ROUND 9 in the 2022 WAFL season all takes place on Saturday with East Fremantle taking part in another top of the table clash with Claremont as just one of the tantalising match ups to keep your eyes on.
The Round 9 action begins on Saturday with the early starting match up at 11.05am at Optus Stadium between the West Coast Eagles and Subiaco.
The game will be played as the curtain raiser for the West Coast-Geelong AFL clash later in the afternoon with the Eagles hunting their first WAFL win of the season and the Lions to string consecutive wins together for the second time in 2022.
The other four matches all bounce down at 2.10pm on Saturday afternoon with the WACA Ground hosting another top of the table battle with East Fremantle playing Claremont.
Both teams come into the contest with 6-2 records after wins last weekend so the winner could sit in top spot by the end of Round 9 depending on what West Perth does.
Speaking of the Falcons, they will be at home at Joondalup's Pentanet Stadium hosting a Swan Districts team on their own three-game losing streak to be in fifth position coming into the contest.
Also on Saturday, two teams trying to maintain pace with the top five lock horns at Mandurah's Lane Group Stadium with Peel Thunder at home to East Perth.
Both teams are coming off Round 8 losses to Swan Districts and South Fremantle respectively with Peel in sixth spot at 4-4 and East Perth seventh at 3-5.
Lastly it will be South Fremantle at home to Perth on Saturday afternoon at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
The Bulldogs have now won their past two matches to be consolidated in fourth position with a 5-3 record while the Demons have lost four in-a-row to be struggling at 2-6.
His South Fremantle counterpart Dylan Main is on track to return from a hamstring injury to bring up 100 games for the Bulldogs with Peel Thunder dual premiership player Blair Bell set to reach the century as well.
WEST COAST EAGLES v SUBIACO
Round 9 in the WAFL begins at Optus Stadium on Saturday with the West Coast Eagles playing Subiaco in the early starting contest.
The Eagles will be hoping a change in venue helps bring about a turn in fortunes as they chase a first win this season while the Lions are looking to make it back to back wins.
West Coast comes into the game having lost all eight matches so far this season by an average margin of 59 points with their losing streak now at 12 stretching back to last year.
It was a tough start to the season for reigning premiers Subiaco but the Lions are starting to warm to the task now and will be looking to build some momentum on the back of last week's win against Perth.
It's been a struggle so far this season for both teams and that's reflected statistically with Subiaco ranked eighth in attack and seventh in defence while West Coast is last in both categories, and by a long way.
In fact, West Coast is scoring 22.3 points fewer than the Lions across the season and giving up 27.5 points more and Subiaco is nowhere near the top of the tree on either front.
Starts haven’t been a problem for Subiaco over the season so far with them outscoring their opponents by 28 points to be ranked fourth. Second terms haven’t been as kind and neither have third quarters with them ranked eighth in both.
However, the Lions have been better in final quarters outscoring their opponents by 20 points.
It's not pretty quarter by quarter for the Eagles either ranked ninth in first quarters and then last in the other three so far over the course of the season.
This will be just the fifth ever meeting between West Coast and Subiaco and the first that won't be at Leederville Oval.
Subiaco has won three of those previous four meetings by 15 points in Round 3, 2019, 68 points in Round 16, 2019 and then by 20 points in Round 15 year.
West Coast's lone win against the Lions came back in Round 11 last year when they won a thriller by five points even though Subiaco went on to win the premiership and West Coast took out the wooden spoon.
West Coast is on the hunt for that elusive first win of the 2022 season and once again have made mass changes for the clash with Subiaco at Optus Stadium.
Josh Browne, Jack Eastough, Harry Edwards, Lachlan Feeney, Jayden Johnstone, Jed Kemp, Andries Mercer, Cooper Nitschke, Zane Trew and Logan Young are the players to all come in to the West Coast line-up.
Going out of the team that lost to Claremont last week are Rhett Bazzo, Josh Edwards, Luke Foley, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Jack Petruccelle, Willie Rioli, Liam Ryan, Dom Sheed, Luke Strnadica and captain Zane Sumich.
Subiaco is looking to make it two straight wins to maintain touch with the top five and the Lions have made two changes from the team that beat Perth last Saturday.
Lewis Putt and Max Walters come into the team for the Lions while Kody Eaton and Harry Marsh go out of the side.
EAST FREMANTLE v CLAREMONT
For the second straight week the game of the round takes place at the WACA Ground with East Fremantle playing Claremont.
A week ago top spot went on the line at the famous venue with East Fremantle playing West Perth, and the two-point win for the Sharks saw them reclaim top spot on the WAFL ladder.
However, Claremont has also now won its past two games to join East Fremantle on a 6-2 record coming into Saturday afternoon's contest.
The Sharks are only in top spot and ahead of the Tigers by 10.75 per cent so the winner of the match up at the WACA Ground will be ahead of the other, and could very well end the round in top spot depending on what happens with West Perth against Swan Districts.
