Round 9 Optus WAFL PreviewThursday, June 3, 2021 - 11:27 AM - by Charlie McCormack
An exiting round 9 of WAFL action is set for the long weekend, with marquee time slots, local derbies and important games in store as the midpoint of the season approaches
Perth and Subiaco open the round in a rare Thursday night clash under the lights at Mineral Resources Park in what will be a big test for the home side.
Despite their injury troubles, the Demons will go in with plenty of confidence, having beaten South Fremantle and West Perth in their past two clashes to jump into the top five. The likes of Corey Byrne, Kristian Cary and Regan Clarke have all flourished with the added responsibility given to them through the absence of senior players and will be looked to once again to have big games on Thursday night.
Subiaco are no strangers to big games having been the preeminent club in the competition in recent times and enter Thursday night’s clash on top of the ladder. The Lions have a formidable midfield group led by skipper Leigh Kitchin and Greg Clark, and will give the youthful Perth side one of its sternest challenges for the season.
Saturday action kicks off with Claremont hosting West Coast at Revo Fitness Stadium in what would appear to be a one sided match on paper. The Tigers have been one of competition’s most consistent sides this season, with their blend of youth and experience helping them to a 6-1 record to sit only behind Subiaco on the ladder by percentage.
On the other hand, the Eagles have had a difficult campaign to date and face a daunting trip to Claremont to face one of the league’s most credentialed sides. Coach Daniel Pratt will be looking for his AFL-listed players to stand up as his team continues to build more continuity playing together.
Later on Saturday afternoon, Swan Districts make the trip to David Grays Arena to take on Peel Thunder in what shapes as a crucial clash for both sides finals chances.
The Swans were impressive in disposing of East Fremantle last week, and will travel south with high hopes, but would be wary of the dangers posed by the Thunder.
Peel have shown themselves to be a potent side when up and going, having kicked over 150 points twice this year, and will enjoy returning home after their loss to Subiaco last week at Leederville Oval.
A win for the Thunder would see them draw level with Swan Districts to a 4-4 record, while the Swans will be looking to consolidate themselves in the top five as they search for their first finals appearance since 2017.
The WA Day public holiday on Monday sees two traditional derbies take place, with East Fremantle hosting South Fremantle at New Choice Holmes Park while East Perth will entertain West Perth at Leederville Oval.
The Sharks will be looking to put in a good performance for their members in their biggest home game for the season and beat their cross town rivals for the first time since 2016.
The Bulldogs may not have played their best football this season, but have managed a 5-2 record and will be looking to flex their muscles in the Fremantle derby. They will be missing star forward Matthew Parker after he was selected by Richmond in the AFL midseason draft on Wednesday night, but have plenty of attacking threats with the likes of Mason Shaw and Cody Ninyette still at their disposal.
East Perth have only managed one win for the season so far, but would take solace from a competitive performance against Claremont last week and will fancy their chances of upsetting a West Perth side who are yet to find their best form this season.
West Perth had their colours lowered by Perth last week and will be eager to return to the winners list against their arch rivals. The Falcons sit in 8th place with a 3-4 record but a win over the Royals would see them stay in touch with the top five as they look to make the finals for the seventh consecutive season.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON - ROUND 9
PERTH (4-3, 5th) V SUBIACO (4-1, 1st) - MINERAL RESOURCES PARK, THURSDAY 6.10PM
CLAREMONT (6-1, 2nd) V WEST COAST (0-7, 10th) - REVO FITNESS STADIUM, SATURDAY 12.10PM
PEEL THUNDER (3-4, 6th), v SWAN DISTRICTS (4-3, 4th) - DAVID GRAYS ARENA, SATURDAY, 2.10PM
EAST FREMANTLE (3-4, 7th) V SOUTH FREMANTLE (5-2, 3rd) - NEW CHOICE HOMES PARK, MONDAY 2.10PM
EAST PERTH (1-6, 9th) V WEST PERTH (3-4, 8th) - LEEDERVILLE OVAL, MONDAY, 2.10PM