Autumn can either be your favourite season, or your least favourite, depending on your perspective.

Surfers famously love the combo of warm waters with favourable winds grooming thumping swells. Hunter gatherers, by necessity, would revel in the abundant calorific rewards of nature's bounty. Lambs on the other hand, who usually make the acquaintance of the inside of an the abattoir some six to eight months after their birth, would probably look less favourably on the traditional season of their slaughter.

And so it went that the justifiably feted 2017 rookie class played the role of sacrificial lambs on a textbook autumnal day in Western Australia, when Connor o'Leary would be the exception that proved the rule at Margaret River main break, as the sole rookie not to be leaving Western Australia with an equal last.

While none of the new faces went quietly, Frederico Morais in particular stood out with surfing and scores that would be more than worthy to earn a stay of execution in most heats. Alas, Ace Buchan drew upon his predatory instincts to rustle up the right number. Leo Fioravanti too would make a strong case for clemency, yet Parko's marginally sharper blade would ultimately strike the fatal blow.

Ethan Ewing, perhaps the most prodigious of the flock couldn't avoid being part of the cull despite serving one of the most prime cuts of the day with an 8.6, and despite juiced-up conditions that suited their power based approaches, neither Zeke Lau or Joan Duru could avoid adding to the unmistakable aroma of fresh meat carried seaward on a keen, unforgiving wind.