Round 8 Preview v East Perth

Friday, September 4, 2020 - 12:36 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle returns to Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday looking to remain undefeated and lock away for sure a top two WAFL finish for 2020 against an East Perth team trying to keep its season alive too.

The stage is set for a fascinating contest on Saturday afternoon at Fremantle Community Bank Oval as the Bulldogs look to stay unbeaten in 2020 and go a step closer towards locking away the minor premiership, but the Royals arrive with their season on the line as well.

South Fremantle is already guaranteed of playing finals in 2020 and now a win on Saturday will lock away 100 per cent a top two finish, and likely the minor premiership to earn them a finals double chance.

But East Perth has its season to play for so the Royals will be throwing everything at upsetting the Bulldogs and handing them their first loss of the season.

East Perth could still be an outside chance of playing finals with a loss on Saturday if Perth also loses to Swan Districts, but it will be getting dicey. The Royals do finish up against the winless Peel Thunder though.

South Fremantle has won the last five meetings with East Perth since the Royals scored an upset one-point win at Fremantle Community Bank Oval in Round 10, 2017.

South Fremantle looks likely to welcome back former East Perth ruckman Brock Higgins for the game as well along with defender Chris Luff. 

Tom Blechynden, Jarrad Doney, Kyle Hamersley and Andrew Haydon are the other players added to the squad for the Bulldogs against the Royals.

Noah Strom (hamstring) and Kyle Russell (shoulder) go out of the South Fremantle team injured following last week's win in Mandurah over Peel.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley is looking forward to welcoming back Higgins and Luff to face the Royals, but he knows that with so many players putting their hands up now, selection is going to only get more challenging every week from here at the Bulldogs.

"I think Luff and Higgins will be close but I don’t think Denty will be available next week. Obviously we've also got Blechynden, Hamersley and Abbott who didn’t play this week but have played a lot of this year," Curley said.

"That's a good problem to have. Sometimes it can be tough on the players and it's tough on the coaches as well but at the end of the day we want as many players available as we can. 

"It's really important that we keep winning next weekend to give us seven which would make it pretty hard to push us out of top two. We wanted six as quick as we can but it turns out now we want seven."

From the East Perth team that beat Swan Districts last week to keep its season alive on the back of a stirring win against Subiaco, Mitch Dobson, Jonathan Freeman, Jordan Hayden and Taylor North have been added to the squad.