Round 5 Preview | v West Coast Eagles

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 9:02 AM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle plays the West Coast Eagles in the WAFL for the first ever time on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the Bulldogs looking to continue their impressive start to the 2019 season.

There might have been plenty of questions surrounding South Fremantle entering 2019 following the departures of a host of quality, experienced players who had been instrumental in the Bulldogs reaching the past three preliminary finals.

But the Bulldogs have been able to still field a team with plenty of experience but also some emerging players ready to grasp their opportunities and the results has been winning three of the opening four games of the season.

Now it's a battle against the West Coast Eagles for the first time this Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. The game begins at 1.15pm and will be a standalone fixture with South Fremantle's reserves and colts both having the bye.

FIVE BULLDOGS STARS IN WAFL STATE SQUAD
BULLDOGS CONTINUE DERBY DOMINANCE OVER SHARKS

South Fremantle has been impressive to start the 2019 season beating Swan Districts, West Perth and East Fremantle with the only loss being a nail-biter by just two three points against the undefeated Perth.

Another strong showing on Saturday and a victory for the first time over the Eagles would be a positive result for South Fremantle to head into the State Game break with a 4-1 record.

The WAFL State Team next Sunday plays the SANFL at Optus Stadium and from that 31-man squad so far named, South Fremantle's Brock Higgins, Haiden Schloithe, Jacob Dragovich, Kade Stewart and Chad Pearson have been included.

There was plenty of unknowns surrounding the West Coast Eagles entering their own WAFL team into the competition this year as well, but they have so far started the season with wins against Peel Thunder and Claremont, and losses to undefeated sides Perth and Subiaco.

That all points to a fascinating contest at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday between two teams coming off strong victories.

South Fremantle has made the two changes from the team that thrashed East Fremantle by 91 points. Nick Suban returns with Kyle Russell to play his first game of the season.

Regan Spooner goes out having ruptured his ACL with Josh Collard also unable to hold his place in the team.

The Eagles will make four changes from their side that beat the Tigers with Nick Reid, Joel Ashman, Mitch Curnow and Daniel Acres the inclusions while Kurt Mutimer, Brady Grey, Nathan Vardy and Francis Watson go out.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley knows that the Eagles will provide the Bulldogs with a stern test in a number of areas.

"They started really well last week kicking seven goals in the first quarter and in a couple of their other games this year too they have started really well," Curley said.

"We'll have to be ready to go from the start and there's a few names there obviously that we don’t know that well who are the younger draftees or top-up guys who have been playing.

"But their senior players are quality and there might be a few changes between guys who played last week and guys who played at AFL level, but I think their structure will remain pretty similar with how they want to play. It will be a good challenge for us."

ROUND 5
SOUTH FREMANTLE v WEST COAST EAGLES – FREMANTLE COMMUNITY BANK OVAL, SATURDAY 1.15PM

LEAGUE LIVE STATS