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Round 2 Optus WAFL PreviewFriday, April 9, 2021 - 2:33 PM - by Chris Pike

IT'S Round 2 of the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season and what a line-up of five matches we have on Saturday highlighted by the Grand Final rematch between Claremont and South Fremantle.

It was a fascinating and exciting opening round of the season last weekend across Easter and now we have all five matches taking place on Saturday in Round 2 and there's plenty to look forward to.

Four of the five matches are all in the traditional 2.10pm Saturday afternoon time slot including the rematch from last year's remarkable Grand Final that was won by three points by South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

This clash on Saturday will be at Claremont's Revo Fitness Stadium with Claremont hosting South Fremantle with both teams coming off strong Round 1 victories.

East Fremantle and Subiaco were two more teams who were victorious in Round 1 action. They were the winners of the Good Friday games and now this Saturday the Sharks host the Lions at New Choice Homes Park.

Meanwhile, East Perth and Peel Thunder were the two teams to lose back on Good Friday and now on Saturday it's the Royals hosting the Thunder at Leederville Oval.

The last of the afternoon fixtures pits West Perth up against the West Coast Eagles at Splendid Park in Yanchep. The Falcons lost to South Fremantle last Saturday while the Eagles came up short against Perth.

The last game of the round then bounces down from 5.10pm at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park with Perth taking on Swan Districts. The Demons won first up against the Eagles while Swans went down last Saturday at home to Claremont.



All the action in Round 2 of the WAFL season takes place on Saturday afternoon and it includes the two winning teams from Good Friday, East Fremantle and Subiaco locking horns.

East Fremantle made a strong start to the 2021 season with a win on the road in Mandurah beating Peel Thunder by 32 points. 

Josh Schoenfeld was brilliant to earn WAFL Player of the Week honours but the Sharks had plenty of other strong contributors too and now they look to build on that momentum against Subiaco.

It's a new era at Subiaco after missing out on the finals in 2020 having previously played in six consecutive Grand Finals for four premierships and now this is the beginning of life without Kyal Horsley as well.

But the Lions made a winning start to the new season beating East Perth by 28 points which they now will look to take momentum from into the clash with the Sharks away from home on Saturday.

It has been quite a period of dominance for sometime now that Subiaco has held over East Fremantle that the Sharks need to try to start turning around.

The Lions have won eight games in-a-row against the Sharks and 12 overall of the past 13 meetings. Dating back further, and Subiaco has won 39 of the past 45 clashes between the two teams.

Even on their home turf, East Fremantle hasn’t beaten Subiaco since Round 18, 2013 and has lost the last five at the ground to the Lions.

From the East Fremantle team that beat Peel on Good Friday, they have made two changes with Cameron Davidson and Jordan Snadden coming in to replace injured pair Corey Chalmers and Durak Tucker.

There are three changes at Subiaco with Bailey Matera, Hayden Kennedy and Koby Fullgrabe coming in for Jakob Atkinson, Koby Fullgrabe and Kyle Stainsby. 

East Perth and Peel Thunder were both competitive on Good Friday to open their WAFL seasons, but ultimately a loss is a loss and they'll both come out determined to get their first win on the board on Saturday.

They do battle at Leederville Oval on Saturday afternoon with East Perth coming off a 28-point loss at the hands of Subiaco while Peel went down to East Fremantle at home by 32 points.

Neither team took part in the finals action in 2020 so a 0-2 start would be hardly ideal for the loser of Saturday's game as they attempt to rise up the ladder again in 2021 to be genuine finals contenders.

From the East Perth team that lost to Subiaco, Harley Sparks and Stan Wright come into the team to face Peel Thunder while Thomas Edwards-Baldwin and Nick Robertson go out. Robertson is a significant loss having earned WAFL Team of the Week honours in Round 1.

There are four changes at the Thunder too with Bailey Banfield, Mitch Crowden, Liam Henry and Griffin Logue coming in at the expense of Sam Sturt, Taylin Duman, Connor Blakely and Jarrad McIlvinney.

Next up is a Grand Final rematch between Claremont and South Fremantle, and based on their battles during 2020 it should be a beauty.

