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WAFL Round 15 Match Preview

Friday, July 29, 2022 - 10:28 AM

Swan Districts heads to Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday attempting to beat Claremont on its home turf for the first time in nine years in what could be a season-defining WAFL match up.

Round 15 of the 2022 WAFL season will see Swan Districts take on Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the battle of the fourth and fifth placed teams on the ladder.

Swan Districts comes into the game fresh off a 23-point victory last week at Steel Blue Oval against East Perth which improves them to an 8-5 record on the ladder to be a game clear in fifth spot, and just a game out of second.

Claremont, meanwhile, has now bounced back from disappointing losses to East Perth and South Fremantle by beating West Perth and Subiaco the last two weeks to consolidate fourth spot with a 9-4 record.

That means the stakes are high and Saturday presents a real chance for Swan Districts to make a statement of their intentions for 2022 heading into the Round 16 bye.

It was Swan Districts who finished strongly back in Round 4 this year to score a nine-point win against Claremont at Steel Blue Oval.

That win for the black-and-whites snapped a run of losing nine straight matches against the Tigers dating back to 2017.

It was a confidence boosting win for Swans with Chris Jones showing just what a potent forward option he can be by kicking five goals. Sam Fisher also kicked two goals along with 24 possessions while Jesse Turner racked up 35 touches and Tony Notte 26 to go with 11 marks.

Jack Buller kicked three goals for Claremont while Jye Bolton amassed 51 possessions, Ben Edwards 44, Ryan Lim 38 and Lachlan Martinis 34.

Prior to that win for Swan Districts, Claremont had dominated their recent meetings winning nine in-a-row with that streak starting back on Round 13, 2017 and coming with wins at an average of 37.7 points.

Claremont has enjoyed a dominance over Swan Districts at home in recent times as well having now won the last six meetings at Revo Fitness Stadium by an average of 51.8 points.

The last win for Swans at Tigerland was by 39 points in Round 17, 2013.

On that day, Tony Notte kicked five goals for Swan Districts for one of only two times in his now 276-game WAFL career. He is the only player from that game who will be out there again on Saturday and it's only he and Anton Hamp who are still current WAFL players nine years later.

The league's leading ball winner and Swans vice-captain Jesse Turner is looking forward to the challenge up against Claremont particularly their star-studded midfield brigade.

"Claremont has a really strong midfield with Bolton, Lim, Bailey Rogers and a lot of big midfielders that are some of the best players in the comp," Turner said.

"Fisher, myself and Clarkey are all going to have to play at our best to match them there and that's going to go a long way.

"I don’t think conditions are going to be great again so it's going to be another territory game probably and all about trying to keep the ball in your front half. If we can do that for longer than Claremont can and be consistent, I definitely think we can get the win."

In terms of the context of the season, it's a massive game for Swans because depending on other results they could move up a position or two on the ladder with the win or fall outside the top five altogether with a loss.

"I'm feeling good. I think everyone at this stage of the season is a bit banged up and has niggles here and there, but touchwood I'm feeling pretty good at the moment and we have a bye after this week," Turner said.

"That will be the final bye before the last chunk of games and hopefully finals. Hopefully we get through this game all good and then be able to have a week off and then refresh for the last block of four games and hopefully finals, but my body is holding up good so far."

Turner is in a remarkable patch of form this season for Swan Districts to be averaging 31.3 possessions a game including another 36 disposals in last Saturday's win against East Perth.

Along with earning his first state jumper this year, he has racked up more than 30 possessions in 10 of the 13 matches including a best of 47 from his 114-game WAFL career.

He is feeling good as well coming into Saturday's game before looking forward to next week's bye to prepare to finish the season as strong as possible.

"Since I started playing in 2015 it's never been as even as it is now. If we lose this week we could possibly fall out of the five but we're also only a game off second," Turner said.

"It's great for the competition and I'm sure all the spectators are enjoying all the close games. The biggest thing is that you can't go into any game expecting to win, or thinking you are going to win because a close loss to a team below you could really cost you, and you can fall three or four spots on the ladder.

"It's making everyone be more focused knowing every team you come up against are all going to challenge you, and any team can win. That's been proven over the season so far and it's exciting for the WAFL and for all the teams involved knowing that there's not one or two teams only that can win it, there's probably five or six."