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Round 13 Subiaco Oval
Thu, 15 Jun 2017 • 18:10 WST
West Coast Geelong
11.17 (83) 10.10 (70)
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Round 14 Subiaco Oval
Sat, 24 Jun 2017 • 17:40 WST
West Coast v Melbourne
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Injury List

Player Injury Weeks
Kennedy Calf test
Tunbridge ACL 1
Venables Tow 2-3
Rioli Hamstring 4-5
Waterman Foot 4-5
Nelson Hamstring indef
Allen Foot indef
Naitanui ACL indef


AFL Ladder

Team P % Pts
1. Adelaide 12 141.7 36
2. GWS Giants 12 116.4 36
3. Geelong 11 117.3 32
4. Richmond 11 111.6 28
5. Port Adel. 11 133.0 24
6. Melbourne 11 110.9 24
7. Essenscum 12 102.9 24
8. W. Bulldogs 11 102.4 24
9. West Coast 11 101.4 24
10. Fremantle 12 78.5 24
11. Coll'wood 12 101.7 20
12. St Kilda 11 92.9 20
13. Gold Coast 11 88.2 20
14. Sydney 11 105.0 16
15. North Melb. 11 93.8 16
16. Carlton 11 80.5 16
17. Hawthorn 12 76.9 16
18. Brisbane 11 70.2 8


by Matt Quinn
8th April 2016
It's safe to say that last week did not go to plan. Indeed, it went horribly off plan, to the point that the prophets of doom are out and about (yes, you know who you are!). Of course, that's true of both teams coming in to this week's Derby.

Yes, it's Derby time again, when Perth dresses in the hallowed blue and gold of the mighty West Coast, or the heretical purple from the Port. And this week, once again, both teams have everything to play for, even without the cross town bragging rights.


Squads

West Coast Ruck B Shannon Hurn (25)
Eric MacKenzie (16)
Brad Sheppard (5)
Fremantle Ruck
Nic Naitanui (9)  F Michael Walters (10)
Chris Mayne (23)
Hayden Ballantyne (1)
Aaron Sandilands (31)
Andrew Gaff (3)  HB Elliot Yeo (6)
Will Schofield (31)
Sam Butler (26)
Michael Barlow (21)
Luke Shuey (13)  HF Cameron Sutcliffe (33)
Matthew Pavlich (29)
Nathan Fyfe (7)
Nick Suban (8)
  C Jack Redden (8)
Matthew Priddis (11)
Lewis Jetta (23)
  C Cameron Sutcliffe (33)
Tendai Mzungu (13)
Danyle Pearce (6)
  HF Chris Masten (7)
Jeremy McGovern (20)
Jack Darling (27)
  HB Stephen Hill (32)
Michael Johnson (37)
Tom Sheridan (11)
  F Mark LeCras (2)
Josh Kennedy (17)
Josh Hill (33)
  B Garrick Ibbottson (5)
Zac Dawson (3)
Lee Spurr (34)
West Coast Interchange Jackson Nelson (30), Scott Lycett (29), Liam Duggan (14), Jamie Cripps (15),  
Lachie Weller (14), Alex Pearce (25), Matthew deBoer (9), Lachie Neale (27), Fremantle Interchange


Weather

Chance of a shower
Overnight Minimum:17

Changes

The biggest out for this game is on the purple side of the ledger, with new Freo captain David Mundy out with a calf injury, while they've also lost Clancee Pearce to a hamstring. They're replaced by Tendai Mzungu and the recalled Matt DeBoer.

The Eagles have resisted the urge to dump everything in a panic after pretty much everyone lost their position last week, and have only made the one change, with Chris Masten returning to the team for Jamie Bennell.

Injuries and Suspensions

The Eagles would have been happy to get out of last week at least with no additional injuries.

Freo will be worried missing captain David Mundy midweek with a calf. He joins Zac Clarke (knee) and big name recruit Harley Bennell (calf) on the sidelines. They're not though cursed with a pile of injuries to the supposed best 22, and would be disappointed to have done quite so badly with the named team the last couple of weeks.
Player Injury Weeks
McGovern Shoulder test
Jetta Calf test
Masten Ankle test
Wellingham Knee 4
Mutimer Hamstring 4
Tunbridge Back 4
Ellis Achilles 6-8
Brown Finger 8
Sheed Pec 8
Waterman Glandular Fever indef
Cavka Foot/Retired seas


Lead up

West Coast lost to an undermanned Hawthorn. Losing to the Hawks in the last few years hasn't really been considered to be bad form necessarily, but the result was eerily familiar to the Grand Final (even the margin being the same), with the Eagles having no answers. Coming after a practice-match-for-premiership-points against the Lions, it was certainly a wakeup call that the real season has started.

