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ROUND 16 PREVIEW V PEEL THUNDER

Friday, July 5, 2013 - 6:15 PM
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WEST Perth hasn’t always had the most pleasant trips to Mandurah in recent years to face Peel Thunder but head to Bendigo Bank Stadium this Saturday needing to keep winning to keep hold of second spot, but the home side has some key players returning.

The Falcons currently sit a game and percentage clear in second position on the ladder with a 9-4 record with just seven games of the 2013 season remaining while Peel will want to get a win on the board to avoid any chance of falling to the bottom of the ladder as well.
Peel might just have a 3-10 record on the season, but all three wins have come at Bendigo Bank Stadium against Swan Districts, Subiaco and East Perth.
The Thunder's losses at home to East Fremantle, Claremont and Perth have also been by significantly less margins than when Peel leaves Mandurah.
West Perth has now won three straight games to consolidate second position on the ladder even if the last two wins have been by a combined four points over Subiaco and Swan Districts.
The Falcons haven’t always performed well in Mandurah, though, despite a 100-point win at the venue in Round 19 last year.
Prior to that, Peel beat West Perth by 21 points in 2011, by 41 points in 2010 and two points on a wet Saturday night back in 2007.
The Falcons did win comfortably over Peel back in Round 5 at Arena Joondalup this year but the Thunder will be a significantly improved side this time around.
As well as Kelvin Lawrence looking to return for Peel this week against West Perth, the Thunder have some crucial inclusions from Fremantle including ruck pair Jack Hannath and Craig Moller, and prolific midfielder Viv Michie.
Matt Brown also returns for Peel from suspension with Blair Bell a chance to make his league debut after he picked up 15 possessions in the reserves last week against East Perth.
Key defender Chris Luff is out of the team with a serious knee injury with young ruckman Ben Smith and forward Jesse Hockings also out.
West Perth has three important outs with Laine Rasmussen, Nick Rodda and Jordan Jones going out of the side that beat Swan Districts in a thriller by three points last Saturday.
James Batterham, Matt Fowler, Mitch McPhee, Joe Morrow, Kris Shannon and Frank Stockley are all in the mix to come in for the Falcons with Shannon likely to replace Rasmussen, Morrow to take Jones' place and the others fighting for Rodda's position in the forward-line.
West Perth has the added motivation of celebrating vice-captain Luke Tedesco's 100th WAFL match this Saturday as well. The 26-year-old is proud to reach the mark, but knows that the four points against Peel must remain the focus.
"For me it was never about who or where it was against, I'm just grateful for it. But in the context of the season, it's a massive game because we have to keep winning each week to stay above the pack," Tedesco said.
"A loss to anyone at this stage would put us back in the mix so we are really looking forward to the challenge this week, and hopefully we get a win because we haven’t had great success down there in recent years.
"We know that Peel have had a pretty tough week so we are expecting them to come out pretty fired up as well."
West Perth coach Bill Monaghan knows that Peel certainly can't be taken lightly.
"If or when Peel gets back to full strength they are a talented side and we are expecting six or eight changes for them this week, which changes their side significantly," Monaghan said.
"I think we saw for a period there for four or five weeks when they were close to full strength that they were competitive with any side in the competition.
I think that they are a significantly better side down in Mandurah as well and we need to just go down there with the attitude that need to get things done, and tick our boxes with the way we play.
"We have to make sure that we put in an A-grand performance. We can't focus too much on Peel on the travel and where we are playing. We think that if we stick to what we need to get done whether we are playing at Arena Joondalup or Mandurah, we are capable of winning and that's what I will be asking of the players this week."
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth hasn’t always had the most pleasant trips to Mandurah in recent years to face Peel Thunder but head to Bendigo Bank Stadium this Saturday needing to keep winning to keep hold of second spot, but the home side has some key players returning.

The Falcons currently sit a game and percentage clear in second position on the ladder with a 9-4 record with just seven games of the 2013 season remaining while Peel will want to get a win on the board to avoid any chance of falling to the bottom of the ladder as well.

Peel might just have a 3-10 record on the season, but all three wins have come at Bendigo Bank Stadium against Swan Districts, Subiaco and East Perth.

The Thunder's losses at home to East Fremantle, Claremont and Perth have also been by significantly less margins than when Peel leaves Mandurah.

West Perth has now won three straight games to consolidate second position on the ladder even if the last two wins have been by a combined four points over Subiaco and Swan Districts.

The Falcons haven’t always performed well in Mandurah, though, despite a 100-point win at the venue in Round 19 last year.

Prior to that, Peel beat West Perth by 21 points in 2011, by 41 points in 2010 and two points on a wet Saturday night back in 2007.

The Falcons did win comfortably over Peel back in Round 5 at Arena Joondalup this year but the Thunder will be a significantly improved side this time around.

As well as Kelvin Lawrence looking to return for Peel this week against West Perth, the Thunder have some crucial inclusions from Fremantle including ruck pair Jack Hannath and Craig Moller, and prolific midfielder Viv Michie.

Matt Brown also returns for Peel from suspension with Blair Bell a chance to make his league debut after he picked up 15 possessions in the reserves last week against East Perth.

Key defender Chris Luff is out of the team with a serious knee injury with young ruckman Ben Smith and forward Jesse Hockings also out.

West Perth has three important outs with Laine Rasmussen, Nick Rodda and Jordan Jones going out of the side that beat Swan Districts in a thriller by three points last Saturday.

James Batterham, Matt Fowler, Mitch McPhee, Joe Morrow, Kris Shannon and Frank Stockley are all in the mix to come in for the Falcons with Shannon likely to replace Rasmussen, Morrow to take Jones' place and the others fighting for Rodda's position in the forward-line.

West Perth has the added motivation of celebrating vice-captain Luke Tedesco's 100th WAFL match this Saturday as well. The 26-year-old is proud to reach the mark, but knows that the four points against Peel must remain the focus.

"For me it was never about who or where it was against, I'm just grateful for it. But in the context of the season, it's a massive game because we have to keep winning each week to stay above the pack," Tedesco said.

"A loss to anyone at this stage would put us back in the mix so we are really looking forward to the challenge this week, and hopefully we get a win because we haven’t had great success down there in recent years.

"We know that Peel have had a pretty tough week so we are expecting them to come out pretty fired up as well."

West Perth coach Bill Monaghan knows that Peel certainly can't be taken lightly.

"If or when Peel gets back to full strength they are a talented side and we are expecting six or eight changes for them this week, which changes their side significantly," Monaghan said.

"I think we saw for a period there for four or five weeks when they were close to full strength that they were competitive with any side in the competition.

I think that they are a significantly better side down in Mandurah as well and we need to just go down there with the attitude that need to get things done, and tick our boxes with the way we play.

"We have to make sure that we put in an A-grand performance. We can't focus too much on Peel on the travel and where we are playing. We think that if we stick to what we need to get done whether we are playing at Arena Joondalup or Mandurah, we are capable of winning and that's what I will be asking of the players this week."

BY CHRIS PIKE