Brilliant Ben wins Simpson Medal

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Mt Barker forward Ben Saunders has produced another brilliant State performance, booting six goals in a best afield display for WA in their breakthrough victory against Victoria at North Port Oval on Saturday afternoon.

In his third State game for WA, the Kendenup-bred goal sneak was at his very best, finishing with 6.7 from 13 kicks to help his side to a convincing 63-point victory, and in the process was awarded the Simpson Medal as WA’s best player.

In 2014, Saunders booted five goals in his State debut against the NEAFL and last year the mercurial forward bagged six majors in the romp over Tasmania but his efforts on Saturday outweighed those two performances.

Ben Saunders accepts his Simpson Medal.
Camera IconBen Saunders accepts his Simpson Medal.

The South Fremantle full-forward was everywhere, hauling in strong contested marks and kicking truly, including a three goal burst in the second quarter.

He finished with 16 disposals and nine marks which all came inside 50 as WA trounced their rivals 20.14 (134) to 10.11 (71) to record their first win over Victoria in Melbourne since 1904.

Saunders was glad he contributed well in a sandgropers victory.

“I’m glad we beat the big V — that was the goal and I just tried to do what I could,” Saunders said.

“Our structure and the small ground worked out well for me.

“We moved the ball direct and long and I was isolated early.

“Once I kicked a couple in the second, I sort of got on a roll.”

The 25-year-old said he was humbled to win the Simpson Medal.

“I’m pretty stoked to win it,” he said.

“I generally play pretty well in these games but I’d say this would be the real high point in my career.

“It’s something I’ll look back and reflect on a bit later.”

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