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Round 22 Preview v Claremont

Friday, September 3, 2021 - 4:43 PM

SWAN Districts has a chance to build some impressive momentum for their finals return and possibly even book in a home final up against Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday.

Swan Districts will play its last match of the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season on the road to Claremont on Saturday afternoon with both teams preparing to take part in finals action.

Not only are both Swans and the Tigers guaranteed of playing finals for 2021, but a win on Saturday could also see them finish higher than the current positions they occupy setting the stage for a fascinating contest.

Swan Districts currently sits in fifth position on the WAFL ladder with a 10-7 record and comes into Saturday's game on the back of a last gasp defeat against South Fremantle by five points last Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

A win last week would have had Swan Districts only percentage behind the fourth placed West Perth, but the black-and-whites can still snatch that position off the Falcons with a win against the Tigers.

They will also need West Perth to lose to Perth, and then for the margins in both games to see Swans make up a 10-goal gap on the Falcons in order to overtake them on percentage.

However, not helping Swan Districts' cause is the fact that Claremont has plenty to play for too.

The Tigers come into the last round in third position with the same 12-5 record as the second placed Claremont. It's only 0.39 of a percent that separates the two teams which equates to a 17-point different right now.

So if South Fremantle beats West Coast at the same time, Claremont will need to beat Swan Districts by somewhere around three more goals than what the Bulldogs win by.

However, a loss for the Bulldogs and all the Tigers need to do is win and there's even an outside chance Claremont could nab top spot and the minor premiership is Subiaco loses to Peel Thunder as well.

Claremont has enjoyed life against Swan Districts in recent times as well having won the last eight meetings between the two teams, but the last clash was in Round 1 of this year with the Tigers winning by 24 points in a game featuring 38 goals at Steel Blue Oval.

From the Swan Districts team that went so close to knocking off South Fremantle last week, Tarir Bayok, Jake Dugan, Tom Edwards, Callum Garcia, Brenton Hilton, Jehb O'Donohue, Dylan Ralph, Matt Riggio, Jacob Sideris and Nelson Waite have all come into the extended squad.

Meanwhile, Frank Anderson, Sam Fisher, Alex Howard, Nathan Ireland, Lewis Jetta and Jiah Reidy go out for the black-and-whites.

From the Claremont team that won big over the West Coast Eagles last week, Cameron Anderson, Oliver Eastland, Kane Mitchell, Rylie Morgan and Ben Rushforth have been added to the extended squad while Jake Patmore goes out injured.

Brayden Noble has been in tremendous form in recent weeks for Swan Districts in attack heading into the finals, and is looking forward to Swans following the game plan to try and lockdown the game Claremont likes to play.

"It was a very high-scoring game the last time played them, the new rules seemed to work well right away. But Claremont has obviously been a strong side ever since I've been in the WAFL and they have a lot of good users of the football through the midfield," Noble told 91.3 SportFM.

"They use a lot of short chip kicks through Jye Bolton and Bailey Rogers who are very good at, so it's about trying to stop those even though it's difficult defensively. But if you can stop them early it makes it a lot easier.

"So it's about playing man on and stop them moving the footy the way they want to, and making them kick long to our tall defenders is normally our game plan. That's what we will be planning and from there trying to turn it over through the midfield and trying to rebound as quick as we can to get it up to us forwards."

No matter how Saturday goes for Swan Districts, Noble is looking forward to them having a significant impact come the business end of the season as he prepares for the second finals series of his career.

"We have challenged all the teams above us this year and beaten the top side so that gives us some confidence going into finals," Noble said.

"We'd obviously have to play a really good month of footy to win a premiership, but we are confident that if we can get everything happening over the next four or five weeks that we can definitely go on a run and challenge all those teams, and hopefully end up holding up the cup."



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