West End State Team win 2024 KIA State Game

West End State team players and coach Jade Rawlings celebrate after their 63-point win against WAFL. Picture - Tom Campbell

Compiled by Zac Milbank

West End State team defender Jez McLennan won his second Fos Williams Medal in the space of a month. Picture – Giorgia De Chellis

Right here, right now.

The message from West End State Coach Jade Rawlings was concise and inspiring as he played highlights of his 23 players to backing of Fatboy Slim’s 1999 smash hit on the eve of the KIA State Game in Perth.

And it appeared to have the desired impact as the Croweaters retained the Haydn Bunton Junior Cup in fine style, with a blistering 63-point win against the WAFL at Optus Stadium.

Fos Williams Medallist Jez McLennan was one of many SANFL players queuing up for the honour as the West End State team registered its largest win against the WAFL since 2003.

Fielding a side with nine debutants and 13 new faces from the 14-point win against VFL in April, SANFL has now won its fifth game in succession against the WAFL while banking 14 victories from its last 17 State Games.

SANFL might have been without star players Liam McBean, Lachie Hosie, Will Snelling, Harry Grant, Matt Allen and Harry Boyd but that didn’t matter as it asserted itself on the contest with a statement-making six-goal first quarter.

2022 Fos Williams Medallist Casey Voss booted the opening major for SANFL inside the opening minute which proved to be an ominous sign for the Sandgropers as the visitors piled on the pain.

By the time the hosts booted their first, SANFL had 6.2 on the board with Aiden Grace nailing two of his four majors in the damaging period while Billy Cootee and Harrison Wigg were chief architects.

West End State team midfielder Billy Cootee was a strong influence in the first half. Picture – Tom Campbell

Establishing a 27-point lead at the first change which stretched to 42 at the main change and to a game high 71 early in the final term, SANFL’s efficiency with the ball was superb as it also forced WAFL into overusing it.

With a commanding inside 50 count of 60 to 46, Rawlings’ charges were well led in defence again by McLennan (25 disposals, eight marks) who has achieved the rare feat of winning two Fos Williams Medals in the space of a month.

Fellow Fos Williams Medallist James Rowe also had a significant impact with 19 disposals, seven marks and three goals while Harrison Wigg used the ball nicely with his 27 touches and a goal.

KIA State Game debutantes Luke Beecken (24 disposals), Cootee (19 disposals, one goal), Grace (four goals) and Riley Holder (13 disposals, one goal) also had plenty of memorable moments in the win.

Riley Holder fires out a handball for the West End State team. Picture – Tom Campbell


SANFL  6.2  10.7  14.11  16.13 (109)

WAFL  1.5  3.7  3.12  5.16 (46)

BEST – SANFL: McLennan, Rowe, Wigg, Cootee, Beecken, Grace, Donnelly, Coomblas

GOALS – SANFL: Grace 4, Rowe 3, Reynolds, Wilkinson 2, Cootee, Doyle, Holder, Voss, Wigg.


SIMPSON MEDAL – Milan Murdock

UMPIRES – Mitchell Scott (SANFL) Lewis Jago (WAFL), Trent McPhee (WAFL)

At Optus Stadium, Perth

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