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WAFL Grand Final Day PreviewSaturday, September 21, 2013 - 2:26 PM - by Chris Pike

EXCITEMENT continues to build ahead of the 2013 WAFL grand final this Sunday at Patersons Stadium between West Perth and East Perth with the Falcons in a premiership decider for the first time in 10 years and the Royals the first time in 11.

The first Perth derby grand final since 2002 will get underway at 2.15pm at Subiaco's Patersons Stadium with a big crowd expected.

Meanwhile, the colts grand final will begin the day at 8.30am when South Fremantle battles Claremont and in the reserves, South Fremantle is also there to take on West Perth.

Selected teams

West Perth and East Perth have both waited a long time for another WAFL grand final appearance and now it just happens to be up against one another with the Falcons and Royals entering the premiership decider with similar form lines.

The Falcons have not played in a grand final since winning the 2003 premiership and in fact had not won a final of any type in six attempts before winning the second semi-final over Claremont at Claremont Oval a fortnight ago by four points.

West Perth was in the second semi-final after finishing the home and away season with a 13-7 record to be in second position, and then the Falcons advanced straight to the grand final with the win over Claremont that could have been by so much more if they kicked straight.

East Perth, on the other hand, only guaranteed its place in the finals with a final round victory over Subiaco and ended up finishing in fourth spot before beating Swan Districts at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval in the first semi-final.

The Royals then turned on their best performance of the whole 2013 season in last Sunday's preliminary final beating Claremont by 63 points at Claremont Oval to set up a derby grand final for the first time since 2002.

That 2002 decider where East Perth beat West Perth by 60 points was the Royals' last appearance in a grand final.

Sunday will be the seventh Perth derby grand final in history with West Perth having won four and East Perth two.

The first came in 1922 when East Perth won by 16 points with West Perth getting revenge 10 years later in 1932 with a 43-point victory.

It took 28 years for the two teams to meet in the big day again and it was West Perth who prevailed by 32 points with the then Cardinals also winning by 73 points in 1969.

West Perth also won in 1971 by 32 points before East Perth got over the line by 60 points in 2002 to complete the Royals' premiership hat-trick.

The Falcons and Royals met three times this season with West Perth scoring a thumping 75-point win in Round 1 and also winning by 30 points at Arena Joondalup in Round 19, but East Perth won the Foundation (WA) Day clash at Medibank Stadium by 19 points thanks to a huge last quarter.

Given it's a derby and the passion is so intense between both clubs, the start is sure to be on for young and old, but East Perth will have to be on guard to start well.

Over the course of the season, West Perth has been terrific in opening quarters outscoring its opposition by 45 points.

While the Falcons did also win their second and last terms over the season, they were by smaller margins but they did also dominate third quarters with a 10.21 advantage over their oppositions.

East Perth's first quarters might not have been good over the course of the 2013 season with the Royals outscored by 88 points, they have had a tendency to get better the longer games have gone on.

While losing first quarters, East Perth has won its second terms by 18 points, third by 38 and then final terms by 88 points.

There will be enthralling battles all over the field come Sunday as well starting in the middle with the ruck clash between West Perth's 129-game veteran Chris Keunen and East Perth's experienced former AFL big man Paul Johnson, who will also be helped out by Scott Lycett.

Then there will be the midfield battle at the big men's feet featuring West Perth's Mark Hutchings, Jay van Berlo, Matt Guadagnin, Shane Nelson and Aaron Black, and East Perth's Brendan Lee, Jamie Cripps, Craig Wulff, Mat Seal and Adam Selwood.

West Perth will be without full-back Michael Pettigrew due to a hamstring injury meaning the job of trying to stop Bernie Naylor Medallist Josh Smith will fall to 150-game veteran Dan Hunt.

Shaun Marusic or Nick Rodda will then share the job on Lycett or Johnson when they are forward for East Perth with Jordan Jones, Steven Browne, Andrew Strijk and whichever two are picked out of Luke Tedesco, Laine Rasmussen and Trent Manzone to get the jobs on Michael Swan, Arthur Bennell, Dean Cadwallader and other Royals small/mid-size forwards.