Both Grand Finalists from last year made winning starts to their 2021 seasons as well with the Bulldogs beating West Perth by 21 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval while the Tigers defeated Swan Districts by 24 points.

They had some cracking battles throughout 2020 as well leading up to that Grand Final and even dating back to 2019.

Going back to 2019 and South Fremantle and Claremont took on one another in both the qualifying and preliminary finals with the Bulldogs winning both those games on the way to reaching the Grand Final where they went on to be hammered by Subiaco.

Their first meeting last year took place in Round 3 and actually their last six games have all been played at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. That first game last year saw the Bulldogs win by eight points but the Tigers turned it around in the second semi-final.

Claremont won that game by 47 points to earn the week off and advance to the Grand Final which would turn out to also be against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. The Grand Final was a cracking contest and in the end the Bulldogs prevailed by three points.

So South Fremantle has won five of the last seven matches against Claremont but the last time the two teams met at Revo Fitness Stadium was way back in Round 13, 2019 with Claremont winning a spiteful encounter by 16 points over the Bulldogs.

South Fremantle then began its premiership defence in style with a hard fought 21-point win at home over West Perth last Saturday but now taking on Claremont away from home is going to be a different challenge for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have made three changes from that team that beat the Falcons to the one that they will take with them to Claremont on Saturday. 

Travis Abbott, Steven Edwards and Blayne Wilson all are called into the side at the expense of Kye Barker, Cam McCarthy and George Wessels.

Claremont also made an impressive start to their 2021 season with a 24-point victory against a supremely accurate Swan Districts team last Saturday at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.

The Tigers have made just the one change to that team with Jason Carter coming into the line-up at the expense of Max Spyvee.

West Perth will then be playing a home game for the first time at Yanchep to take on the West Coast Eagles on Saturday afternoon.

The Falcons put in a competitive showing back in Round 1 on the road before losing to reigning premiers South Fremantle by 21 points while the Eagles also put in an encouraging performance before losing to Perth by 13 points.

That leaves both teams coming into Saturday's game desperate for their first wins of the season with West Perth making four changes with Mitch Antonio, Mark Hamilton, Steve Potente and Liam Tedesco all coming into the side.

Nathan Alexandre, Tristan Hobley, Tom Medhat and Kris Shannon are the players to go out for West Perth.

There are plenty of changes at the Eagles too with Jak Cary, Joey Deegan, Lachlan Feeney, Zac Langdon, Harry Sinclair and Bailey Williams all coming into the team.

Chaz Flint, Kieran Hug, Xavier O'Neill, Nathan Vardy, Jake Waterman, Isiah Winder and Alex Witherden are the players to go out from the West Coast team that lost to Perth last Saturday.

The final game of the round then takes place on Saturday evening at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park with Perth taking on Swan Districts with the bounce down set for 5.10pm.

Perth broke through for a first finals appearance since 1997 last year in stunning fashion and now on the back of that, the Demons have started the new season in winning form beating the West Coast Eagles last Saturday by 13 points at home.

Swan Districts are looking to be the big improvers in the WAFL competition in 2021 and while there were some good signs last Saturday at home to Claremont, ultimately it was a first up defeat to the tune of 24 points.

So for Swans to avoid having to play catch up from the start of the 2021 season, they need to avoid slipping to 0-2 on Saturday night when they take on Perth at Lathlain.

While it was an impressive start to the season for Perth last Saturday beating West Coast, they have lost two important players Josh Smith and Fraser McInnes to injury. The Demons have called up Jordon Reid and Jack Richardson.

Swan Districts put in a strong showing at home to Claremont last week despite the eventual loss. The accuracy in front of goal was a particularly impressive trait as they kicked 18.1 to give themselves a chance.

Reigning Sandover Medallist Sam Fisher, Josh Cipro, Jesse Turner, Frank Anderson, Nelson Waite, Tarir Bayok, Matt Riggio and ruckman Corey Gault were all impressive ball winners too while Thomas Edwards kicked four goals and Jesse Palmer three.

So there was a lot to like about the performance from the black-and-whites, but now they will want a win to show for their effort and to avoid an 0-2 start.

From that team that went down to Claremont a week ago, Jiah Reidy and Lachlan Riley come into the Swan Districts final 22 while William Collins and Devin Costigan go out.


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