Freo. Well Freo have started the season with a shocker, kicking only five goals first up in a big loss to the Bulldogs, then dropping a home match to the Gold Coast Suns by four goals and sundries. It leaves last year's minor premiers precariously placed after the opening two rounds, with poor form and at risk of losing touch early with the competition leaders.

Matchups

The Eagles first and foremost have to stand up to themselves and remember how to play footy this week after last week's somewhat dispiriting display at the MCG. Firstly, the ruck has to work - and this week it's the big WA duel between Nic Naitanui and Aaron Sandilands. A blockbuster of a match up in years past, Freo have struggled to get anywhere from clearances in the opening weeks, and the Eagles were crushed at the clearances despite Nic Nat dominating last week. One or the other has to give this week.

Freo's midfield still looks good even without Mundy. With Nat Fyfe, Michael Barlow and Nick Suban - and understudy Lachie Neale, it looks to be a strong running brigade that should be able to compete with anything that comes their way. Opposing that is a less physically imposing, but possibly better skilled (yes other than Fyfe) set with Matt Priddis, Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey and ex-Lion Jack Redden, ably assisted by the likes of Elliot Yeo and former Swine Lewis Jetta. The Eagles midfield looks like one that should be able to continue Freo's centre square woes this week. Unless Freo turn it around.

Defensively, the Eagles haven't really gelled yet in 2016, which is disappointing given how well it cobbled it together last year. One thing that's showing is what the missing Sharrod Wellingham brought to the team last year, though it doesn't help that Brad Sheppard and Will Schofield have struggled to really get into any sort of form. This week though is a chance to turn that around, as Freo's forwards have been fairly dysfunctional all year; Matt Pavlich is not likely to ever return to the form of earlier in his career, and he's got little support in the talls. Always though you have to watch Freo's small forwards in Ballantyne and Walters.

Up forward, the Eagles had no service last week, so few chances, but Jack Darling showed some form to kick three. If he can continue that form and the Eagles can win some supply, the Freo defence is not really that strong. Michael Johnson was a first class talent, but is somewhat ageing, while he's surrounded by medium to good journeymen. If Darling and Josh Kennedy can fire, and Mark LeCras and Jamie Cripps get going, then well there's a score to be made. Which is not something that's been said about Freo teams of recent years.

Recent Meetings

Last year's Derbies split 1-1, but the first came when Freo were flying and the Eagles were being written off. By the late season Derby, the Eagles were the form team of the competition, and Freo were tailing off.
2015, Round 20 Subiaco Oval
West Coast 7.2 8.7 11.12 15.14 (104)
Fremantle 1.3 2.6 5.10 11.14 (80)
Sun 16th Aug 2015 West Coast by 24

2015, Round 3 Subiaco Oval
Fremantle 9.2 14.5 16.7 17.9 (111)
West Coast 0.4 3.5 6.7 12.9 (81)
Sun 19th Apr 2015 Fremantle by 30

2014, Round 15 Subiaco Oval
Fremantle 3.3 5.4 10.6 13.10 (88)
West Coast 4.2 5.9 5.12 11.15 (81)
Sat 28th Jun 2014 Fremantle by 7

2014, Round 7 Subiaco Oval
Fremantle 4.2 5.3 9.6 11.7 (73)
West Coast 2.0 3.8 5.11 7.12 (54)
Sun 4th May 2014 Fremantle by 19


Head to Head


Overall: West Coast 22 Fremantle 20 Draws 0
At Subiaco Oval West Coast 22 Fremantle 20 Draws 0

West Coast biggest win: 117 points; West Coast 28.10 (178) d Fremantle 9.7 (61) at Subiaco Oval, 2000, Round 6
Fremantle biggest win: 75 points; Fremantle 24.16 (160) d West Coast 13.7 (85) at Subiaco Oval, 2010, Round 18


Other Matches


Summary

Freo are like an old lion in a cage - nowhere near as dangerous as they might have been a while back, but still more than capable of inflicting injury. Realistically, if Freo don't win this one, they're chances of top four are close to shot. But that's somewhat true of the Eagles as well, who wouldn't want to start the season 1-2 in the chase to go one better this year.

The Eagles look the more likely to go somewhere this week - particularly if Freo don't repair the problems that have beset them the last few weeks, as the Eagles are a team that are primed to exploit those flaws

Prediction: West Coast by 18 points.



 
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