Claremont has enjoyed quite the recent dominance against East Fremantle with the Tigers having won the past 10 meetings between the two teams by an average of 36.6 points.
That included wins by a combined 85 points in the two meetings last year with Claremont on the way to another preliminary final appearance while East Fremantle missed the finals once more.
The Tigers dominance over the Sharks stretched back further to when the two teams played in the 2012 Grand Final.
Claremont won that day on the way to a four-game winning streak over East Fremantle, and dating back to that the Tigers have won 18 of the past 22 against the Sharks over the last decade.
Given they have won a combined 12 of 16 games so far this season, there has been a lot to like about what both teams have been doing. East Fremantle is the best scoring team so far in the competition with 95.1 points a game while Claremont is fourth at 80.5.
Defensively, East Fremantle only ranks sixth with 72.6 points conceded a game while the Tigers are third in that category at 65.8.
Across the season so far, East Fremantle is the second best performing team in first quarters and Claremont just the seventh with the Sharks also second best in second terms where the Tigers are third.
The Sharks are fifth best in third terms and the Tigers sixth, but then in last quarters it's Claremont the best in the WAFL having outscored their opponents by 90 points while East Fremantle comes in eighth having been outscored by 27.
Coming off last Saturday's win against West Perth that returned them to the top of the WAFL ladder, East Fremantle has made just the one change coming into this week's clash also at the WACA Ground.
Durak Tucker makes his way back into the Sharks team with Corey Holmes the player to make way.
Claremont has the chance potentially to go to the top of the WAFL with a win over the Sharks on Saturday and they too have made just the one change from the team that beat the Eagles last Saturday.
Prime on-baller Ben Edwards makes his return after missing just the one week with Max Spyvee the player to go out for the Tigers.
PEEL THUNDER v EAST PERTH
Peel Thunder and East Perth both come into Saturday's clash at Mandurah's Lane Group Stadium needing a win to maintain touch with the top five.
The Thunder led most of the way last Saturday at Steel Blue Oval before losing to Swan Districts by four points which left them a game outside of the top five with a 4-4 record.
The Royals have now lost their past two matches as well to West Perth and South Fremantle to be two games outside of the top five with a 3-5 record.
That has both teams desperate for a win on Saturday to avoid falling further outside of a finals position setting the stage for a fascinating match up in Mandurah.
It has been a fascinating recent history between the two teams with them splitting their meetings last year with Peel hammering the Royals by 105 points in Round 2 but East Perth turned it around to win by seven points in Round 12.
Back further than that, East Perth had won four of the past six against Peel but generally there isn't much between the two sides and they are difficult to predict contests.
Peel has been impressive on the attack front so far this season putting up 88.1 points a game to ranked second in that category, but they are also giving up 79.0 to be ranked eighth.
East Perth, meanwhile, is fifth for scoring at 79.4 points and fourth defensively at 69.4 points.
Neither team have been great starters over the course of the season so far with East Perth ranked sixth in first quarters and Peel last, the Royals' second quarters have been terrific. They are ranked first in the competition with 12 points more than their opponents on average.
The Thunder are fifth in second quarters but it's the third terms where they are the best in the WAFL. Peel has outscored its opponents by 90 points in third terms while East Perth is ranked just seventh.
Then in last quarters, East Perth has been strong outscoring their opponents by 50 points to be placed second overall while Peel is third.
Peel is attempting to bounce back from last week's loss to Swan Districts and to try and move back into the top five as a result.
In pursuit of that, Ethan Hughes, Jack Sears, Matt Taberner, Joel Western and Nathan Wilson come into the team for the Thunder.
Going out of the side that lost narrowly to Swan Districts last Saturday are Connor Blakely, Lachlan Cullen, Sebit Kuek, Ben Middleton and Karl Worner.
East Perth is trying to snap a two-game losing slide to stay in touch with the top five with Jordan Hayden, Taylor North, Jackson Ramsay and Sam Van Diemen all coming into the team to take on Peel in Mandurah.
Going out from the Royals team that lost on Sunday to South Fremantle are Jedd Busslinger, Nathan Eaton, Reuben Ginbey and Eddie Simpson.
WEST PERTH v SWAN DISTRICTS
West Perth and Swan Districts have had some fascinating battles going back most of this century now and there's every reason to expect another terrific contest at Joondalup on Saturday.
It's built into quite the dramatic rivalry between the Falcons and Swans over a long time now and never more so than a nail-biting elimination final last year where West Perth soared home after trailing most of the day to end Swan Districts' season.
This is their first meeting since then and it's also at Pentanet Stadium with both teams coming into the game in good form.
The Falcons might be coming off a loss, but it's not as though they played badly last Saturday in losing to East Fremantle by two points at the WACA Ground.
