From wrestling rams at his farm during the week to an arm wrestle with hulking Peel forward Josh Treacy on Sunday, makeshift defender Timm House had quite the week.
The usual key forward, who had kicked 21 goals in 16 games this season, was swung into defence by Tigers coach Ash Prescott in what proved to be a game-defining move.
The former Geelong rookie kept Dockers-listed tall Treacy to four disposals and a goal in the 59-point win to help book his team’s preliminary-final spot against East Fremantle at New Choice Homes Park this Sunday.
With Steven Miller out with a knee injury and tall forward Max Minear recalled after a four-goal haul in the reserves the week before, Prescott was forced to think outside of the box, but reckons the experienced and powerful House always had it in him.
“To be honest it’s been something I’ve had in my mind all year,” Prescott said.
“We’ve got a batch of developing young talls at the footy club but what Timm brings, not only as a forward but down back as well, is just that game experience and strength.
“All day, every day of the week he’s wrestling big rams at his Barloo Station in Gnowangerup and he had a big ram to wrestle in Josh Treacy.
“We just felt that potentially he could fill a gap and that allowed us to play Max Minear, who’s showing some really promising form this year.”
Prescott said while House deserved praise for his job well done, it was a team effort with the ball spending a lot of time in Claremont’s forward half.
Focal point Alex Manuel (five goals) and smalls Tyron Smallwood and Max Spyvee (three apiece) were the beneficiaries in attack.
“I felt like it was an 18-man system that probably helped out defenders a little bit more, so that’s about the mids doing their role and the forwards putting on lots of pressure,” he said.
Prescott loved the work of ruckman Ollie Eastland against AFL-listed big man Lloyd Meek as well as the defensive efforts of midfielders Ben Elliott, Jared Hardisty and Oliver Sheldrick.
“Meek is a man mountain but I think in the end Ollie ended up going a little bit better than him with this efforts which was pleasing,” he said.
Prescott said it was a unique situation facing the Tigers this weekend, coming up against the Sharks for a third time in six weeks.
East Fremantle won both previous encounters by 45 and 48 points respectively.
The winner of Sunday’s clash takes on minor premiers West Perth in the grand final at Leederville Oval on October 1.
“We’re about minus 90 points against them the last two outings,” Prescott said.
“They’re a different beast to Peel but I think if we can bring our brand, it will always give us an opportunity to compete.
“They’re an unbelievable team but if we bring our brand and we are predictable and hard and honest with each other, we’re more than capable of potentially getting over the line.”