West Perth has a somewhat unconventional forward-line with either Marusic or Rodda to be the main target and matched up by East Perth defender Jacob Derickx. East Perth's top defender Kyle Anderson could then go to Fremantle's Josh Mellington.

There will be an incredible five radio stations plus ABC TV broadcasting the clash.

On top of ABC TV telecasting the game state-wide, 720 ABC Perth, 882 6PR, 91.3 SportFM, 990am Informational Radio and Hot Country Digital will all be providing the coverage of the 2013 WAFL grand final between the Falcons and Royals this Sunday afternoon.

Selected teams

South Fremantle and West Perth finished 2013 as the two most in-form reserves teams and as a result have made the grand final and are sure to play out a hard fought contest to determine the premiers.

The Bulldogs reserves began the season reasonably slowly as did their league side with a host of injuries and young players still adjusting to senior football, but the longer the 2013 campaign went the better the whole senior squad went.

South Fremantle's league team finished off the season with some momentum and the improved form of the main side meant that there were more quality players in the reserves line-up, and more players looking to pressing up for a league berth.

South Fremantle's reserves lost its first two games to Claremont and Perth and then again lost two more in Round 11 to East Fremantle and Round 12 to Subiaco, but since then the Bulldogs have been outstanding.

There was a hiccup against West Perth in Round 18, but aside from that South Fremantle's reserves won eight of its last nine games to finish the home and away season in second position on the ladder.

That set up a second semi-final against Perth and the Bulldogs held on to win by five points to advance straight through to the grand final.

West Perth lost its first three games of the reserves season and then sat at 1-6 after eight rounds, but things then began to turn with three straight wins and now the Falcons have not lost since going down to Swan Districts at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval in Round 15.

The Falcons won seven straight matches over Peel, South Fremantle, East Perth, Peel, Perth, East Fremantle and Swan Districts to qualify for the finals from fourth position.

And in the finals, West Perth beat East Perth in the first semi-final at Claremont Oval by nine points to book in a preliminary final berth where the Falcons downed the minor premier Perth by 42 points to book in a grand final spot on a nine-game winning run.

South Fremantle and West Perth met just twice during the season with the Bulldogs winning at Fremantle Oval in Round 4 by 19 points and then the Falcons prevailed by 34 points at Arena Joondalup in Round 18.

South Fremantle's reserves have not won a premiership since 2009 when both the Bulldogs' league and reserves sides were triumphant.

Remarkably, West Perth's reserves has not won a premiership since 1960 and also in that year both the Falcons' league and reserves teams won the flag.

Both teams are full of a combination of league experienced and youthful talent as well.

South Fremantle even has a league premiership player in its midst from 2009 with Reece Adams lining up for the Bulldogs after managing just 12 matches in the league side this year to take his career tally to 61.

Warrick Andreoli, Tyler Hall, Blaine Johnson, Tim Kelly, James Laurino, Jason Maskos, Kaiden Matera, Justin Monaco, Marlon Pickett, Kingsley Smith, Zac Strom and Brendan Verrier will also play for South Fremantle in the grand final after having played at least one league game in 2013.Jarrad Winter has also played 65 league games for the Bulldogs and will line-up in the grand final along with fellow experienced campaigners Shaun Bewick and Alex Grima.

West Perth's reserves team won't be without some league experience either and as usual with a club with a league side in the grand final also, there's usually a player or several players who are unlucky not to be in the main show.

Trent Manzone fits that bill for West Perth this year after making way in the league side for returning vice-captain Luke Tedesco.

Manzone played 14 straight matches for the West Perth league side this year to close out the season after being recruited from Queensland, and also lined up in the second semi-final win over Claremont but he is the unlucky man to make way for Tedesco.

Ruckman Frank Stockley has been outstanding all year as well in the reserves and won the Prendergast Medal but he also missed selection in the league side as have exciting youngsters Brayden Antonio and Matt Johnson meaning they will play in the reserves grand final.

