Round 9 Preview v Subiaco

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 3:31 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle has the chance to beat Subiaco for a second time this season, to win a sixth straight WAFL match and to go a game clear on top of the ladder when taking on the Lions at Leederville Oval on Saturday.

Subiaco and South Fremantle both enter the clash at Leederville Oval in outstanding form with the Lions having won six straight matches, and the Bulldogs five in succession.

That sees both teams currently hold a 6-1 record with South Fremantle only currently sitting ahead of Subiaco in top spot courtesy of a percentage greater to the tune of 28 per cent.

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The winner now of Saturday's clash will improve to a 7-1 record and be a game clear on top of the ladder following nine rounds of the 2017 season. 

The loser will slip to 6-2 and that would be level with Swan Districts if they manage to beat Peel Thunder and only a game ahead of West Perth who has the Round 9 bye.

The two teams have already met once this season back in Round 1 at Fremantle Community Bank Oval as South Fremantle made quite the statement with a 39-point victory over a Subiaco team coming off playing in the previous three grand finals.

Subiaco had won the previous six games over South Fremantle and the Round 1 win was the first for the Bulldogs with Todd Curley as coach after he took over coming into the 2015 season.

That six-game winning streak Subiaco had over South Fremantle included last year's second semi-final that the Lions won by 40 points on the way to the grand final.

Since that Round 1 loss, Subiaco has been in some ominous form winning all six of its matches over Perth, West Perth, Peel Thunder, East Perth, Claremont and Swan Districts by an average of 43.2 points.

The last three wins over the Royals, Tigers and Swans have been particularly emphatic at 70 points.

South Fremantle had a hiccup in Round 2 after that win over Subiaco losing to Swan Districts by 21 points at Steel Blue Oval.

But since then, the Bulldogs have scarcely been challenged with wins over Peel Thunder, West Perth, Claremont, East Fremantle and Perth by an average of 62.4 points.

South Fremantle's lowest winning margin this season was that Round 1 39-point win over Subiaco at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

The two teams are the highest scorers in the league this season with South Fremantle averaging 109.9 points a game and Subiaco 97.1. The Bulldogs defence is also the best in the league at 62.7 points while the Lions are second best at 65.7.

South Fremantle's highest-scoring quarter across the season is the last averaging 36 points a game. They concede just 12 points in last quarters on average as well.

Subiaco's best is the third where they score 30 points on average as well while conceding just 15.

The lesson to learn out of that is that the Lions would want to have a handy three quarter-time lead if they want to come away with the win.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley is looking forward to challenge against the competition's benchmark.

"Obviously they’re the best performed team over the last four or five years. So it's a big challenge for us on their home ground, but one we’re ready for," Curley said.

"I never think that you’re travelling as bad as you are and you’re never travelling as good as you think you are. We’re only going to be as good as we are, and just next week is the only thing that counts.

"Everything we’ve done in the past while it builds confidence, it doesn’t have any influence on the contest. It will be a big challenge and one we look forward to."

South Fremantle will welcome back Ashton Hams for his first game since injuring a hamstring in the Good Friday victory over Claremont at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Zac Strom also took his demotion last week the right way and went back to the reserves and delivered 25 possessions, 13 marks and five goals to put himself right back in the hunt for a recall to face Subiaco on Saturday at Leederville Oval.

Matthew Parker continues to make a strong case to make his debut following another 24 disposals and a goal in the reserves last week over Perth.

Not that it needs any extra motivation, but Subiaco will also be celebrating the 150th game of captain Kyal Horsley on Saturday for the clash with South Fremantle at Leederville Oval.

There's little reason for change either at the Lions from the team that beat Swan Districts by 64 points last Saturday at Steel Blue Oval.

Michael Braut, Greg Clark and Daniel Perkins are the three players added to the squad to face the Bulldogs.

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