Round 22 Preview v Claremont

Friday, August 18, 2017 - 3:55 PM

SWAN Districts returns home to Steel Blue Oval on Saturday to take on Claremont with the chance to cement a WAFL finals position and remain a chance of finishing third to earn a double chance.

The game is also the first Father-Daughter Day that Swan Districts is promoting to encouraging fathers and their daughters to come along and enjoy what Steel Blue Oval has to offer.

Fathers can bring their daughters along to the match, where free footballs will be handed to the first 100 daughters from 12pm and free drinks and lunch will be provided for daughters during the president’s luncheon.

Plenty will go on the line at the Bassendean venue on Saturday with two teams desperate to win in the second last round of the 2017 WAFL season.

Having lost away from home the past two weeks to Subiaco and East Perth, both at Leederville Oval, Swans have conceded their hold on a position in the top five and now need one win its past two games guarantee a finals appearance.

That will be quite the achievement for the black-and-whites following last year's wooden spoon finish with just the two wins. Meanwhile, two wins in the last two rounds and Swans would still remain a hope of finishing third and earning a finals double chance.

However, a loss on Saturday to Claremont and Swan Districts would be in a must-win situation next Saturday also at Steel Blue Oval East Fremantle to make finals.

Claremont, meanwhile, might only have an outside chance of playing finals still in 2017 having lost five of its past six matches, but that all goes on the line against Swan Districts on Saturday.

A loss for the Tigers and their season will be over with them potentially sitting three games outside of fifth position. Even a win for Claremont on Saturday would need likely the upset of the season with Perth beating East Perth at the same time for the Tigers to remain any hope of playing finals.

For Claremont to play finals, it needs East Perth and West Perth to lose its past two matches and for the Tigers to win their last two against Swan Districts and West Perth. It is all relying on them beating Swans on Saturday and Perth upsetting East Perth to set up the final round.

Swans are coming into the game having lost the past two weeks at Leederville to Subiaco and East Perth, and will still be without Matt Riggio, Xavier Ellis and Matthew Rogers but the black-and-whites will like their chances back on home turf.

When the two teams met at Steel Blue Oval back in Round 7, it was Swans who prevailed by 17 points before Claremont won at Claremont Oval in Round 13 by 67 points.

There will be some fascinating match ups throughout the game as well and one of those could very well be the last time that premiership-winning veterans Tallan Ames and Beau Maister lock horns against one another at full-forward for Claremont.

The ruck battle could also be pivotal between Corey Gault from Swan Districts and Mitch Andrews from Claremont. The pair have been the two standout big man in the WAFL this season along with South Fremantle's Brock Higgins.

With Riggio, Ellis and Rogers already among those unavailable for Swan Districts, they also lose Freddie Clutterbuck to a groin injury after he made his return to the league side from a thumb injury last week against East Perth at Leederville Oval.

Jack Watson, Brayden Noble, Brayden Hackett and Ethan Maguire are also out of the Swan Districts team.

Full-forward Ricky Cary should be straight back in after missing the game against the Royals with co-captain David Ellard also set to return from a hamstring injury.

Former West Perth player Ben McGillivray could make his debut for Swans on Saturday with Levi Ridley, Chad Daniels, Tobe Watson, Steven Wityk and Laurence Grescos the other players to come into the selection mix.

Swans coach Greg Harding hopes that a more solid second half last week against East Perth can provide some belief coming into the clash with Claremont.

"Last week I thought there was real merit with how the boys fought back in the second half even though it was a really tough day. But they dug in after half-time and had a crack even though we still continued to butcher the footy," Harding said.

"But against a pretty good side we did a decent job to keep it to eight goals to nine after that point when it had blown out. There's some positives to take out of it in terms of how we fought on and there's some merit in that, but we have to make sure we continue to do the basics well.

"If you can't control the footy you can't win games and that's what we have to work on over the next two weeks in the regular season."

There are plenty of changes at Claremont as well following last Saturday's 32-point defeat to South Fremantle at Claremont Oval.

The Tigers have the chance to unveil a couple more debutants on Saturday against Swan Districts with Josh Bennett and Fraser Gilbert in the mix to play.

Jeremy Goddard, Lachlan Martinis, Matthew Palfrey and Jack Richardson are all chances to come into the Tigers line-up with their season on the line as well.

Ryan Neates, Matthew Davies and Charles Le Fanu are out of the Claremont side.

ROUND 22
SWAN DISTRICTS v CLAREMONT – STEEL BLUE OVAL, SATURDAY 2.15PM
Broadcast – 91.3 SportFM, KIX Digital

LEAGUE TEAMS, LIVE STATS http://www.wafl.com.au/games/view/10987
RESERVES TEAMS, LIVE STATS http://www.wafl.com.au/games/view/11198
COLTS TEAMS, LIVE STATS http://www.wafl.com.au/games/view/11108

By Chris Pike.