Prior to that, West Perth had won six games straight and a win on Saturday could very well see the Falcons regain top spot on the WAFL ladder.
Swans, meanwhile, are in their best patch of form of the 2022 season as well having won their past three matches and they can further consolidate their hold on a top five spot with a victory.
Saturday's game will be the first time the two teams have met so far in 2022 with the last meeting being a dramatic elimination final battle last year also at Joondalup. Swan Districts led most of the day but in the end West Perth prevailed by four points.
That made it five consecutive wins for the Falcons over the Swans but the battles have been a lot closer than that suggests.
Swan Districts' last win against West Perth also came at Joondalup back in Round 4, 2019 when the black-and-whites beat the Falcons by 44 points.
Coming into Round 9, West Perth is 2.32 percentage points out of top spot and are ranked third in scoring with 81.4 points a game and second defensively giving up 63.3 points.
Swan Districts, meanwhile, is sixth for scores for with 75.0 a game and fifth for giving up points at 72.5 per match.
West Perth has been brilliant so far in first quarters this season outscoring their opponents an average of 15 points a game. Swans aren’t bad either ranked third in first terms so far.
Neither team has been good in second quarters with West Perth ranked seventh and Swans ninth while both are significantly better in third quarters. Swans are ranked second and the Falcons third.
Then across last quarters in the season so far, West Perth is placed sixth and Swan Districts seventh.
West Perth had made three changes as it attempts to return to the winner's list and try to move back to the top of the WAFL ladder on Saturday.
Mitch Antonio, Tom Boyes and Nathan Murray are the players to return to the West Perth line-up to take on Swan Districts at Pentanet Stadium.
From the team that lost narrowly to East Fremantle last Saturday, Zac Guadagnin, Aidan Lynch and Rudy Riddoch go out of the team for the Falcons.
As Swan Districts head to Joondalup to attempt to win their first game there since 2019 and make it four straight wins this season, they do so with a strengthened looking side.
From the team that beat Peel last Saturday, the Swans are able to welcome back Tom Edwards and Brayden Noble into the forward-line, and Anthony Stephens to the defence to take on West Perth.
Going out of the side from the one that beat the Thunder are Cian Ehlers, Ben Hewett and Bryce Watson.
SOUTH FREMANTLE v PERTH
Perth has managed to pull off some stunning upset wins against South Fremantle in recent years and another on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval could breathe some life back into their 2022 season.
South Fremantle is back on home turf having won its past two matches against East Fremantle and East Perth to be knocking on the door of moving up from fourth position with a 5-3 record.
Perth has lost its past four matches and lost six of eight matches this season so hopes of staying in finals contention for the Demons are hanging by a thread, but they have had a recent habit of upset wins against the Bulldogs.
While South Fremantle has played in six straight preliminary finals and the last three WAFL Grand Finals, and Perth has played in just the one final in that stretch, the two teams have an interesting recent history against one another.
South Fremantle did win the most recent meeting by 34 points in Round 12 last year at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, but prior to that Perth had beaten the Bulldogs on four straight occasions.
It's the first time the Demons had managed such a winning run against South Fremantle since over 2013 and 2014 seasons, and it included the dramatic last round comeback win of 2020 that saw Perth snap its finals drought even though the Bulldogs would go on to win the premiership.
Prior to Perth winning those four in-a-row, South Fremantle had won nine of the previous 10 against the Demons but what all that means is that history doesn't tell us too much about what to expect on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
Coming into Round 9, South Fremantle is the best defensive team in the competition conceding just 59.0 points a game. But they are only ranked seventh in attack with 70.9 points for.
Perth is ranked ninth on both fronts scoring 65.9 points a game and giving up 86.3.
Neither team have been standout starting teams with South Fremantle ranked fifth in first quarters and Perth eighth while the Demons are ranked fourth in second quarters having outscored their opponents by 40 points. South Fremantle is ranked just sixth.
The Bulldogs are then the second best performing third quarter team having outscored their opponents by 72 points across the season while the Demons are second worst having been outscored by 103 points.
Then in final terms, South Fremantle is ranked fifth and Perth ninth across the opening nine rounds.
South Fremantle has made just the one change from the team that beat East Perth on Sunday, and it's a forced one with the loss of star midfielder Jake Florenca to a hamstring injury.
However, the good news is that captain Dylan Main will return to play his first game since Round 4 to bring up his 100-game milestone for the Bulldogs.
Perth heads to the port to try and return to the winner's list on Saturday and the Demons do regain 248-game AFL veteran Chris Mayne for the occasion as he returns to a ground he spent plenty of time at during his time at the Fremantle Dockers.
Tarkyn Brogan-Henry is also back for Perth while they have been dealt a significant blow with the loss of co-captain Michael Sinclair for the rest of the season. Jordan Busher also goes out of the side from the team that lost to Subiaco last week.