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Round 14 WAFL PreviewFriday, July 22, 2022 - 10:08 AM - by Chris Pike

ALL eyes will be on the WACA Ground on Saturday afternoon for what could be the biggest Fremantle Derby in years but the other four matches in Round 14 of the WAFL have plenty riding on the results as well.

The battle for finals positions continues to heat up in the 2022 WAFL season and that goes up another level in Saturday's Round 14 action which will see all five matches have an impact on what's happening inside the top five.

Not only do top three teams East Fremantle and South Fremantle locks horns, but West Perth is trying to regain top spot, Swan Districts and East Perth battle over fifth spot potentially, Peel Thunder is trying to break into the five and Claremont is looking to consolidate their position.

All five Round 14 matches take place on Saturday and it includes a double-header at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park.

It begins with Perth playing host to Peel Thunder with the Demons attempting to snap an eight-game losing run while the Thunder are looking to make it consecutive wins and to keep right in the finals hunt.

The second half of the double-header at Mineral Resources Park will then see the West Coast Eagles take on West Perth. The Eagles come into the game in bottom spot and the Falcons are second, but there's every chance it will be a more competitive match than that suggests.

Also on Saturday afternoon, the battle of the western suburbs will see Subiaco play host to Claremont at Leederville Oval. 

The Lions have fallen further from finals contention by losing their last three matches while the Tigers bounced back impressively with a win last week against West Perth to consolidate their spot in the top five.

It's another massive contest for both teams at Steel Blue Oval with Swan Districts at home to East Perth. Swans come into the game clinging to fifth position at 7-5 while East Perth is just behind at 6-6 so whoever wins on Saturday will be above the other on the ladder after Round 14.

That all leads into the main event of Round 14 that takes place at the WACA Ground in what shapes as the most significant Fremantle Derby in a long time with East Fremantle taking on South Fremantle.

The Sharks returned to the top of the WAFL ladder last week while the Bulldogs are only a game behind in third position.

South Fremantle has also won the last 13 straight against East Fremantle to add to the occasion with Bulldogs premiership player and fairest and best winner Zac Strom to also celebrate his 150th game to earn life membership as an added layer to the cake.





Subiaco no longer has any room for error to keep their premiership defence alive and the Lions need to start a winning streak on Saturday but it will be far from easy against Claremont.

The Lions and Tigers do battle at Leederville Oval on Saturday afternoon with Subiaco all but out of finals contention while Claremont is looking to further consolidate their hold on a finals position.

Subiaco has now lost its past three matches to Swan Districts, East Fremantle and Peel Thunder to leave their premiership defence all but in tatters with a 4-8 record. But if they can go on a winning streak then you never know what's possible. It would have to start on Saturday though.

Claremont arrives at Leederville Oval after an impressive bounce back performance last week to beat West Perth following disappointing losses to East Perth and South Fremantle.

That improved the Tigers to an 8-4 record on the season to sit in fourth position coming into Round 14.

This will be the second time the teams have met this year after Claremont managed to beat Subiaco by 15 points at home back in Round 2.

On that day, Claremont recovered from conceding four goals to one in the opening quarter with a six-goal to three second term on the way to the 13.11 (89) to 11.8 (74) victory despite the absence of a host key players through COVID.

Timm House kicked four goals and Ben Elliott three to go with 32 possessions while Ryan Lim racked up 37 disposals and Ben Edwards 33.

Ben Sokol kicked three goals for Subiaco with Leigh Kitchin gathering 26 touches, Stefan Giro 26 and Lachlan Delahunty 23.

That ended a recent run where the Lions had the measure over the Tigers having won 12 of the last 13 matches including both meetings of 2021 on their way to the premiership while Claremont fell short in the preliminary final.

Coming into Saturday's game, Subiaco has still won 12 of the last 14 matches between the two teams including five of the past six against the Tigers at Leederville Oval.

From the Subiaco team that lost to Peel last Saturday, there is just the one change with Isaac Clinch coming into the team at the expense of Connor Faraone. That means the Lions are without Lachlan Delahunty for a third consecutive match.

Claremont delivered a tremendous performance last week especially for three quarters against West Perth and as a result the Tigers have made just the one change coming into Saturday's match up with Subiaco.

Tyron Smallwood comes straight back into the team for Claremont after missing last week while Max Spyvee goes out.


Peel Thunder is looking to strengthen its push for a WAFL finals spot in 2022 but the injury ravaged Perth will be looking to spoil those claims on Saturday at Mineral Resources Park.

The Demons continue to be hit by a horrible run of injuries in 2022 but they will still be keen to put in a strong showing on home turf on Saturday afternoon against the Thunder.

