NAIDOC Round Preview v Claremont

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 10:41 AM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle is back from the WAFL bye to take on Claremont with the Bulldogs looking for a first NAIDOC Round win over the Tigers since 2009 and a first win at Claremont Oval since 2008.

Claremont and South Fremantle have now done battle in NAIDOC Round contests since 2007 to celebrate their Indigenous heritage.

The Tigers have dominated those contests as well but Saturday's clash at Claremont Oval has plenty riding on it for both clubs.

South Fremantle remains solid in second position despite the bye last week. Prior to that, the Bulldogs thrashed Perth by 110 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval despite being 29 points down late in the opening quarter.

That was on the back of a 47-point win over West Perth for South Fremantle with the Bulldogs sitting on a 9-4 record. However, a loss on Saturday to Claremont and the Bulldog will only be percentage ahead of both Peel and Swan Districts if they also win during NAIDOC Round.

South Fremantle did score a thumping 65-point win over Claremont at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Good Friday with both teams going into that game in some impressive form.

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Claremont comes into the game after a loss to Peel Thunder last Saturday but the Tigers had won all three of their games back at the redeveloped Claremont Oval prior to that to reignite their finals hopes.

The Tigers remain in sixth position with a 6-7 record but a win on Saturday for Claremont and loss for West Perth to Peel Thunder would see them return to the top five.

Claremont has been the dominant team in the annual NAIDOC Week battles, though, with South Fremantle's only win on the occasion coming back in its premiership year of 2009.

The Tigers have won nine of the 10 battles overall including by 31 points last year at the port despite South Fremantle going on to make the preliminary final and Claremont missing the finals.

The game will be the first time South Fremantle has played at Claremont Oval was back in Round 1, 2013. The Bulldogs last win at Tigerland was way back on Round 6, 2008.

South Fremantle will also be celebrating the 100th game of on-fire midfielder Haiden Schloithe.

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Claremont's NAIDOC Round jumper has the Indigenous artwork added over their traditional blue design with the gold stripe. The artwork represents a stream of water and the two boomerangs are to highlight offence and defence.

While South Fremantle has a new design for the first time since 2007 with former player Jermaine Miller-Lewis given the task of creating the new look. He is a renowned Indigenous artist on top of his footballing prowess and his designs features the boomerangs in place of the club's famous Red V.

The stream then at the top of the second half of the jumper is to show the Swan River with the symbols on the outside representing South Fremantle as the main meeting place where people come to play.

Claremont and South Fremantle have two of the strongest histories with Indigenous players in all of Australia, and again will be well represented in Saturday's clash.

Nick Winmar, CJ Oakley and Keifer Yu have all been named in Claremont's league team to represent the Tigers while Marlion Pickett, Tim Kelly, Steve Edwards and potentially Jarrod Garlett will all be out there for South Fremantle.

The Bulldogs will also have Matthew Parker and Josh Collard playing in the reserves in honour of NAIDOC Round.

The bye last weekend coming off the big win over Perth has allowed some of South Fremantle's sore bodies time to rest up to get up and take on Claremont on Saturday at Claremont Oval, including full-forward Ben Saunders who suffered a nasty knock and concussion early against the Demons.

Jarrod Garlett, Tom Vandeleur and Jacob Dragovich were three players who continued to play well in the reserves prior to the bye to again press their claims to return to the South Fremantle league side on Saturday against the Tigers.

Claremont will lose running half-back Ryan Murphy from last week's team that lost to Peel in a thriller by two points at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

The Tigers will welcome back veteran key forward Beau Maister after he missed the game against the Thunder.

Nick Winmar, Aaron Holt and Lachlan Martinis are the other Claremont players vying for selection to take on South Fremantle on Saturday at Claremont Oval.


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