Round 6 Preview v Swan Districts

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 9:34 AM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle will look to head into the WAFL State game break on a four-game winning streak when the Bulldogs return to Fremantle Community Bank Oval for the second time in 2018 to host Swan Districts on Saturday.

The Bulldogs and Swans are both coming off some impressive victories too heading into their Round 6 contest at the port that takes on greater significance with the State game break to come next week meaning they will both be desperate to head into that in winning form.

South Fremantle has now won its past three matches against West Perth by eight points, East Fremantle by 94 and Claremont by 27 since a first up loss to Subiaco by 58 points.

Swan Districts, meanwhile, started the season strongly beating Perth and Peel Thunder before losing to Subiaco and West Perth. But Swans bounced back well last Saturday beating East Fremantle by 90 points at Steel Blue Oval.

So there have been plenty of similarities to the two teams over the opening five weeks of the season. Both lost to Subiaco, South Fremantle by 58 points and Swan Districts by 96, and both thrashed East Fremantle with Bulldogs winning by 94 points and Swans by 90.

That sets the stage for what should be a tremendous contest between two teams fighting for that second position on the WAFL ladder behind the rampant Subiaco.

The last time the teams met was in the first semi-final last year also at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. On that occasion, Swan Districts started well and were still nine points up early in the second quarter.

But from that point on, South Fremantle kicked 17 of the last 20 goals of the game to end up winning by 80 points to advance to the preliminary final against Subiaco and ending the season of Swan Districts.

The Bulldogs have had a good run against Swans in recent times too taking out a 21-point loss at Steel Blue Oval in Round 2 last year when they kicked 8.16.

But South Fremantle has won six of the past seven matches against Swan Districts by an average of 42.3 points.

Swan Districts has been a strong starting team to date in 2018 outscoring its opponents by 42 points over the course of the season. South Fremantle has won its four first quarters in total by only two points in contrast.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents by a total of 47 points over last quarters this season while Swans have lost their final terms by three points, and their third quarters by 33 points.

South Fremantle has at least three changes to its team for Saturday's clash with Swan Districts from the side that beat Claremont in Albany last Saturday.

Experienced pair Blayne Wilson and Ashton Hams are out of the team along with Zac Dent following his first two matches with the Bulldogs.

Cory Dell'Olio is available for the first time in 2018 following his suspension he received during the pre-season.

Experienced pair Zac Strom and Adam McIntosh are also in the mix to play their first games of the 2018 season at league level while Jake Florenca is a chance to return as well after being a late withdrawal in Albany through an infected tooth.

The Bulldogs could potentially have two more debutants as well with Caleb Datson and Glenn Byron in the mix at the selection table.

From the Swan Districts team that beat East Fremantle by 90 points last Saturday at Steel Blue Oval, Freddie Clutterbuck, Brad Fullgrabe, Jarrad Blight and Brayden Hackett have been added to the squad.

Clutterbuck has now played two games back in the reserves from injury and was impressive with 30 possessions and 11 marks last Saturday against East Fremantle.

Fullgrabe also had a good performance with three goals to go with 15 touches, 10 hit outs and three goals while Blight and Hackett are again available for selection after missing last week against the Sharks. 

Blight hasn’t played since the Round 2 victory against Peel.

Ben Holman goes out of the team having played the first five games of the season in defence for Swans while 116-game midfielder Adam Faulkner wasn’t able to force his way back into the side despite 29 possessions in the reserves last week.

Broadcast – Noongar Radio, KIX Digital, Footy Radio