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Round 9 Preview v Peel Thunder

Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 11:19 PM
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SOUTH Fremantle's forward-line receives a huge boost with three key inclusions to host Peel Thunder on Saturday, but the challenge of getting its first win of the season won't be easy against the in-form boys from Mandurah.

South Fremantle might have not won a game yet this season but has been close on several occasions including against Perth in Round 3, West Perth in Round 4, Swan Districts in Round 5 and perhaps most of all East Perth in Round 8 prior to the State game break.
The Bulldogs dominated East Perth for much of the day and were still 15 points up midway through the last quarter, but then coughed up the last five goals of the game to lose by 19 points and slip to 0-7.
Peel has had a terrific three weeks prior to the week off with a 14-point win over Swan Districts, narrow 17-point loss to the unbeaten Claremont and then a win over Subiaco that was only by nine points because of the Thunder's inaccurate kicking.
Prior to Peel's win over South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval by 29 points in Round 14 last year, the Bulldogs had won eight straight games against the Thunder and they will be desperately hoping to record the four points this Saturday to avoid an eighth straight loss to open 2013.
South Fremantle was the only team in the competition not to have a representative in WA's winning team against Victoria last Saturday in Northam meaning all its group had the chance to freshen from a heartbreaking loss to East Perth to gear up to take on Peel this Saturday.
The forward-line led by Paul Mugambwa and Alistair Gillespie has been trying hard, but now undergoes an immediate transformation with the return of Ben Saunders, Ashton Hams and John Sgherza.
Saunders is the reigning Bernie Naylor Medallist having been the league's leading goalkicker last year and he returns after breaking his collarbone against Claremont in Round 1.
West Coast's Hams will play his first WAFL game of the season and provide another potent option in attack for the Bulldogs while Sgherza is also back for his first appearance since kicking four goals on Anzac Day against East Fremantle in an impressive individual performance.
Former East Fremantle forward Justin Monaco, who kicked five goals on WA Day last year against the Bulldogs, could also make his debut for South Fremantle but if he does it will likely be in the back-line given that's where he has played in the reserves over the last three weeks.
Mitch Carter is the only out at this stage for the Bulldogs but at least two others will be forced out of the side with at least Saunders, Sgherza and Hams guaranteed starters, and Monaco a good chance of playing also.
Peel's impressive form was rewarded with Paul Bower and Marlon Motlop both playing for WA last Saturday but Cruize Garlett could certainly consider himself unlucky not to have been selected after outstanding form highlighted with 34 possessions and two goals a fortnight ago in the win over Subiaco.
However, that gave him and the majority of his teammates the week off following a strong three weeks with the wins over Swan Districts and Subiaco, and close loss to Claremont.
Fremantle's Tom Sheridan and Tanner Smith go out of the line-up to take on South Fremantle with Laine Wilkins, Brennan Gillam, Pat Travers, Jamason Daniels and Mitch Green all pushing for a return.
By Chris PikeSOUTH Fremantle's forward-line receives a huge boost with three key inclusions to host Peel Thunder on Saturday, but the challenge of getting its first win of the season won't be easy against the in-form boys from Mandurah.

South Fremantle might have not won a game yet this season but has been close on several occasions including against Perth in Round 3, West Perth in Round 4, Swan Districts in Round 5 and perhaps most of all East Perth in Round 8 prior to the State game break.

The Bulldogs dominated East Perth for much of the day and were still 15 points up midway through the last quarter, but then coughed up the last five goals of the game to lose by 19 points and slip to 0-7.

Peel has had a terrific three weeks prior to the week off with a 14-point win over Swan Districts, narrow 17-point loss to the unbeaten Claremont and then a win over Subiaco that was only by nine points because of the Thunder's inaccurate kicking.

Prior to Peel's win over South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval by 29 points in Round 14 last year, the Bulldogs had won eight straight games against the Thunder and they will be desperately hoping to record the four points this Saturday to avoid an eighth straight loss to open 2013.

South Fremantle was the only team in the competition not to have a representative in WA's winning team against Victoria last Saturday in Northam meaning all its group had the chance to freshen from a heartbreaking loss to East Perth to gear up to take on Peel this Saturday.

The forward-line led by Paul Mugambwa and Alistair Gillespie has been trying hard, but now undergoes an immediate transformation with the return of Ben Saunders, Ashton Hams and John Sgherza.

Saunders is the reigning Bernie Naylor Medallist having been the league's leading goalkicker last year and he returns after breaking his collarbone against Claremont in Round 1.

West Coast's Hams will play his first WAFL game of the season and provide another potent option in attack for the Bulldogs while Sgherza is also back for his first appearance since kicking four goals on Anzac Day against East Fremantle in an impressive individual performance.

Former East Fremantle forward Justin Monaco, who kicked five goals on WA Day last year against the Bulldogs, could also make his debut for South Fremantle but if he does it will likely be in the back-line given that's where he has played in the reserves over the last three weeks.

Mitch Carter is the only out at this stage for the Bulldogs but at least two others will be forced out of the side with at least Saunders, Sgherza and Hams guaranteed starters, and Monaco a good chance of playing also.

Peel's impressive form was rewarded with Paul Bower and Marlon Motlop both playing for WA last Saturday but Cruize Garlett could certainly consider himself unlucky not to have been selected after outstanding form highlighted with 34 possessions and two goals a fortnight ago in the win over Subiaco.

However, that gave him and the majority of his teammates the week off following a strong three weeks with the wins over Swan Districts and Subiaco, and close loss to Claremont.

Fremantle's Tom Sheridan and Tanner Smith go out of the line-up to take on South Fremantle with Laine Wilkins, Brennan Gillam, Pat Travers, Jamason Daniels and Mitch Green all pushing for a return.

By Chris Pike