Round 20 Preview V Subiaco

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 3:05 PM

SWAN Districts is feeling good after a good win over Peel and can now replace the Thunder in third position on the WAFL ladder if able to end Subiaco's winning streak at 16 at Leederville Oval on Saturday.

Subiaco is in the middle of a dominant 16-game winning streak but the Lions do lose another couple of important players this week ahead of hosting Swans on Saturday at Leederville ahead of a bye in Round 21.

No matter of personnel issues have stopped Subiaco so far in 2017 given its 16 matches won in-a-row at an average of 42.5 points, but they do face an in-form Swan Districts on Saturday.

The black-and-whites finished strongly last Saturday to overrun Peel Thunder on the way to a 16-point victory and that leaves Swans only percentage out of third spot.

A win on Saturday and Swan Districts will leapfrog Peel into third position and put them in a strong position to remain there for the rest of the season to earn a double chance come finals time.

That would be a significant achievement considering Swans won just two games to finish last in 2016.

The two teams have met just the once so far this season and that was back in Round 8 at Steel Blue Oval with Subiaco prevailing on that occasion by 64 points.

That means that Subiaco has won its last four games against Swan Districts.

Swans' last win over the Lions was in a stunning effort by a point at Steel Blue Oval in Round 20, 2015 even though Subiaco would go on to win the premiership that year.

While Subiaco can't be knocked off top spot over the last month of the WAFL season, the clash with Swans on Saturday begins a challenging finish to the year with games to come against West Perth and East Perth after the bye.

That should see the Lions match hardened before the bye in that opening weekend of the finals.

Meanwhile, Swan Districts will like the look of its run home with games remaining against East Perth, Claremont and East Fremantle meaning a win over Subiaco on Saturday would make it difficult to see the black-and-whites not ending up in third spot come season's end.

Both teams could find it difficult to score with Subiaco the best defensive team in the WAFL this season conceding just 64.6 points a game. Swans have also been solid defensively giving up 77.8 points a game to be the fourth best in that area.

But the Lions' have been significantly better in attack averaging 102.4 points a game while Swans are going at just 76.3 points. So if the black-and-whites want to beat Subiaco they will need to find a way to kick a score above the 80-point mark.

Swan Districts welcomes back two important players to help in the cause of trying to hand Subiaco its first loss since going down to South Fremantle in Round 1 at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Co-captain Tallan Ames is a welcome return to the defence after missing last week's win against Peel Thunder and he could get the job on Brad Stevenson who kicked five goals for Subiaco last week in a 61-point win against East Fremantle.

Jarrad Blight had a terrific season up until getting hurt in Round 12 against West Perth. But he's right to return on Saturday and will add some further run and quality to the Swans' line-up.

Josh Cipro and Xavier Ellis go out of the Swans' team that beat Peel last Saturday while co-captain David Ellard remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Subiaco does lose a couple of important players most importantly inspirational captain Kyal Horsley who is in the middle of another outstanding season. But he will miss Saturday's game and then have the bye next week in order to get himself right for the last two games of the season and then the finals.

Corey Adamson has turned himself into a tremendous WAFL player too having joined Subiaco after time on West Coast's rookie-list, but he's also out of the side on Saturday while key defender Declan Jackson will still need to prove his fitness.

Rising star Brayden Ainsworth looks in line to make his league debut for Subiaco with Dylan Clarke and Rowen Powell in the mix at the selection table.

Premiership players Hayden Kennedy and Kyle Halligan have both been named in the extended squad as they make their comebacks from long-term injuries.

But with Kennedy having only played one reserves game back and that being five weeks ago, and Halligan playing just one back last week where he had four kicks and a goal, it would be quite the shock if they weren’t playing reserves on Saturday to gain more fitness and touch.

Meanwhile, Swan Districts reserves could break into the top five with a win over Subiaco on Saturday while the colts can further consolidate their finals position.

Broadcast – 720 ABC Perth, 91.3 SportFM


By Chris Pike.