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ROUND 10 PREVIEW V CLAREMONT

Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 1:14 AM by Chris Pike
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WEST Perth is back in action at HBF Arena this Saturday on a four-game winning streak and looking to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the 1897 premiership in style against Claremont.

West Perth had the bye last week after four straight wins and now the Falcons are out to win a fifth straight to improve to third spot on the WAFL ladder ahead of the state game break next week and then WA Day.

The Falcons will also be celebrating the club's first premiership of 1897 and wearing a commemorative playing jumper in recognition. The design includes the team photo of that premiership-winning team.

The West Australian Football Commission has joined forces with Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia to host the Know Your Score Men’s Health Round this weekend.
 
For the fourth year, the Know Your Score Men’s Health Round initiative will see players from across the state don blue armbands to honour the men in WA who have lost their lives to prostate cancer.
 
All four WAFL games held this Saturday will aim to raise awareness of prostate cancer and encourage men to be more proactive about their health by talking to their doctor.

EMILY HAMILTON MLA SUPPORTS WEST PERTH WOMEN'S TEAM 
FALCONS TO CELEBRATE 120TH ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST PREMIERSHIP 
FALCONS MAKE IT FOUR STRAIGHT WITH WIN OVER SHARKS 

West Perth is coming off the bye last weekend and enters the clash with the Tigers on an impressive four-game winning streak to hold a 5-2 record in fourth position.

Claremont, meanwhile, remains in sixth spot at 3-5 having now lost its last five games after winning the opening three of 2017.

Despite West Perth being fresh and on a four-game winning run and Claremont having lost five straight, the two teams are used to playing out thrillers and both will be desperate to win heading into the state game break.

Ever since Claremont was a dominant force winning back-to-back premierships in 2011 and 2012 which included some big victories over West Perth, the two teams have developed quite the rivalry and little has separated them in every clash since.

Claremont won the two games over West Perth during the 2013 home and away season by 19 and 20 points respectively on the way to a fourth straight minor premiership. But the Falcons turned it around to win by four points in the second semi-final on the way to the premiership.

Then in 2014, Claremont won the first of three meetings by 12 points before West Perth won at the Showground by nine and the Tigers hit back to win by six at the same venue in Round 22.

A year later and Claremont scored a 20-point victory in Round 7 before West Perth won in Round 18 by 10 points at HBF Arena and the Tigers prevailed by two back at the Joondalup venue in Round 23.

Last season provided the three most remarkable games of the bench with West Perth winning by seven points in Kulin, by three points at the Showground and then by a point in Round 21 at HBF Arena.

That was the last meeting between the two teams and all signs point to another tremendous contest on Saturday at HBF Arena.

After losing two of its first three games of the season with the losses at the hands of top two teams Subiaco and South Fremantle, West Perth was impressive leading into last week's bye beating Peel Thunder, Swan Districts, Perth and East Fremantle.

Claremont opened the season beating East Fremantle, Perth and East Perth, but has since lost to South Fremantle, Subiaco, Swan Districts, Peel Thunder and then last week the Demons in heartbreaking fashion.

Both teams also have a host of players looking to cement their positions in next Saturday's state game with the WAFL taking on the VFL at Melbourne's North Port Oval.

Aaron Black, Kody Manning, Luke Meadows, Shane Nelson and Andrew Strijk have all represented WA previously and will be looking to ensure they do so again in 2017.

Mitch Andrews will be looking to secure the ruck spot for WA with another strong showing for Claremont against his old side while Jack Bradshaw could impress on return from a week in the reserves. Sandover Medallist Jye Bolton is Claremont's other player in the state squad.

From West Perth's team that beat East Fremantle by 34 points two weeks ago at East Fremantle Oval, Jordan Mills is the only out at this stage.

Steve Potente looks to be an automatic inclusion having overcome a knee injury with Nathan Alexandre, James Batterham and Sam Rotham the others in contention at the selection table.

There are plenty more changes once again at Claremont as West Perth premiership coach and captain Darren Harris leads his Tigers into battle for the first time against the Falcons.

Bradshaw, Aaron Holt and Tom Ledger look set to automatically return after a surprising stint in the reserves last week against Perth.

Haydn Busher should also be back from injury while Ben Higgs, Jacob Sideris and Eddie Simpson are in the mix as well.

Premiership players Jesse Laurie and Tom Lee, along with state representative Ryan Neates, all go out of the Claremont line-up along with Lachlan Martinis.

ROUND 10 – KNOW YOUR SCORE MEN'S HEALTH ROUND
WEST PERTH v CLAREMONT – HBF ARENA, SATURDAY 2.15PM
Broadcast – Footy Radio (WAFL App)

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