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Round 17 Preview – East Fremantle v Swan DistrictsFriday, July 27, 2018 - 3:14 PM - by Chris Pike

EAST Fremantle and Swan Districts do battle at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday both on six-match losing runs and desperate to return to the WAFL winners' list despite each losing plenty of experience and quality coming into the contest.

Swan Districts and East Fremantle both enter Saturday's game in the bottom two positions on the WAFL ladder with Swans going into it having lost six in-a-row and while the Sharks have lost six straight too, they have actually been in improved form in recent weeks.

While winning enough games to now avoid the wooden spoon appears a stretch too far for East Fremantle, a win on Saturday would do the morale and confidence for everyone involved at the Sharks the world of good after three more encouraging performances.

But for Swan Districts, it's a game they simply can't lose if they want to remain any hope of taking part in finals action for a second straight season in 2018.

Swan Districts were sitting pretty inside the top five with a 5-3 record and they actually remained in fourth spot up until losing to East Perth a couple of weeks ago by 61 points at Steel Blue Oval.

Things only got worse last Saturday with a 90-point loss at the hands of West Perth at Joondalup Arena sees Swans slip to a 5-9 record in eighth position on the ladder.

So with both teams on six-game losing runs entering Saturday's clash at East Fremantle Oval, the team that can open up for the first break in the game might be tough to run down with the confidence they gain from showing some impressive form.

East Fremantle might have lost its last six matches and 12 of 14 overall this season to be guaranteed of the wooden spoon in 2018, but the past three games for the Sharks have been vastly improved.

Things were looking dire with 73, 104 and 64-point losses to South Fremantle, Subiaco and Perth, but have improved since with competitive showings to lose only by 20 points to Claremont, 30 points to West Perth and then last week 41 points to the Demons.

They have still been losses, but the signs have been better for the Sharks and they will be hoping to turn that into their third win of the season at home to the struggling Swans on Saturday.

It looked like it would be difficult for Swan Districts to miss the finals in 2018 at the halfway mark of the season, but suddenly a loss on Saturday and it looks decidedly unlikely they make it.

Swans have lost the past six matches to Claremont, Subiaco, Peel Thunder, Perth, East Perth and West Perth by an average of 49.2 points.

East Fremantle also loses plenty of quality and experience following last week's 41-point loss at the hands of Perth.

Captain Jonathon Griffin along with key, experienced former AFL players Jarrad Jansen and Nick Kommer go out of the team for the Sharks along with James Harrold and Russell Wynne.

Michael Cronan, Dylan Curley, Cameron Davidson, Ben Harding, Zachary Jackson, Jamie Meade, Corey Robinson and Nick Watson are the players all vying to earn selection at East Fremantle.

Swan Districts could blood a couple more debutants in Saturday's must-win clash with Jarred Cameron and Mitchell Bain a chance of joining fellow debutants from the past couple of weeks Graydon Wilson, Tristen Raynor and Patrick Italiano in the line-up.

Brandon Erceg, Albert Dean, Jack O'Sullivan, Kirk Ugle and Ethan Maguire are other players in the mix at the selection table for Swans.

Swan Districts' job of returning to the winners' list won't be helped with the experience going out of the team in the form of the suspended Matt Riggio along with Matthew Rogers. They have played 418 matches in the WAFL between them with Josh Cipro also out of the black-and-whites team.

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