Ben McNamara, Joe Morrow, Luke Meadows, James Batterham and Kris Shannon will also play having played at least one league game this season with James Embley, Michael Mascoulis and Drew Rohde having previously played league football as well.

Bounce down for the reserves grand final at Patersons Stadium, Subiaco on Sunday will be at 11.30am.

Selected teams

South Fremantle and Claremont are meeting in their second WAFL colts grand final in three years on Sunday morning at Patersons Stadium with the Bulldogs looking to create a slice of history, and the Tigers to get a measure of revenge.

South Fremantle's colts have won the last two premiership so will be looking to make it a hat-trick this Sunday at Patersons Stadium against a Claremont team who finished 2013 as minor premiers, but who the Bulldogs beat by 23 points in the second semi-final a fortnight ago at Claremont Oval.

The Bulldogs colts side has had yet another strong 2013 home and away season finishing in second position on the ladder before beating Claremont in the second semi-final to advance straight through to a third successive grand final.

The colts teams of the past two years have produced some outstanding AFL and WAFL talent as well.

From the 2011 side that beat Claremont by 44 points in the grand final, Haiden Schloithe, Adam Carter, Mason Shaw, Shane Kersten and Josh Bootsma are now listed by AFL clubs.

On top of that, Shannon Burnett, Jason Maskos, Brendan Verrier, James Laurino and Jacob Martinez have all played league football with South Fremantle.

The Bulldogs' colts then made it back-to-back flags last year with a thumping 58-point grand final win over East Fremantle with Shaw and Sam Rundle kicking five goals apiece.

Marvin Warrell, Brendan Verrier, Adam Carter, Sean Lynch, Simon Panizza, Shaw, Dale Hamilton, Emmanuel Collard and Robert Thompson all played in both premiership teams meaning they have all stepped up into being senior footballers to open up room for other youngsters to step up.

Jacob Dragovich, Bailey Matera, Tim Stewart, Braden Fimmano and Jakeb Tartaglia are among those players to step up and become key players in the South Fremantle colts team of 2013.

Matthew Ah Siu has been the Bulldogs colts leading goalkicker with 25 from 20 matches but Willie Rioli came home with a rush booting 24 in just six games after beginning his season playing in the reserves.

Jermaine Lewis and Ben Sokol have both kicked 21 goals apiece for the colts side in 2013 while Cameron McCarthy kicked 20 in eight matches before going down injured.

Coming off the last two premierships and with a healthy turnover of players, South Fremantle's colts did lose its first two games of the season against Claremont and Perth.

They bounced back with a win over West Perth but then again lost by just three points to Swan Districts.

It was then two straight wins against Subiaco and East Fremantle before another hiccup in Round 8 against East Perth.

There were then two more wins over Peel Thunder and Claremont before successive losses in Rounds 11 and 12 against East Fremantle and Subiaco.

It is an unlikely occurrence in recent years for Claremont to only be represented in the colts grand final as well on the biggest day of the WAFL year.

Claremont's league side has won the last two WAFL premierships and played in the last three grand finals while the Tigers' reserves have won the last three flags, but neither are there in grand finals this year meaning the colts are carrying the flag for the Tigers.

Claremont's colts started the 2013 season on fire winning its first 11 games before losing to Peel Thunder at Claremont Oval in Round 13 by 23 points.

The Tigers only other regular season loss came against South Fremantle in Round 16 with Claremont finishing off the season with a six-game winning run to finish as minor premier.

Claremont then led South Fremantle in the second semi-final by 24 points at half-time and eight at three quarter-time, but the Bulldogs then piled on the only five goals of the last quarter to end up winning by 23 points.

In that second semi-final, Sokol was outstanding for South Fremantle with 19 possessions and five goals while Willie Rioli, Traye Bennell and Bailey Matera kicked two goals each.

Claremont did bounce back, though, winning last Sunday's preliminary final over Subiaco by 60 points with Ben Higgins booting four goals and Alec Waterman racking up 35 possessions, Jordan Law 27, Darcy Cameron 25, Jared Hardisty 23 and Joel Fiegert 22.