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ROUND 19 PREVIEW V SOUTH FREMANTLE

Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 1:50 AM by Chris Pike
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WEST Perth got back to winning last week and consolidated a place in the WAFL top five and now the Falcons can start building some momentum for the finals with a first win in six attempts against South Fremantle on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

The two teams have already met twice this season with the Bulldogs winning on both occasions ahead of Saturday's contest at the port that pits the second placed South Fremantle against the fifth placed West Perth.

There's plenty on the line for both teams with South Fremantle looking to win and further cement itself in second position whereas a loss will leave the door open for the chasing pack to still try and finish second over the last month of the season.

West Perth currently sits in fifth spot and a win on Saturday would maintain that advantage over whoever sits sixth by Saturday night and a three-game edge over the seventh placed team. It will also keep the Falcons a chance of finishing higher up inside the top five.

It is set to be a full day of action at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the colts, reserves and league WAFL action between South Fremantle and West Perth. 

Then following the league contest will be the Country State contest featuring Western Australia and South Australia under lights at the port.

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South Fremantle comes into the game on a five-match winning streak following wins over West Perth, Perth, Claremont, Swan Districts and East Perth to improve to a 12-4 record in the season to remain three games behind Subiaco but two games ahead of Peel Thunder.

On top of that, South Fremantle has won its past five matches against West Perth by an average of 54.6 points. That included winning all three meetings in 2016 culminating in a 53-point qualifying final win.

And so far this season, South Fremantle beat West Perth by 103 on home turf in Round 4 and then downed the Falcons by 47 points at HBF Arena as well in Round 13.

West Perth might not have beaten South Fremantle since 2014, but returned to the winner's list last Saturday beating Perth by 53 points on the back of 51 possessions from Shane Nelson, seven goals from Tyler Keitel and six goals from Nick Rodda.

That ended a four-game losing run for West Perth to steady them with an 8-7 record to be two games ahead of both Claremont and East Perth who play one another on Saturday and currently hold respective 6-9 records.

There are potentially plenty of changes at West Perth as well and at least two of them have been made in advance with the loss of Mark Hamilton and Conal Lynch who are out of the side that beat Perth last Saturday at Lathlain Park.

While Michael Lourey, Joe Morrow, Steve Potente and Scott Nelson remain sidelined through injury, plenty of players are pushing for selection with the Falcons to take on the Bulldogs including another potential debutant in Zac Guadagnin.

He is the younger cousin 191-game premiership winning star Matt and was impressive in the reserves last Saturday against the Demons with 22 possessions and seven marks.

Rudy Riddoch could also be straight back in for West Perth following a stint in the reserves while James Batterham, Sam Rotham and Scott Simpson are all in the mix to come in for the Falcons to try and stop the losing run against the Bulldogs.

West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is looking for a vast turnaround against South Fremantle following the last five forgettable contests against the Bulldogs.

"What we've done against South in the first two times we've played them is not good enough. We are in the business of continually exploring what we need to do better as players and coaches with all our processes," Monaghan said.

"We'll be weighing up our options with a fine tooth comb this week and my early indications will be that it will be difficult to not pick Nick Rodda as a forward this week. If we could clone him and have two of him that would be nice. 

"Ben King did a reasonable job on Saunders last time, Max Alexander played this week and he can play both ends, Simpson will be back and there's a fair few things that we can try. But we need to be very good against South to beat them and we need to be better against the best sides in the competition. That's our challenge going forward."

South Fremantle beat East Perth by 30 points in Busselton last Saturday and from that team, Brandon Donaldson, Jake Florenca, Kyle Russell, Jarrod Garlett and potential debutant Matthew Parker all come into the squad to face the Falcons.

Ashton Hams and Jacob Dragovich are the two players to go out of the side that beat the Royals.

ROUND 19
WEST PERTH v SOUTH FREMANTLE – FREMANTLE COMMUNITY BANK OVAL, SATURDAY 2.15PM
Broadcast – HFM (107.3FM), Footy Radio (WAFL App)

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