WA Day Foundation Derby Preview

Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 1:31 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle has won five straight clashes with East Fremantle by an average of 71 points but not won a WA Day Foundation Derby since 2008 at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

The Bulldogs have won five straight and eight of the last nine games against the Sharks, but not in the Foundation Derby on home turf since a 29-point triumph back in 2008.

Now with South Fremantle also hungry to bounce back from a surprise loss to Claremont last Saturday, the Bulldogs will have plenty of reasons to come out hungry on Monday against the Sharks.

South Fremantle has had the better of its port rivals in recent times winning the last five derbies by an average of 71 points. That included a 94-point hammering in the Anzac Derby this year at East Fremantle Oval and a 145-point thumping on WA Day last year also at Shark Park.

Going back further, the Bulldogs have won eight of the last nine games against the Sharks.

East Fremantle's last derby win was both on WA Day and at Fremantle Community Bank Oval back in 2016 when they beat the Bulldogs by 39 points having held them to just the six goals for the afternoon.

Monday's Foundation Derby will be the 57th clash between East Fremantle and South Fremantle held on WA Day (formerly Foundation Day). The Bulldogs have won 31 of those previous meetings and the Sharks 25.

However, each of the past eight Foundation Derbies have seen a different winner than the previous year and even more fascinatingly is the fact that no home team has won on WA Day East Fremantle won on home turn way back in 2009 in a remarkable one-point result.

The last eight derbies on WA Day have been won by the visiting team so there's plenty of reasons for East Fremantle to head to Fremantle Community Bank Oval with confidence despite some of the recent results against South Fremantle.

While South Fremantle has dominated recent derbies and sits second on the WAFL ladder with a 5-2 record and East Fremantle is last at 2-6, it's the Sharks entering the WA Day Foundation Derby for 2018 in winning form.

South Fremantle had won five straight matches this season after a first up loss to Subiaco. But that streak came to an end last Saturday with a six-point loss to Claremont on home turf.

East Fremantle, meanwhile, was on a five-game losing streak entering last Saturday's match at home to Peel and the Sharks delivered their best performance of 2018 to come away with the four-goal victory.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley's focus is on ensuring the Bulldogs respond well to last week's loss to Claremont.

"First of all, we'll recover and then there's some stuff we need to look at and work on getting better at. They are a good, honest group and work really hard so there's nothing I've seen from them in the past to suggest they aren’t going to come back pretty strongly," Curley said.

"We can't do much about them. We can only fix us and there are some things to fix. The twos had a pretty good win so we'll have a look at that and pick the team for next week that we think will give us the best chance to beat East Fremantle."

Both teams will have significant milestones to celebrate on the big occasion too as Cory Dell'Olio and George Hampson both reach the 100-game mark.

Dell'Olio began his career with South Fremantle back in 2008 and by 2009 had become a premiership player. The small forward then had a standout 2011 season kicking 55 goals to earn his place at Essendon in the AFL.

He went on to play 16 games in the AFL for the Bombers up until the end of 2014. He then returned to South Fremantle in 2015 and was superb leading the Bulldogs' goalkicking with 33 goals and playing State football.

Then after being forced to sit out all of 2016, he returned impressively in 2017 kicking 53 goals and now after a delayed start to 2018 again, he's been in tremendous form the last three games kicking 10 goals.

Now he is set to play his 100th game in the WA Day Foundation Derby to book his name on the No. 3 locker in a career that has already included him kicking 205 goals, winning a premiership, being a two-time leading goalkicker and State representative.

Then there is East Fremantle's Hampson whose first 99 games of his career have included 63 of those at Subiaco where he played in the 2014 premiership and won a fairest and best award in 2013.

He joined East Fremantle in 2015 and will now reach 100 appearances all up on Monday and he enters the game in remarkable form. 

While the Sharks have won just two games in 2018, Hampson has been healthy and in-form playing mostly through the midfield and doing all he could to try and lift the Sharks. 

That saw him play for WA in the State game win in Adelaide and then last week he was remarkable with 38 possessions, 13 tackles, 10 inside 50s and a goal in the win against Peel. 

He has only tasted victory once in six derbies since joining East Fremantle and will hope to get a second win in his 100th game on WA Day.

South Fremantle will still be without triple Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Saunders who has saved some of his most mercurial work for derbies over the years, but Shane Hockey should be right to play despite suffering a concussion early last week against Claremont.

South Fremantle has also added Kyle Russell, Zac Strom, Glenn Byron and Steven Edwards to its extended squad ahead of the WA Day Foundation Derby at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Monday.

East Fremantle is coming off its best performance of the season to beat Peel last Saturday and it's no coincidence that happened with experienced players like Hampson, Jarrad Jansen, Jonathon Marsh, Nick Kommer, Dylan Winton, Matthew Jupp and Jamie McNamara all standing tall.

Now the Sharks welcoming back reigning fairest and best winner Jayden Schofield too for the Foundation Derby on Monday. He was in tremendous form averaging 30.8 possessions a game prior to missing the past two weeks with suspension.

James Bristow, Ben Harding and Chris Scott have all been added to the Sharks' squad for the derby on Monday against the Bulldogs at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

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