Round 5 Good Friday Preview v Claremont
SOUTH Fremantle has the chance to move to top spot in the WAFL ahead of a Good Friday twilight blockbuster against the undefeated Claremont at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
Heading into the Good Friday clash at the port, both teams have won three games for the season meaning the winner will move ahead into top spot.
Depending on other results, they could even the round a game clear in first spot of the WAFL following five rounds.
It is the second time in three years now that South Fremantle and Claremont have met on Good Friday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. Back in 2015, the Bulldogs beat the Tigers by 38 points in front of a crowd nearing 3000 people.
There is every reason to expect a big crowd again this Good Friday between the two form teams of the WAFL who likely just happen to play the most exciting and attractive brand of football to watch too.
South Fremantle began the season impressively beating Subiaco by 39 points before a hiccup against Swan Districts with a 21-point defeat at Steel Blue Oval.
The Bulldogs have bounced back strongly firstly handing Peel Thunder its first defeat since Round 22 last year to the tune of 43 points at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
Then last Saturday also at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, South Fremantle hammered West Perth by 103 points unleashing its full firepower.
Claremont looks a rejuvenated outfit in 2017 and that's with no disrespect intended to its line-up of 2016 because the Tigers were vastly competitive and perhaps unlucky not to make the finals considering the number of tight losses they suffered.
But Darren Harris has taken over as coach this season and the Tigers have responded with three dominant performances in between the Round 2 bye.
Claremont started its season beating East Fremantle by 62 points and then following the bye the Tigers beat Perth by 59 points and last Friday night they also defeated East Perth by 36 points at Leederville Oval.
With both the Bulldogs and Tigers having scored three supremely and impressive victories each so far in 2017, something will have to give on Good Friday and it's shaping as the game of the WAFL season to date.
Looking back to 2016, the two teams split their meetings with South Fremantle winning a thriller by eight points in Round 8 at the Claremont Showground.
The Tigers then bounced back with a strong 31-point win on the back of a dominant opening quarter in Round 16 at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
Winning form usually means there are little reason for the coaching staff to make too many changes.
That's certainly the case with South Fremantle with Todd Curley opting to stick with the same 22 that defeated West Perth last Saturday.
That leaves ruckman Jake Solomon who lost his spot to Brock Higgins last week along with Jacob Dragovich and key defender Josh Pullman as the emergencies for the Good Friday clash with Claremont.
Claremont, too, has little reason to change its side but the Tigers have one forced decision with Jack Richardson out following a hamstring injury suffered during last Friday night's win over East Perth.
Midfielder Tom Shanahan is the player to get another chance for Claremont following 29 possessions in the reserves win over East Perth on Sunday at Leederville Oval.
It is a twilight Good Friday clash at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the league game bouncing down at 4.15pm. The day will begin with the colts beginning at 11am before the reserves clash gets underway at 1.30pm.
ROUND 5 – GOOD FRIDAY
SOUTH FREMANTLE v CLAREMONT – FREMANTLE COMMUNITY BANK OVAL, FRIDAY 4.15PM
Broadcast – KIX Digital, HFM (107.3FM)