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WAFL Round 9 Preview

Friday, June 17, 2022 - 4:16 PM

Swan Districts heads to Joondalup on Saturday afternoon to play West Perth hunting a fourth consecutive WAFL victory and to further consolidate a spot in the top five.

Swans have built some impressive form over the past three weeks with wins against South Fremantle, the West Coast Eagles and Peel Thunder to come into Round 9 of the 2022 WAFL season in fifth position on the ladder with a 5-3 record.

Swan Districts will now head to Pentanet Stadium in Joondalup to take on the second placed West Perth in a fascinating match up on Saturday afternoon.

Swans are attempting to win a fourth straight match this season which would further consolidate them in the top five while the Falcons have the chance to move back to top spot with a win of their own depending on how other results go.

Saturday's game will be the first time the two teams have met so far in 2022 with the last meeting being a dramatic elimination final battle last year also at Joondalup. Swan Districts led most of the day but in the end West Perth prevailed by four points.

That made it five consecutive wins for the Falcons over the Swans but the battles haven a lot closer than that suggests.
Swan Districts' last win against West Perth also came at Joondalup back in Round 4, 2019 when the black-and-whites beat the Falcons by 44 points.

Swan Districts co-captain Jesse Turner is in some of the more spectacular and consistent form of his 109-game WAFL career and is coming off a 40-possession performance in last week's nail-biting win against Peel Thunder at Steel Blue Oval.

However looking ahead to Saturday's clash with West Perth, with the wet weather closing in Turner is expecting a hard fought, contested contest and whoever gets on top in the midfield will be in a good position to end up prevailing.

"Looking at the weather, it is looking like it's going to be quite wet so that means it's a bit more of a simple game," Turner said on SEN.

"West Perth always has a really good midfield so I think like a lot of games it will be won in the midfield, but also I think the territory game is going to be massive especially if the weather is going to be what it's expected to be.

"It's not going to be pretty football and I'm sure it's not going to be as many possessions as there normally would, there'll be a lot of scrappy kicks to try and get the ball forward. Then it will be about trying to lock the ball in your forward-line.

"I think initially if we can get on top of their midfield who we know have players like Black, Nelson and Manzone who have been very strong for a long time. But if we can play at our best and get that territory, and get the ball moving forward and lock it in, I think we'll have our best chance to score and obviously prevent them from getting any momentum."

Turner is averaging 30.4 possessions a game so far this season on the wing for Swan Districts so he has come a long way from the player who used to run-with West Perth captain Aaron Black and try to curb his influence.

He still expects to spend some time opposed to Black on Saturday, though, but really all he'll do is run to his wing and go out there and play his role, and whatever West Perth chooses to do opposite him will be up to them.

"When I first started I did a few run-with roles and I played a lot on Black. He's someone I've looked up to so I used to play on him but nowadays players have been coming to me. So I'll be out on the wing and I know Blacky plays out on the wing at times and so does Manzone," Turner said.

"I'm sure I'll play on both those guys at some point and I know West Perth has a tagger too who runs around with someone, and I hope he goes to someone like Fisher on our team or doesn’t tag at all but we'll just have to wait and see."

After a bit of a rocky start to the 2022 season with narrow losses to Claremont, East Fremantle and Subiaco over the first five rounds, Swan Districts has now built some impressive momentum over the last three weeks beating South Fremantle, West Coast and Peel.

That has Swans on track to build on the finals appearance they made last year and Turner is fully confident of what they could be capable of if they continue on the trajectory they are currently on.

"Definitely over the last few weeks you can feel the excitement building with our crowd. We made the finals last year but before that we had been struggling a bit and they were still so loyal to us," Turner added.

"Definitely this year I can see more and more are coming each week, and I think we can keep our form going. Our result is 5-3 so far but if you look at the three games we lost we were leading each of them with about five minutes to go.

"So we've been a good chance in all eight games we played and early on a few things we did wrong cost us those close games. But fortunately for us a lot of those things we've worked on at training have worked in those close games against Claremont, South and Peel.

"At the start of the season we lost those games so I definitely think we're on the right track. We still have plenty to improve on and it is a very even comp, but I definitely think our best can match and best anyone. It's just about us being able to play our best for long enough. We're starting to get to a stage where the whole playing group is starting to believe, which is great."