ROUND 5 PREVIEW V PEEL THUNDER

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 11:23 AM

WEST Perth returns to Arena Joondalup this Saturday to take on the winless Peel Thunder with the unbeaten Falcons looking to make it a fourth straight win to open the 2013 campaign.

The Falcons started the season at Arena Joondalup and beat East Perth emphatically by 75 points, but it has been on the road since then with West Perth beating Subiaco by 24 points in Round 3 and then last Friday night, South Fremantle by just three at Fremantle Oval.

That has all led to West Perth being 3-0 to start the season, though, heading into a clash with Peel who is coming off the bye last weekend following first up losses to Perth, East Perth and East Fremantle.

Despite losing, though, the Thunder have been competitive in all three matches and still have plenty of Fremantle-listed talent including Peter Faulks, Jack Hannath, Tanner Smith, Craig Moller, Alex Forster and Viv Michie.

Combined with experienced and talented players Pat Travers, James Hawksley, Matt Orzel, Brendon Jones, Kristin Thornton, Paul Bower, Brad Holmes, Marlon Motlop and Cruize Garlett, and Peel has enough talented to push West Perth.

Falcons coach Bill Monaghan certainly knows that even though West Perth holds a 16-2 record over Peel at Arena Joondalup.

At this stage, nobody is out of the West Perth team that beat South Fremantle last Friday night with Frank Stockley, Anton Saylor and Shaun Marusic coming into the squad. Captain Jason Salecic didn’t quite get up in time to be passed fit to play.

Monaghan will make sure the Falcons don't take Peel lightly.

"Peel has pretty good form for a side who is 0-3. In their first two games they kicked really poorly at goal and that probably made a significant bearing on those losses," Monaghan said.

"Then I went down and watched them against East Fremantle and their field kicking probably let them down that day.

"They were up and about, and even though East Fremantle skipped away a couple of times, they played some good footy and we will be foolish to think they won't play good footy this week."

It has been a month since West Perth has played at Arena Joondalup so Monaghan is looking forward to his team getting back out onto home turf come Saturday as Peel makes the biggest journey in WAFL football.

"It is always good to get back home," Monaghan said.

"The grass has grown back well and it has been a warm week with a forecast for some rain on Saturday, so hopefully it will hold off and we get a decent crowd for us to put on a decent performance in front of."

BY CHRIS PIKE