderson 2; Casserly, Rogers, Boekhorst, Howard, Notte, Jukes. WEST PERTH: Krakouer 3; Kerr 2; Nelson, Van Berlo, Adams, Manning.|
BEST – SWAN DISTRICTS: Rogers, Simpson, Elari, Ames, Ugle, Riggio. WEST PERTH: Browne, Keunen, Jones, Van Berlo, Nelson.