Round 14 Preview v Perth

Saturday, June 24, 2017 - 7:33 AM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle returned to impressive form last Saturday and will look to continue that on Sunday on the hunt of an eighth straight victory against Perth at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

IT is second against second last when South Fremantle hosts Perth at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Sunday but the Demons will be desperate to put in a spirited showing.

South Fremantle returned to form last Saturday beating West Perth by 47 points and the Bulldogs have won their last seven matches against the Demons leading into Saturday's clash on home turf.

Perth looked set for its third win of the season at half-time last Saturday leading East Fremantle by 23 points. The Demons put in their worst performance of 2017 from there to end up losing to the Sharks by 58 points but they will be hungry to bounce back hard on Sunday.

The added incentive will be that Perth will drop to bottom spot on the ladder if they fail to win and East Fremantle manages its second win of the season.

Sunday's clash at Fremantle Community Bank Oval will also be televised live on Channel 7 from 2pm.

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Sunday's contest is the second meeting of the two teams this season with South Fremantle having beaten Perth by 60 points at Lathlain Park in Round 8.

That victory means that South Fremantle has won the last seven games against Perth by an average of almost 44 points.

The Bulldogs won all three games over the Demons in 2016 by 98 points in Round 5 at Lathlain Park, by 37 points at Carnarvon in Round 20 and then three weeks later back at Lathlain Park by 52 points on the eve of the finals.

Prior to that, South Fremantle beat Perth by 38 points and 10 points in the two meetings of 2015, and a 12-point win in Round 16, 2014 at Lathlain Park.

The Demons' last win over the Bulldogs came by five points in Round 2, 2014 at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. That was a memorable occasion with the Demons coming back from 44 points down to win by five in Kris Miller's 300th match.

South Fremantle had lost three of its past four games this season leading into the clash with West Perth at HBF Arena. The one win in that stretch was emphatic over East Fremantle by 145 points, but they did need to beat West Perth to remain in second spot.

The Bulldogs came away with the 47-point win to improve to an 8-4 record to be a game and percentage clear in that second spot.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley knows Perth can't be taken lightly.

"They were pretty good when we played them last time," Curley said.

"They can be really exciting with the way the move the ball, they force you to defend really hard when they’ve got the ball and we have to bring the same pressure, effort and intent that we did this week to win that game."

Perth, meanwhile, has now lost four straight matches to have just two wins for 2017. Having shown some signs of improvement in the early parts of season, that momentum has well and truly halted the past month.

It can still be turned around but that will be tougher with the Demons still without Spencer White, Sam Garstone, Cody Leggett, Jarrad Irons, Jared Bell and Laine Wilkins.

South Fremantle could unveil two debutants in Sunday's game with versatile big man Noah Strom and 2017 arrival Matthew Parker both in the mix at the selection table.

Zac Strom could also return after a strong performance in the reserves last week against West Perth with 18 possessions, 10 marks and four goals.

Tom Vandeleur is in the mix for his first league appearance in 2017 while Jacob Dragovich could return after 25 disposals last week in the reserves.

Defender Chris Luff is out of the South Fremantle after copping a head knock in last week's win over West Perth.

Perth could unveil another debutant with Andries Mercer in the mix to take on South Fremantle.

Brent Edmonds, Brad McPhail, Anton Scotney, Liam McKenna and Gordon Narrier could come into the Demons line-up on Sunday as well.

Jake Schleicher and Julian Jacobs are both out.

Broadcast –
Channel 7, KIX Digital