SFC 2015: Round 16 Preview

Subi are set to battle rivals East Perth in a NAIDOC Round showdown. 
Our Medibank Stadium co-tenants handed us our first loss of the season with an emphatic Round Three romp of the Lions and the Lions will be looking to rectify the 64-point disaster.   

Subiaco returned to form last week with a comprehensive 55 point win over Peel on QBE Day. The Lions re-instated a gap on top of the ladder and a record of 11-2. The maroon and golds moved the ball magnificently against the third placed Thunder and hunted the ball in packs. The hunger has well and truly returned to the Lions. 
East Perth have been a mixed bag in 2015 and sit 7th with a record of 6-7. The West Coast Eagle aligned Royals have overwhelming talent but continue to struggle to gel on the field. A heart breaking four point loss to Swan Districts last week should spur on the black and blue who always rise for the Leederville Oval derby.
The Lions should remain reasonably un-changed from the side that beat the Thunder a week ago. Declan Jackson continues to hold the fullback role in the absence of injured vice-captain Darren Rumble who continues to work on his calf.   
Subiaco’s midfield will also be looking forward to facing another elite group of AFL midfielders. The Royals have gun ball-winner Brant Colledge, veterans Matt Rosa and Kane Lucas so the Lions mids will have to be on point.

Sam Menegola has been prolific for Subi since his Round 11 debut and completes the healthiest midfield group the Lions have had all year. Kyal Horsley, Chris Phelan, Leigh Kitchin, Scott Hancock and Brett Robinson are all in form and continue to gel. Reece Blechynden is also firing for the reserves and waits in the ranks.

Special football being used for NAIDOC Round. Designed by Richard Walley
The WAFL is celebrating NAIDOC Round and the massive contribution indigenous culture has on our game. Subiaco has been home to indigenous greats such as Des Headland, Antoni Grover, Ali Pickett and current WAFL leading goal-kicker Shane Yarran. Yarran will be donning the Lions NAIDOC jumper with pride in his second year with the Lions. 
With Subiaco’s defence on a historic track, East Perth will have to find un-conventional paths to the goals on the weekend. The Royals only managed 8.12 against Swan Districts with their only multiple goal-kickers being midfielders Steven Payne and Kane Lucas. The Lions have an elite interception player in Jordan Lockyer and an exciting group of young, fearless defenders. This should bode well against an East Perth outfit lacking firepower in the forward line.
Payne has been a standout for the Royals in a season marred by inconsistency. Payne averages 23.3 disposals a game and is great at extracting the ball to advantage. Subiaco will have to come out with their high energy, physical play around the ball early to make sure the East Perth midfielders can’t gain the ascendancy.
For more updates including the Lions final 22 follow us on twitter @subiacolions


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