Tigers click but Browne hurt

Bridget Lacy
Andrew Browne is helped off. Pic: Michael O'Brien/WA News

Claremont are confident captain Andrew Browne will be fit for the finals despite dislocating his left shoulder during a 59-point thrashing of Swan Districts yesterday.

Browne's injury was the only sour note for the Tigers, who indicated they were well on track for a third consecutive premiership, burying Swans 19.10 (124) to 9.11 (65) at Claremont Oval.

Browne, who missed last year's grand final with a hamstring injury, headed to the rooms after the dislocation in the first quarter and was forced off again just minutes after he returned in the second term.

Claremont coach Marc Webb said the early prognosis was that his skipper would miss at least one match.

"From reports, he can hopefully get through the rest of the year," Webb said.

"He will probably miss one and then we will look after him and make sure we strap it up and do the right things and hopefully at the business end he is available."

Webb was delighted with his side's effort - a 98-point turnaround from the Tigers' round-17 loss to Swans.

"Four weeks ago this side beat us quite easily, so we have turned that around against a quality opposition and we want to make sure we keep progressing each week," he said.

Webb believed the Tigers were peaking at the right time.

"It is another step, there is still a lot we can work on," he said.

"We are playing the sort of footy we want to before the next couple of weeks."

Trinity Handley had a solid return to league football after a long period out with a broken leg, doing a solid defensive job on Swans danger man Tim Geappen.

Andrew Foster had 30 possessions and kicked a goal. Luke Blackwell (35 disposals) and Jake Murphy (30) also made the most of Mark Seaby's ruck work.

Webb was pleased to have his experienced personnel available and in form after an injury- riddled season.

"We haven't had that flexibility this year to have all those guys in," Webb said.

"It is hard to really match up on four quality inside mids."

Swans, who slipped out of the top four after the loss, started brightly and dominated possession in the opening term, but failed to take full advantage.

From there Claremont's class and work ethic won out, taking the lead early in the second quarter and extending it at every change.

The Tigers' dangerous forward line spread the load, with Paul Medhurst and Ian Richardson each bagging four goals, Anton Hamp three and Chad Jones two.

Shaun Hildebrandt battled hard for Swans to gather 32 possessions and Kyle Hams was creative off half-back.

Tallan Ames did a solid job on Jones in an under-siege back line.

Swans will get an opportunity to force their way back into the top four when they host fourth-placed East Fremantle on Saturday.

They will be buoyed by the fact they beat the Sharks at East Fremantle Oval in round one by 11 points, but wary that coach Steve Malaxos' side is firing, pounding West Perth at Arena Joondalup yesterday.