Round 10 Preview v Perth

Friday, June 8, 2018 - 8:49 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle has still not lost to Perth since Kris Miller's 300th game and hasn’t lost at Lathlain Park in five years heading into Saturday's WAFL Round 10 clash against the Demons.

South Fremantle consolidated second position on the WAFL ladder with a 73-point WA Day Foundation Derby win as the Bulldogs now head to Lathlain Park where they have won five straight and up against an opponent in the Demons who they have won eight in-a-row against.

Perth might have won just two games so far in 2018 to be sitting in second last position on the ladder, but that doesn't quite tell the whole story of the competitiveness of the Demons.

That can be best summed up over the past fortnight with Perth delivering two strong performances against Subiaco and Swan Districts who possess a combined 12-3 record over the start of the 2018 season.

Two weeks ago coming off a come from behind one-point win against Claremont, Perth took it right up to the rampant Subiaco to be only two points down early in the quarter before conceding the next seven goals to end up losing by 40 points.

Then in response to that last Saturday, Perth started on fire with eight goals to two in the first quarter against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval. 

The Demons went on to lead by 40 points just before half-time but from there kicking just one more goal to 12 from Swans while the black-and-whites kicked the last eight majors of the contest to win by 30 points.

But Perth have been right within a chance of winning games the past two weeks against teams inside the top four and with winning records as they now host the second placed South Fremantle at Lathlain Park on Saturday.

South Fremantle comes into the game off a 73-point WA Day Foundation Derby win over East Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, but that was only on Monday with the Bulldogs having just a five-day break ahead of the clash with the Demons.

South Fremantle heads to Lathlain Park having won its past five games at the venue by an average of 46.4 points. Perth's last home win against the Bulldogs came in Round 24, 2013 by 24 points when Paul Hasleby was coaching South Fremantle.

South Fremantle has also won eight straight matches against Perth by an average of 52.1 points with the Demons last win against the Bulldogs by five points at Fremantle Community Bank in Round 2, 2014 on a Friday where they spoiled the celebrations of Kris Miller's 300th WAFL game.

Bulldogs coach Todd Curley has still not coached in a losing team against the Demons in seven attempts at South Fremantle including winning both meetings last year by a combined 170 points. 

In six games against Perth in his three years as West Perth coach, Curley took the Falcons to four wins, a loss and a draw.

Curley is confident that the five-day break won't be factor on Saturday but he certainly won't be taking Perth lightly.

"A five-day break is obviously different, especially at this level when guys have to get up in the morning to go to work," Curley said.

"But we'll do our recovery and then train Thursday and head into Saturday trying to feel as fresh as we can. We obviously have a lot of young guys who will be fresh anyway and the older guys are smart enough to make sure they are ready to go.

"They are super dangerous if you give them space and they can certainly score. They will be a big challenge for us. We've had some pretty good games against them in the last couple of years and they were pretty good on the weekend before unfortunately getting overrun. They are a bit similar to us with a fair few young guys so it will be a good game."

South Fremantle can further consolidate second position on the WAFL ladder with a ninth straight win against Perth at Lathlain Park on Saturday but the Demons can also stay in finals contention by breaking that losing streak.

After nine rounds of the 2018 season, South Fremantle is the second highest-scoring team at 100.8 points a game and the second best defensively conceding 73.4 points, both behind Subiaco. Perth sits sixth in attack at 78.5 points a game and last defensively giving up 105.3 points.

South Fremantle will welcome back key midfielders Shane Hockey and captain Dylan Main after they missed Monday's win against East Fremantle. But in their absence, Marlion Pickett, Nick Suban, Haiden Schloithe and Ryan Cook stood especially tall in the midfield.

Zac Strom, Caleb Datson, Adam McIntosh and Jason Maskos are the others added to the squad for the Bulldogs to face the Demons at Lathlain Park.

Ashton Hams, Jake Florenca and Steve Verrier are out of the South Fremantle line-up joining Ben Saunders on the sidelines for the clash with Perth.

Coming off last Saturday's 30-point loss to Swan Districts after earlier leading by 40, Perth will welcome back Cody Leggett from a one-week suspension.

Daniel Horan, Kurtis Chester, Lennon Marlin and Blake Johnson are the other players added to the squad for the Demons with Christian Eyres, Spencer White and Sam Garstone among those still absent.

Brent Edmonds and Zac Hill are out of the team that lost to Swans last Saturday.

Broadcast –
Noongar Radio, KIX Digital, Footy Radio