Perth comes into Saturday's game on the back of losing eight straight matches including going down to East Perth last week by 38 points to be stuck in second last spot on the WAFL ladder with a 2-10 record.

Peel, meanwhile, returned to the winner's list last Saturday beating Subiaco by 26 points in Mandurah which improved them to a 6-6 record to now just be a game outside of a top five position coming into Round 14.

It was a one-point thriller between the teams when they met earlier in the season back in Round 4 at Lane Group Stadium in Mandurah. 

It was Perth who were victorious in what remains their last win of the season with Sam Stubbs starring with four goals and 22 possessions. Kristian Cary also kicked three goals and Austin Davis gathered 27 touches and Brayden Ainsworth 24.

Sam Sturt kicked three goals for the Thunder and Mitch Crowden gathered 27 possessions, Bodie Kitchingman 24 and Connor Blakely 23.

Prior to that, Peel won both meetings between the sides in 2021 by 15 points in Round 6 and then 43 points in Round 21. Going back further, the Thunder had won four of the previous five matches with the Demons, and 13 of the past 16.

There are mass changes at Perth following last Saturday's loss to East Perth where the Demons' injury toll continued to mount.

As a result coming into this Saturday's clash with Peel, Jordan Busher, Liam Dellamarta, Zac Hill, Regan Hill, Daniel Hill, Christian Martin, Chris Mayne and Damian Sinclair all come into the team.

Going out for the Demons are Ajang Ajang, Mitch Browne, Kristian Cary, Jacob Coniglio, Clayton Giblett, Brodie Gray, Kasey Nicholas and Connor Sing.

It's not unusual for Peel to have plenty of changes and this week is no different following last week's victory against Subiaco.

Coming in this week for the Thunder for the clash with the Demons are Blair Bell, Eric Benning, Neil Erasmus, Ethan Hughes, Ben Middleton and Karl Worner.

Going out from the side that defeated the Lions is Ryan Bennell, Connor Blakely, Brodie Carroll, Liam Henry, Sebit Kuek and Luke Polson.


The most meaningful Fremantle Derby in years will take place this Saturday at the WACA Ground with the league-leading East Fremantle hosting the third placed South Fremantle.

The Bulldogs have dominated recent derbies having won 13 in-a-row against the Sharks but this Saturday's game has a different feeling about with both teams fighting to secure a top two position.

East Fremantle has now won three matches straight including beating West Coast by 62 points last Saturday which improved the Sharks to a 9-3 record on the season to now be back in top spot.

South Fremantle, meanwhile, has strung together two strong victories the last two weeks against Claremont and Swan Districts which sees the Bulldogs now sit in third position to only be a game behind the Sharks at 8-4.

It's been a remarkable derby dominance in recent years by South Fremantle who have now won 13 in-a-row against East Fremantle, including a two-point thriller at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on WA Day this year.

That 13-game winning streak now means that the Sharks have still not beaten the Bulldogs since the WA Day Derby way back in 2016.

Saturday's game will be the first time that the Bulldogs have played at the WACA Ground since Round 5, 1994 when they lost to Claremont by 60 points. Their last win at the venue was Round 3, 1994 against Perth.

It will be the third time only in history that a Fremantle Derby will be held at the WACA Ground and the first in 115 years. The only two previous derbies at the ground were the Grand Finals of 1916 and 1917 – both won by South Fremantle.

It's a game of great significance for both clubs too with South Fremantle in third position on the WAFL ladder with an 8-4 record on the back of the last two wins against fellow top five sides Claremont and Swan Districts.

East Fremantle returned to top spot on the ladder too last week with a 9-3 record on the back of their own three-game winning run against Peel Thunder, Subiaco and West Coast.

It's unlikely South Fremantle would be able to make up the percentage gap on Saturday but if the Bulldogs make it 14 straight derby wins they would join East Fremantle on nine wins for the season.

Meanwhile, if East Fremantle can win their first derby since Round 12, 2016 then the Sharks will remain on top of the ladder and be two games clear of the Bulldogs.

Not that South Fremantle needs any added motivation, but it will also be a significant milestone for Zac Strom who reaches 150 games to earn life membership. It's a career that has already seen him win a premiership, claim a WJ Hughes Medal and play for the WAFL State Team.

East Fremantle has made three changes from the team that beat West Coast last week with former Claremont and East Perth big man Eddie Simpson coming in to make his debut for the Sharks.

Key midfielders Kyle Baskerville and Milan Murdock also return for East Fremantle with Matthew Burton and Cody Smith making way for them with ruckman Jeremy Goddard out suspended.

