One of the biggest games on the WA sporting calendar has arrived! THE WESTERN DERBY!
So what is being a WA footy supporter all about? Western Derby bragging rights of course! The Fremantle Dockers take on cross-town rivals West Coast Eagles on Sunday, for Derby 47, the first derby at the new Optus Stadium. I AM PUMPED!! Both teams come into this round on the back of a win, West Coast beat Carlton at the MCG and the Dockers smashed the Bulldogs at Optus Stadium.
The Fremantle Dockers will still be buzzing about their 54-point win over the Bulldogs last weekend. Matt Taberner started the game (and the season) strong however, unfortunately suffered a broken foot and is set to spend some time on the sidelines. Michael Walters was outstanding, finishing with five goals. Nat Fyfe is definitely back to his Brownlow-best and was on fire, finishing with a career-high 43 disposals and a goal.
The West Coast Eagles come into this game off a 10-point win over Carlton at the MCG last week, which has currently positioned them in the top-two on the AFL ladder. Andrew Gaff had a ripper game, finishing with 31 disposals and two goals. Mark LeCras was the Eagles highest goal scorer, managing three big ones. And we can’t forget Nic Naitanui. The difference he makes to West Coast’s team dynamic is incredible. He has been in fine form since returning from injury and his skills and presence on the field really raises the confidence levels of his team mates.
The Fremantle Dockers have made a few of changes to their line-up for the weekend with the inclusion of Michael Johnson, Shane Kersten, Ethan Hughes, Tommy Sheridan and Scott Jones (new). The only ‘out’ this week is Taberner with his foot injury, while Joel Hamling reaches his 50-game milestone. The West Coast Eagles have included Lewis Jetta, Will Schofield, Fraser McInnes and Jack Petruccelle (new) to their line-up for the Western Derby.
Both WA teams have been impressive so far this season, and this game is shaping up to be a cracker! Keep an eye out for the Naitanui/Sandilands and Yeo/Fyfe match-ups! West Coast’s Josh Kennedy was fairly quiet at the MCG last week so will be looking to turn up the heat on Sunday. He is just one goal away from breaking Peter Sumich’s club record as the all-time goal scorer for the Eagles. The game looks like it will be a sell-out, with about 58,000 fans expected to pack into Optus Stadium to cheer on their team, including yours truly!
I’m going to tip the Fremantle Dockers to beat the West Coast Eagles by 10 points!
(I’ll tip the Eagles in the next derby… maybe…)