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Round 10 Optus WAFL PreviewFriday, June 11, 2021 - 11:52 AM - by Chris Pike

Coming off a massive WA Day Round in the WAFL, there are just the two games in Round 10 this weekend but they are crucial ones for all the four teams involved.

With East Fremantle, Perth, Subiaco, Swan Districts, the West Coast Eagles and West Perth enjoying the bye in Round 10, the four competing teams with a game each on Saturday and Sunday afternoon respectively are putting plenty on the line.

The first game of Round 10 in the Optus WAFL Premiership Season takes place on Saturday afternoon at Claremont's Revo Fitness Stadium between Claremont and Peel Thunder.

Then on Sunday afternoon at Leederville Oval, two of the WA Day combatants lock horns with East Perth playing host to the reigning premiers South Fremantle.

Starting with Saturday's clash, Claremont can leap ahead of Subiaco into top spot with a win given the Lions have the bye while it's a crucial game for the Thunder if they hope to remain in touch with the top five.

Claremont had a hiccup against Subiaco back in Round 6 leading into the State Game, but the Tigers have been impressive in their wins since against East Fremantle, East Perth and the West Coast Eagles to steady themselves only percentage off top spot with a 7-1 record.

Peel, meanwhile, has played some impressive football at times this season and has been a more attacking side than even in their premiership years highlighted by scoring the club's two highest ever scores in wins against East Perth and West Coast.

However, the Thunder have now lost three straight games against Subiaco, Swan Districts and West Perth to slip to a 3-6 record and to be beginning to lose touch with the top four if they are unable to knock off the Tigers on the road on Saturday afternoon.

This will be the first time Claremont and Peel have met since Round 4 of last year and that was a fourth consecutive win for the Tigers over the Thunder by 23 points.

The last win for Peel against Claremont came back in Round 9, 2018 and at that stage that was the last in a run of five straight wins for the Thunder over the Tigers.

Claremont has added Anthony Davis, Max Minear, Rylie Morgan, Alex Pearce, Tyron Smallwood and Max Spyvee to their squad for the clash against Peel.

The Thunder have a mass list of additions with Bailey Banfield, Sandy Brock, Lachlan Cullen, James Ewing, Sam Gelavis, Roy George, Bodie Kitchingman, Jackson Knight, Luke Polson, Rob Schindler-Taylor, Jack Sears and James Sturrock coming into the squad.

Brett Bewley, Reece Conca, Stefan Giro, Ben Howlett, Lloyd Meek, Alex Pearce, Tyrone Thorne, Brandon Walker and Joel Western are those out at this stage for the Thunder.

The other game of Round 10 then takes place on Sunday afternoon with the Royals hosting the Bulldogs in the second meeting between the two teams in the past five weeks.

That last meeting took place back in Round 5 at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and East Perth put in an impressively fighting performance before falling short of South Fremantle by seven points.

The Bulldogs led most of the day on their home turf, but the Royals produced a spirited final quarter fight back to get back within under a goal before Jimmy Miller kicked the sealing goal for the Bulldogs after receiving a 50m penalty on the wing late in the contest.

So based on that clash five weeks ago, South Fremantle will be looking to produce a better performance and to play better while East Perth will take heart from it that they can take the challenge right up to the reigning premiers.

Since that game, South Fremantle lost next up to Perth but has bounced back since with wins against the West Coast Eagles and East Fremantle to sit steady in third position on the ladder with a 6-2 record.

East Perth, meanwhile, broke through in its next game for a first win of the season beating the Eagles by 57 points but the Royals have since lost to Claremont and West Perth to sit down in second last place with a 1-7 record.

South Fremantle has enjoyed a recent dominance against East Perth as well with the Bulldogs having won their past seven matches against the Royals.

The last win for East Perth against South Fremantle came back in Round 10, 2017 at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

The Bulldogs have also won their last four visits to Leederville Oval against the Royals with their last loss at the venue to East Perth back in Round 12, 2014.

From the East Perth team that lost to West Perth back on WA Day, Adam Boules, Shaquille McKenzie, Nick Merritt, Josh Underwood and Corey Watts have been added to their extended squad.

The East Perth have suffered a blow, though, with the loss of powerful forward Mitch Dobson.

From the South Fremantle team that won an 11th straight derby against East Fremantle, the Bulldogs have added Hamish Free, Trent Newton, Regan Spooner, Seaton Thompson and Matthew Ward into their squad to take on the Royals.

Kye Barker goes out for South Fremantle after suffering a concussion in the early stages of Monday's derby win.


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