PREVIEW: Round 21 at East Perth
Friday, 12 August 2016
Subi have been firing over the last month and have convincingly won their last three games over South Fremantle, Swan Districts and West Perth.
The fifth placed Royals are currently fighting to stay in the finals-fold with Peel Thunder and East Fremantle making it hard. East Perth lost to fellow contenders Peel last week and are in dire need of a victory with only two games left.
The Lions side could remain un-changed heading into the Royals after the starting 22 put on a clinic against West Perth at Kingsway Reserve last week.
Subi are only missing handful of their starting players and a host of younger players have stood up. Chris Bryan, Liam Ryan, Sean Bradley and Declan Jackson have all played less than 30 games but are performing like veterans.
Although it’s a hard side to break into at the moment, several players have been dominant for the reserves.
Bill Fetherstonhaugh was named best on ground against the Falcons with 24 touches and two goals in wet conditions. Fellow midfielder Max Walters also stood out with 27 disposals and one goal.
Ryan Vermeersch has kicked 26 goals from 14 games and could be used as an extra tall target for coach Jarrad Schofield.
SATURDAY AUGUST 13
BROADCAST: KIX DIGITAL
BERNIE NAYLOR BATTLE
Subiaco’s big forward Hamish Shepheard currently leads the WAFL Leading Goalkickers tally with 44 from 18 games in 2016. His biggest competition is South Fremantle’s Ben Saunders who sits on 43. With South Fremantle’s Mason Shaw also on 39; the run home for the Bernie Naylor should be intense.
Two of the Royal’s best players against Peel were their big-men Jonathon Giles and Paul Johnson. Giles was named best on ground with 13 touches, 17 hit-outs and two goals whilst Johnson was a standout 20 disposals and 20 hit-outs. Subiaco have been playing youngster Sean Bradley as the sole ruck-man and he’ll need to provide another big performance against the Royals.
Subiaco are looking at two weeks of rehabilitation and preparation if they get the win over the Royals. With the first round bye, Subi can use the extended rest to bring back players such as Lachlan Delahunty, Kyle Halligan, Ben Sokol and Hayden Kennedy. The Lions could be a dangerously, talent-packed side come September.