For the first time this season South Fremantle will go in with an unchanged side from the team that beat Swan Districts at home last week.

That means that premiership players Mason Shaw and Ben Rioli will need to wait at least another week for their recalls while Jake Florenca and Jordan Boullineau remain sidelined.


Swan Districts and East Perth do battle on Saturday at Steel Blue Oval in what very well could be a season defining match up for both teams.

Swans are at home to the Royals with fifth spot potentially going on the line when they clash at Bassendean in Round 14 at the 2022 WAFL season.

Setting the stage for Saturday's match up, Swan Districts currently sits in fifth position on the WAFL ladder with a 7-5 record while East Perth is seventh at 6-6.

The Royals do hold a superior percentage to that of the Swans too so quite simply, the winner of Saturday's clash at Bassendean will sit above the other on the WAFL ladder, and for the black-and-whites that will mean they further consolidate their hold on a top five position.

Swan Districts might be coming off a loss, but there was a lot to like in last week's performance despite the eventual one-point defeat against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Despite the absence of Matthew Germs, Jesse Palmer, Mitch Bain and Will Collins, Swans did a lot right and led most of the way before conceding the last two goals of the game to suffer the one-point defeat.

Meanwhile, East Perth do pose a significant challenge for Swan Districts with the Royals having now won their past three matches to have kept their finals hopes alive with the recent wins against Claremont, West Coast and Perth.

East Perth won the meeting between the two teams earlier this season by just four points at Leederville Oval in the opening round in a nail-biter.

In that contest, Eddie Simpson, Sebit Kuek and Tom Medhat all kicked two goals for East Perth, but only Medhat remains with the Royals. Hamish Brayshaw racked up 30 touches, Harley Sparks 26 and Angus Scott 25.

Meanwhile for Swan Districts, Brayden Noble had a day out kicking five goals in that match up while Ryan Kemp marked his WAFL debut with three. Jesse Turner also collected 28 disposals, Jarvis Pina 27, Tony Notte 23, Sam Fisher 20 and Tobe Watson 20.

Prior to that, Swans beat the Royals in both their meetings in 2021 on their way to a finals return but before that it was East Perth who had won four in-a-row against Swan Districts. So in the past seven meetings, it's the Royals who have won five of them between the two teams.

Swan Districts does get a couple of important players back to take on East Perth with Jackson Beck and Will Collins returning but Matthew Germs and Jesse Palmer remain sidelined.

Going out of the team that lost to South Fremantle by a point last week are Brenton Hilton and Greg Ottaviano.

There's little reason for change at East Perth with the Royals having won three in-a-row to keep their season alive. Captain Jackson Ramsay returns for the crucial clash with Swan Districts on Saturday with Elijah Taylor going out.


West Perth will be potentially hoping for a win to move back to top spot in the WAFL on Saturday but the West Coast Eagles will be throwing everything into a second win of the season at the same time.

The Eagles take on the Falcons in the second half of the double-header at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park on Saturday with the game beginning at 5pm.

Last time West Coast played a night fixture on their home ground they won for the only time this season against South Fremantle so they will be looking to repeat the dose on Saturday evening against West Perth.

The Falcons, meanwhile, will be out to bounce back from last week's loss to Claremont with a win to potentially return them to top spot depending on percentage and what happens in the Fremantle Derby.

This will be the second time the teams have met so far this year after West Perth won by 81 points back in Round 5 at Joondalup.

On that day, Tyler Keitel kicked five goals for West Perth and Keegan Knot three with Shane Nelson racking up 34 touches, Trent Manzone 30, Aaron Black 29, Aidan Lynch 25 and Conal Lynch 24.

Josh Burke kicked two goals for the Eagles with Josh Browne amassing 36 touches, Harry Creasey 32 and Ambrose Ryan 28.

West Perth has won four of the six meetings with West Coast so far in the WAFL dating back to 2019, but it was the Eagles who won the most meaningful of their clashes in the elimination final of 2019.

The Falcons have now won the last three clashes with both wins last year and then the victory in Round 5 of this season.

West Coast is chasing its second win of the season and has made five changes from the side that lost to East Fremantle last week.

Josh Browne, Harry Creasey, Jed Kemp, John Levien and Jackson Nelson come into the Eagles line-up.

Going out of the side are Greg Clark, Joey Deegan, Calen Penny, Josh Rotham and Zane Trew.

Key defender Noah Pegoraro is a significant inclusion from West Perth after he missed last week's loss to Claremont with Joe Hinder also into the team.

Going out for the Falcons are Trent Manzone and Nathan Murray.