ROUND 5 GOOD FRIDAY PREVIEW V PEEL THUNDER
REDEMPTION is on the mind of West Perth heading to Mandurah on Good Friday both to make up for being eliminated by Peel Thunder in last year's finals and to respond to last week's disappointing showing.
Peel is making a tradition out of hosting a Good Friday clash at its Mandurah home and this year's opponent is a West Perth team who they have done battle with in each of the past two finals series.
Not only that, but neither the Thunder nor Falcons will want to rack up their third defeats of the season in Round 5 on Good Friday.
Peel began the defence of last year's premiership in style with victories over East Perth and East Fremantle but have lost since to South Fremantle and Subiaco to slip to a 2-2 record heading into the clash with the Falcons.
West Perth, meanwhile, started the season with the Round 1 bye before beating East Perth. The Falcons then only lost to Subiaco by 11 points but last Saturday was a day to forget with a 103-point defeat at the hands of South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
Both teams have lost to South Fremantle and Subiaco over the past two weeks, both have beaten East Perth this season and it all points to what should be a terrific contest on Good Friday.
Looking back to last year, West Perth did beat Peel by 17 points in Round 8 at Bendigo Bank Stadium and by 44 points in Round 16 when holding the Thunder to one goal at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
The tide turned in the first semi-final, however, with Peel beating West Perth by 60 points at HBF Arena on their way to the premiership and to end the season of the Falcons.
And in the previous finals series, West Perth scored a thumping qualifying final win over Peel at HBF Arena.
Not only will West Perth be looking to bounce back from the big loss to South Fremantle last week, but will also be celebrating the 100th game of Shane Nelson.
The premiership player, dual fairest and best winner and two-time state representative reaches the milestone after making his debut in 2012.
Last Saturday was a day to forget for West Perth against South Fremantle and it's no surprise that there has been a response at the selection table.
Following two games in the reserves with West Perth, former Swan Districts forward Rudy Riddoch will make his debut for the Falcons to add some extra punch to the forward-line.
After 32 games and 34 goals with Swans, he made the move to West Perth and now after five goals and 40 possessions in his two reserves appearances in red and blue, he has been fast tracked into the league side for Good Friday.
Aidan Lynch also comes in for West Perth for what will be his first league game of the season following 36 possessions, seven marks, seven tackles, six inside-50 entries and a goal in the reserves last week.
Dean Munns and Steve Potente are the other two players to return for the Falcons to take on the Thunder.
Nathan Alexandre, James Batterham, Seva Mozhaev and Mitch van Berlo are the players who took on the Bulldogs and have lost their place in the line-up to take on the Thunder in Mandurah on Good Friday.
With Fremantle making no changes to its AFL team following last week's win over the Western Bulldogs, Peel's changes aren’t as high either.
While both Jonathon Griffin and Matt Taberner have been named out of the Peel side, at least one of those will still play with the Thunder and potentially both depending on who travels as an emergency with the Dockers to Melbourne ahead of Saturday's clash with Melbourne.
Jordan McMahon is one player guaranteed to be out of the Thunder side.
Premiership defender Ryan Nyhuis comes in for Peel for his first game of the season with Alex Bray and Taylin Duman the others to come into the Thunder line-up as they chase their first win since Round 2.
ROUND 5 – GOOD FRIDAY
WEST PERTH v PEEL THUNDER – BENDIGO BANK STADIUM, FRIDAY 2.15PM
Broadcast – Footy Radio (WAFL App)