ROUND 5 of the 2019 WAFL season sees five fascinating matches including Perth attempting to remain unbeaten against Claremont while one of East Fremantle or West Perth should open their account and Swan Districts has the task to attempt to topple Subiaco.
Adding to the intrigue of the Round 5 action is that it's the last chance for the WAFL players to press their case for selection in next Sunday's State Game against the SANFL at Optus Stadium.
The WAFL will have a general bye next week to allow for the annual State Game fixture which will be played at Optus Stadium for the first time so players vying for selection to pull on the Black Swans jumper will be extra motivated this Saturday afternoon.
All five matches will take place on Saturday afternoon starting with the standalone fixture at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with South Fremantle hosting the West Coast Eagles.
There will then be three matches played in the traditional 2.15pm time slot. They will see the winless East Fremantle and West Perth meet at New Choice Homes Park with Perth also taking on Claremont at Mineral Resources Park, and Peel Thunder hosting East Perth at David Grays Arena.
The final game of the weekend will see Swan Districts take on Subiaco at Steel Blue Oval from 2.40pm with the game televised live on Channel 7.
The Round 5 WAFL action gets underway at Fremantle Community Bank Oval from 1.15pm with the Bulldogs and Eagles locking horns for the first ever time.
South Fremantle comes into the game having started the season impressively winning three of their opening four games despite losing a host of experience and quality over summer.
The Bulldogs' lone loss was a tight one at the expense of the undefeated Perth as well so coach Todd Curley deserves to be happy with the way his group is travelling.
The Eagles have also had a solid start to their life as a WAFL club winning two of their four matches including handing Claremont their first loss of the season last week at Claremont Oval.
It shapes as a tremendous contest with South Fremantle making the two changes from the team that thrashed East Fremantle by 91 points. Nick Suban returns with Kyle Russell to play his first game of the season.
Regan Spooner goes out having ruptured his ACL with Josh Collard also unable to hold his place in the team.
The Eagles will make four changes from their side that beat the Tigers with Nick Reid, Joel Ashman, Mitch Curnow and Daniel Acres the inclusions while Kurt Mutimer, Brady Grey, Nathan Vardy and Francis Watson go out.
East Fremantle and West Perth then do battle in a game where one of the winless teams so far in 2019 will taste victory.
It has been a tough start for new Sharks coach Bill Monaghan at East Fremantle and now he comes up against West Perth for the first time. Monaghan is the longest-serving and winningest coach in the history of West Perth on top of taking the Falcons to the 2013 premiership and three Grand Finals.
He will now look to coach East Fremantle to its first win of the season against his old club on Saturday with both teams having started 2019 with 0-4 records.
West Perth comes into the game having won its past five games against East Fremantle, with the Sharks last win over the Falcons coming in Round 4, 2016.
From the East Fremantle team that lost to South Fremantle by 91 points last Saturday, East Fremantle has made five changes with Nick Kommer coming in for his first game of the season along with Matthew Burton, Nick Bonomelli, Cameron Loersch and Dillon O'Reilly.
Jayden Schofield, Alex Bray, Jack Perham, Andrew Stokes and Alex Montauban all go out for the Sharks.
As for West Perth, the Falcons lost to Swan Districts by 44 points last Saturday at HBF Arena. From that team, there are four changes with the inclusions of Tom Medhat, Aidan Lynch, Ben Delaporte and Dylan Yem.
Troy Yukich, Conal Lynch, Noah Pegoraro and Connor West go out for the Falcons.
Peel will also host East Perth in Mandurah on Saturday afternoon with both teams attempting to keep in early touch of a top five position.
The Thunder have started the season winning two of four games while the Royals have opened up winning one of four on return to being a standalone club.
Peel went down to Subiaco by 62 points last week and from that side, Griffin Logue, Bailey Banfield, Keegan Power, Lloyd Meek and Corey Morris are into the Thunder team.
Brett Bewley, Luke Valente, Brennan Cox, Sean Darcy and Matt Bogensperger go out for the Thunder.
East Perth went down to Perth back on ANZAC Day by 37 points and from that side, the Royals have made three changes with Sharrod Wellingham, Asher Samelko and Matthew Young coming in.
Callum Hart, Aaron Redhead and Jayden Magro go out.
The game of the round looks set to take place at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park with the undefeated Perth hosting a Claremont team that has lost just the once so far in 2019.
Perth has become the story of 2019 so far winning its opening four matches against West Coast, South Fremantle, Swan Districts and East Perth with the Demons chasing a first finals berth since 1997.
Claremont has started well too winning its first three games against East Fremantle, West Perth and East Perth before a last gasp loss to the Eagles last Saturday on the back of their semi-final finish in 2018.
That sets the stage for a tremendous contest on Saturday with the Demons aiming to remain unbeaten while the Tigers attempt to leave both on 4-1 records heading into the State Game.
Perth beat East Perth by 37 points on ANZAC Day and from that side the Demons have no reason to make any changes and will go with the same 22 against the Tigers.
Claremont lost to West Coast by two points with Tom Ledger and Anthony Treacy the inclusions against Perth this Saturday while Bailey Bennett and Alec Waterman go out.
The last game of the round takes place at Steel Blue Oval with Swan Districts hosting Subiaco.
Swans got their first win of the season last Saturday beating West Perth by 44 points at HBF Arena but Subiaco is quite the ominous opponent having won 24 straight matches and last losing in the 2017 Grand Final.
Subiaco has again started 2019 in imposing form winning its four matches by an average of 50.3 points with the Lions having also won their last eight matches against Swan Districts.
Those eight wins have come at an average of 58.8 points with the last win for the Black Ducks over the Lions being a one-point stunning upset also at Steel Blue Oval in Round 20, 2015.
But Swans at least bring winning form into Saturday's clash and from the side that beat West Perth, the Black Ducks will make just the one change with Mitch Howlett to make his club debut while David Ellard is out of the side.
Subiaco thrashed Peel by 62 points last Saturday and from that team, Mckenzie Lawrence, Joel Latham, Rowen Powell and Jack Mayo come in.
Jacob Miller, Ryan Borchet, Tom Edwards-Baldwin and Braden Fimmano go out for the Lions.
OPTUS WAFL ROUND 5
SOUTH FREMANTLE (3-1, 4th) v WEST COAST EAGLES (2-2, 5th) – FREMANTLE COMMUNITY BANK OVAL, SATURDAY 1.15PM
Live scores, stats
Broadcast – Livestream
EAST FREMANTLE (0-4, 10th) v WEST PERTH (0-4, 9th) – NEW CHOICE HOMES PARK, SATURDAY 2.15PM
Live scores, stats
Broadcast – KIX Digital
PEEL THUNDER (2-2, 6th) v EAST PERTH (1-3, 8th) – DAVID GRAYS ARENA, SATURDAY 2.15PM
Live scores, stats
PERTH (4-0, 2nd) v CLAREMONT (3-1, 3rd) – MINERAL RESOURCES PARK, SATURDAY 2.15PM
Live scores, stats
Broadcast – 91.3 SportFM
SWAN DISTRICTS (1-3, 7th) v SUBIACO (4-0, 1st) – STEEL BLUE OVAL, SATURDAY 2.40PM
Live scores, stats
Broadcast – Channel 7