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Friday, April 29, 2022 - 1:06 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle is back at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday to renew its remarkable recent rivalry with Claremont and looking to remain unbeaten so far in the 2022 WAFL season.

The Bulldogs have opened up the 2022 season with wins against the reigning premiers Subiaco and last year's wooden spooners West Coast, and now take on Claremont in a preliminary final rematch on Saturday afternoon.

With Claremont also having won their opening two matches of the season against West Perth and Subiaco, it shapes as yet another fascinating match up between the two teams with a fascinating recent history.

The last clash between the two teams was last year's preliminary final where South Fremantle was able to hold Claremont goalless for three quarters before holding on for the 11-point to book a spot in a third consecutive Grand Final.

Prior to that, the Bulldogs also beat the Tigers at Fremantle Community Bank Oval by a point in the qualifying final when Claremont's Jared Hardisty missed the potential game winner after the siren.

Going back further, South Fremantle beat also won at home by a point over Claremont in Round 14 last year and before that, the Tigers won at Revo Fitness Stadium by 16 points in Round 2.

That was all on the back of their incredible run of game also in 2020 that including an eight-point win for South Fremantle during the season before Claremont won the second semi-final by 47 points, and then the Bulldogs won the Grand Final down at Fremantle Community Bank Oval by three points.

The stage is set for another tremendous battle now on Saturday afternoon as they both put their undefeated 2022 records on the line with South Fremantle fresh off beating West Coast last Saturday, and Claremont knocking off Subiaco.

South Fremantle coach Todd Curley has been happy with the opening two weeks of the season despite the challenges have that have come with both games against the Lions and Eagles.

"There's a few to come back but it looks like you'll have a few back and a few going out each week going forward. We've always been working on needing a squad to get there and that's what we'll continue to drive," Curley said.

"We're happy with two wins obviously, that's the biggest thing. We've had a fair bit of change and a fair bit of going on with personnel, and all of the clubs have been going through that. 

"But I think the ability of the group now to sort of be agile and not let too much faze them has probably been the most pleasing thing so far."

Now preparing for Saturday's clash with Claremont, Curley knows it's difficult to prepare too much for the Tigers given the uncertainty over what personnel they will have available, so at this point he's just focusing on getting his team up and firing the best he can.

"It's also so early in the year and you don't really have much of a read on teams anyway. We'll just concentrate on us and we can get us right, we'll be right in the game," Curley said.

"It's a new game and year so nothing that happens in the past is going to impact what's going to happen this week. But we back ourselves that if we bring our best we'll be right in the game. 

"It will be a good game and history says that they've been pretty close recently, and we know they're a good team. We think we are going to be a good team as well."

South Fremantle is looking for a third straight win to start the new season and there are five changes coming into Saturday's clash with Claremont.

Brendon Ah Chee comes into the team to play his first game of the season on his return to South Fremantle this season following his time in the AFL system.

Darryl Anderson will also come into the team to make his WAFL debut for the Bulldogs as a small forward with Jordan Boullineau returning to the side and Glenn Byron and Steve Verrier also coming into the line-up to take on the Tigers.

Going out of the team at South Fremantle to take on Claremont on Saturday are Caleb Datson, Brandon Donaldson, Steely Green, Toby McQuilkin and Trent Newton.

Claremont was hit hard by COVID last week but still produced a stirring win against Subiaco to make it two from two to start the new season.

Now to take on South Fremantle on Saturday, Jye Bolton, Jack Buller, Callan England, Declan Hardisty, Jack Lewsey, Lachlan Martinis, Declan Mountford, Ronin O'Connor, Louis Passera and Bailey Rogers all come back in for the Tigers.

Ben Clarke, Talon Delacey, Ben Harding, Patrick Kitchener, Zac Mainwaring, Charlie Malone, Steven Miller, Max Minear, Alex Pearce and Tyron Smallwood all are the players to make way in the Claremont team for the clash with South Fremantle.