Round 2 Preview v West Perth

Friday, July 24, 2020 - 5:52 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle couldn’t have started the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Season in more emphatic fashion than last Saturday and now the Bulldogs will look to continue that on Saturday at a ground they've enjoyed great success with.

After the delayed opening to the 2020 WAFL season thanks to COVID-19, last Saturday was an afternoon to remember for the Bulldogs in front of more than 4000 fans at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

In what will be the only derby for the season, the Bulldogs beat East Fremantle for a 10th straight time to the tune of 95 points on what was also the 150th game of Sandover Medallist and dual fairest and best winner Haiden Schloithe.

Now the Bulldogs look to back that performance up against West Perth at Joondalup's Provident Financial Oval on Saturday.

PLAYER COLUMN – CHRIS LUFF ROUND 2
COACH Q AND A – TODD CURLEY ROUND 1
STUNNING SEASON-OPENING DERBY WIN FOR BULLDOGS

West Perth also started its 2020 season with a victory last Saturday, coming from behind to defeat Swan Districts by 11 points at Steel Blue Oval.

That sets the stage for a tremendous contest on Saturday afternoon now with the winner to remain undefeated in what is even more significant in the shortened season while the loser will slip back to the pack at 1-1.

South Fremantle will take great confidence into the game, though, both because of the recent record against West Perth and at the venue.

The Bulldogs have won 11 of the past 12 games against the Falcons including two last year with both teams again ending up playing in the finals.

What will still be hurting any of the South Fremantle players who took part in that game will be the one loss in the past 12 matches where West Perth pulled off an upset for the ages to win the 2018 preliminary final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

South Fremantle also has always enjoyed travelling to Joondalup having won on 19 of their 28 visits to the ground since West Perth began to call it home in 1994. The Bulldogs have won on their past four trips north and haven’t lost at Joondalup since Round 13, 2015.

The Bulldogs have been forced into one change coming out of last Saturday's thumping derby win with captain Dylan Main going down hurt in the third quarter while pulling off a typically courageous chase down tackle.

There's a more than handy replacement to come into the side for him, though, in the form of veteran utility Steve Verrier. Kye Barker, Tom Blechynden, Andrew Haydon and John Levien remain the players banging on the door for selection with the Bulldogs.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley is looking forward to another return to his old stomping ground against West Perth, but in the bigger picture can just see how good it is for everyone that football is back and life is beginning to get back to normal.

"That's our next opponent. I've spent a lot of time there in my time so I know a lot of people pretty well up there," Curley said.

"But we've played them a fair few times now since I've been here and it's just another game. It's a ground we do play pretty well generally at though.

"I think it's important to everyone – players, coaches, supporters and the community as a whole to get back going and having that bit of feeling of normality. Realistically we are all involved here because we love footy. 

"As coaches, we can't play anymore but this is as close as we can get to that and we enjoy that and the players love playing footy. It's important that we're back and we are really lucky that in WA we've been able to get back and play. Hopefully everything goes well going forward."

ROUND 2 – GARLIC MUNCHERS CUP
SOUTH FREMANTLE v WEST PERTH – PROVIDENT FINANCIAL OVAL, SATURDAY 2.30PM

LEAGUE LIVE STATS
RESERVES LIVE STATS
COLTS LIVE STATS