WAFL weekend preview: Round 2 – Royals enter the fray on super Saturday

ROUND 2 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) bounces down on Saturday, with the East Perth Royals set to make their first appearance of the season across each level. After the opening weekend of action delivered on entertainment and threw up a mixed bag of results, teams will again be looking to put on a show and steer their shortened seasons in the right direction. Four seperate venues will again be utilised, with the Reserves and Colts kicking off all bar one of the triple-headers.

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East Fremantle and Peel Thunder will be looking to get on the board for the first time in 2020 when they clash at New Choice Homes Park, with either sides’ woes extending further than mere form. Despite having no access to Fremantle listed players or a Reserves side, the Thunder got within two goals of Perth in Round 1, while the Sharks were torn to shreds by arch rival, South Fremantle.

Having already blooded a bunch of debutants in Round 1, Peel may be forced to do so again as Isiah Winder, Rob Schindler-Taylor, Zach Rankin, Thomas Quaife, and Rob Falkstrom have all been named on an extended bench, with injuries forcing Ryan Bennell and Brad McGowan the other way. Expect team of the week defender Matthew Jupp to again have his hands full for the Sharks, but for the return of Jarrad Jansen to be a positive among three changes.

Two Round 1 winners in West Perth and South Fremantle are set to do battle at Provident Financial Oval, with one team’s ‘0’ set to go – barring a draw, of course. The Falcons downed last year’s wooden spooner, Swan Districts on the road last time out, while the Bulldogs thrashed their Eastern rivals by 95 points to storm into top spot. East Fremantle will be without its skipper, Dylan Main through injury, but it may spawn an opportunity for one of the slated inclusions in Kye Barker, Tom Blechynden, Andrew Haydon, John Levien and Steve Verrier.

The first matchup of contrasting records takes place in the last of the 2:30 League fixtures, as Claremont hosts Swan Districts at Revo Fitness Stadium. The Tigers got their season off to the perfect start with a win over reigning premier, Subiaco, and now face a slightly easier matchup on paper in the Black Ducks. West Perth accounted for Swan Districts in Round 1, but a slender 11-point margin of defeat should help the visitors carry some confidence into this clash.

Claremont midfield ace Jye Bolton looms as a key figure in deciding the game, with his career disposal average against Swan Districts hovering at 36.3 per his 10 outings, up from his usual effort of 29.1. He will be aided, as if he needs it, by the inclusion of Dec Mountford, while star recruit Ryan Nyhuis is set to play his 50th game. A couple of fresh faces are set to take the field for Swans as Jackson Beck and Nelson Waite make way through injury, with Tarir Bayok and Jack Cox named in the lineup.

East Perth’s first appearance for the League season is set to see out the round, with Perth looming as a tricky first assignment for the Royals. The Demons got the job done by 10 points over Peel in the opening round, spearheaded by Under 18 key forward and debutant, Logan McDonald. He’ll team up again with Fraser McInnes, and await delivery from gun former Eagle, Chris Masten, who lit up Round 1 with 30 disposals. New recruits Angus Schumacher, Corey Watts, and Aiden Lynch have all been named in the Royals’ side, looking to immediately add quality.

WAFL ROUND 2 FIXTURES

League:

East Fremantle vs. Peel Thunder | New Choice Homes Park | Saturday July 25 | 2:30pm
West Perth vs. South Fremantle | Provident Financial Oval | Saturday July 25 | 2:30pm
Claremont vs. Swan Districts | Revo Fitness Stadium | Saturday July 25 | 2:30pm
Perth vs. East Perth | Mineral Resources Park | Saturday July 25 | 3:05pm

Reserves:

West Perth vs. South Fremantle | Provident Financial Oval | Saturday July 25 | 12:00pm
Claremont vs. Swan Districts | Revo Fitness Stadium | Saturday July 25 | 12:00pm
Perth vs. East Perth | Mineral Resources Park | Saturday July 25 | 12:30pm

Colts:

West Perth vs. South Fremantle | Provident Financial Oval | Saturday July 25 | 9:30am
Claremont vs. Swan Districts | Revo Fitness Stadium | Saturday July 25 | 9:30am
East Fremantle vs. Peel Thunder | New Choice Homes Park | Saturday July 25 | 12:00pm
Perth vs. East Perth | Mineral Resources Park | Saturday July 25 | 5:35pm

Bye: Subiaco

WAFL LEAGUE ROUND 2 TEAMS

 

Picture: East Perth Football Club

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