West Adelaide star Travis Tuck in his days playing for Werribee in the VFL
FORMER Hawthorn footballer Travis Tuck has continued his dominant Foxtel Cup campaign, leading West Adelaide to a hard-fought 17-point victory over Claremont and booking the Bloods a berth in the Grand Final.
The Bloods will play off against East Fremantle for a grand prize of $100,000, awarded to the winner of the knockout competition that brings together the best state league teams across the country.
They won 6.7 (43) to 3.8 (26).
Travis, the son of Hawthorn great Michael Tuck and brother of Richmond’s Shane, was a fierce presence throughout the entirety of the contest, recording a team-high 23 possessions (19 contested), while working tirelessly to contribute five tackles, five clearances and three inside-50s.Click here for more Foxtel Cup news
The defensive pressure from each side was unquestionable from the opening bounce, with both teams tackling ferociously and creating turnovers in the dewy conditions.
The Bloods refused to be intimated by the reigning Foxtel Cup and WAFL premier, attacking with purpose and making the most of their opportunities to kick three goals in the opening quarter.
Claremont was quick to answer in the second quarter, with a classy goal from livewire forward Jack Bradshaw and a bold response from the Tigers’ on-ball brigade giving them a two-point lead at the main break.
But true to their Foxtel Cup form, West Adelaide would go on to deliver a determined and unrelenting second half display, holding Claremont goalless while finding avenues to score through its leaders.
Acting captain Chris Schmidt was superb, demonstrating leadership by imposing himself on contests to lead the team in tackles (nine) and clearances (eight).
Handy half-forward Jonathon Beech was damaging with two pivotal goals and four inside-50s, while former Bomber Tyson Slattery used his experience in defence to provide immense pressure when played as a forward, chiming in with a goal.
Claremont acting captain Jake Murphy was clearly the Tigers’ best, collecting 24 touches, 10 tackles, seven clearances and seven inside-50s, although they were unable to capitalise in the absence of key forward and West Coast rookie Jeremy McGovern.
The Tigers were also without former AFL players Mark Seaby, Andrew Browne, Luke Blackwell, Andrew Foster and Chad Jones.
West Adelaide will meet East Fremantle in the Foxtel Cup Grand Final at AAMI Stadium on Tuesday, August 6.
West Adelaide 3.1 3.4 5.4 6.7 (43)
Claremont 1.3 3.6 3.7 3.8 (26)
Beech 2, Schmidt, Slattery, Nelson, Bonney
Neates, Richardson, Bradshaw
Tuck, Schmidt, Beech, Slattery, Macreadie
Murphy, Neates, Davies, Richardson