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WA DAY DERBY PREVIEW V EAST PERTH

Sunday, June 4, 2017 - 11:04 PM by Chris Pike
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WEST Perth was in hot form winning five matches on the trot leading into the state game and now will look to keep it going and put an end to East Perth own winning run in the WA Day Derby at Leederville Oval.

It could very well be the most intense rivalry in the WAFL and now East Perth takes on West Perth on WA Day at Leederville Oval with both putting significant winning streaks on the line.

East Perth and West Perth both made slow starts to the 2017 season, but prior to the state game break last week each of them had been in impressive winning form.

Those winning runs now go on the line in the WA Day Derby at Leederville Oval on Monday.

The game will also be broadcast live from 2pm on Channel 7.

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Plenty has happened in the seasons of both teams since their clash back in Round 2 that West Perth won by 21 points at HBF Arena.

That was West Perth's first game of the season following the Round 1 bye and it was a good start for the Falcons, but the next two weeks weren’t quite as impressive.

West Perth was competitive the next week but lost to Subiaco by 11 points and then the next week was disastrous with a 103-point defeat at the hands of South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

That had the potential to derail the Falcons' season before it ever got going. But it shows tremendous character as a group to bounce back and they couldn’t have possibly done so more impressively.

West Perth went on to win its next five games following that with wins over Peel Thunder, Swan Districts, Perth, East Fremantle and Claremont leading into the state game break.

That sees the Falcons sit only percentage out of second position with a 6-2 record heading into the clash with East Perth.

A win on Monday for the Falcons and a loss for South Fremantle to East Fremantle, and they will be in second position and on a six-game winning streak.

East Perth's struggles at the start of the season did last a little longer. The Royals lost their opening five matches under new coach Luke Webster.

Things were looking dire for East Perth in those defeats to Peel, West Perth, Swan Districts, Claremont and Subiaco. The losses came by an average margin of 35 points. In those five games, East Perth only averaged a score of 58 points while conceding 93.

It was the Good Friday loss to Subiaco by 91 points that made it make or break time for the Royals and they have turned things around impressively.

East Perth hasn’t lost since that day going on to beat Perth, Peel, East Fremantle and South Fremantle leading into last week's state game break. The turnaround has seen the Royals averaging a score of 101 points over those four games while conceding just 66.

Everything is pointing towards a classic WA Day Derby contest between the two fierce rivals and with them both fresh following the state game break, and confident given they are on four and five-game winning streaks respectively.

East Perth won't have any players backing up from the state game where the WAFL made history last Saturday becoming the first WA team to beat a Victorian side in Melbourne.

Royals co-captain Kyle Anderson did play in the game but injured a shoulder and is now out for East Perth on Monday. Will Maginness was WA's travelling emergency as well for the state game and didn’t get to play in Melbourne.

West Perth, meanwhile, had Kody Manning, Andrew Stirjk, Shane Nelson, Aaron Black and Luke Meadows who all did play in the state game victory. Only Manning won't be there on WA Day due to suspension.

West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is looking forward to what shapes as yet another terrific derby battle.

"I think everyone at East Perth and West Perth over a long period of time values that fixture more than any other fixture. Some will say finals included but I’m sure that’s not really the case," Monaghan said.

"East Perth have hit a good rich vein of form. We’re in good form. Hopefully the weather will be fine, and what is now WA Day we get a decent crowd at Leederville Oval and again we get a chance to represent the history of both our clubs and put on a good show."

From the East Perth team that stormed home to beat South Fremantle by a point two weeks ago, there are a host of changes coming into the WA Day Derby.

Drew Petrie, Lewis Jetta, Jackson Nelson, Mark Hutchings, Will Schofield and Eric Mackenzie all naturally go out from that side due to playing for West Coast in the loss to Gold Coats on Saturday.

Malcolm Karpany, Kurt Mutimer, Chris Masten, Tom Barrass and Fraser McInnes were all in the Eagles side two weeks but weren’t there Saturday meaning they all should play with East Perth on Monday.

Scott Lycett will return from injury but be on limited minutes for the Royals while Willie Rioli will play his first league game after an impressive reserves showing a fortnight ago.

Francis Watson will make his return from injury as will co-captain Patrick McGinnity after suffering a hamstring complaint.

Steven Payne, Callum Hart, Tom Hodgson, Jordan Snadden and Nathan Eaton are the other players in the selection mix at East Perth to take on West Perth in the WA Day Derby.

Things are much more stable at the selection table for West Perth and understandably so given an impressive five-game winning streak and a decent enough run on the injury front despite the absence of Chris Keunen, Matt Guadagnin, Steven Browne, Ben King and Joe Morrow.

Tough man Manning will be sorely missed in the derby having not only copped a one-week suspension out of the state game, but also suffering a fractured cheekbone himself.

He is the only out of the West Perth team that beat Claremont two weeks ago comfortably by 32 points at HBF Arena.

Brayden Antonio, Conal Lynch, Jordan Mills, Mitch Peirce and Sam Rotham are the players in contention to break into the 22 to receive an opportunity. 

ROUND 11 – WA DAY DERBY
WEST PERTH v EAST PERTH – LEEDERVILLE OVAL, MONDAY 2.10PM
Broadcast – Channel 7

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