PREVIEW: Round 20 v Swan Districts

Subiaco have a massive challenge ahead of them with the in-form Swans visiting the Lions den on Saturday.

The Round 20 clash is looming as one of the biggest games this season with the 4th placed Swans (10-6) aiming to derail the 1st placed Lions (16-1) dominant streak.

Subi have developed a mass amount of momentum throughout July and have comprehensively dealt with Claremont, Peel & East Fremantle in consecutive weeks. The manner in which they have won would be pleasing to the Lions coaching staff but there are still facets of their game to work on.

Subiaco also continue to win despite losing key players in the form of Clancy Wheeler, Liam Baker, Joel Latham and captain Kyal Horsley and have demonstrated that they have the depth to cover. Simon Parry has been a handy addition in the back-line and players such as James Garcia, Adam Creeper and Daniel Perkins continue to provide roles.

The imminent return of Chris Phelan, Kyle Halligan and pacey half-back Chris Bryan will help alleviate some of the injury woes whilst Wheeler, Baker and Horsley work diligently at rehab.

The Swan Districts will be a fitting challenge heading into finals. The black and whites have won four of their last five with the only loss coming against South Fremantle. They have a balanced side of experience and young exciting talent and will be gunning for the Maroons.

The Swans took care of Peel last week after a big last quarter. A solid team performance led by Matt Riggio, Jesse Turner and Ricky Cary re-instated the Swan Districts as a legitimate finals threat. The services of ex-AFL talent Jamie Bennell and Ryan Crowley also continue to have an impact.
This will be a big game for both teams and with decent conditions expected; it should be a fast paced, physical game at Leederville Oval.

Subiaco will be wary of the abilities of 2017 WA representative Tony Notte who has built a reputation as one of the most dangerous big men in the WAFL. Notte has played 16 games for the Swans this year and leads the team in contested marks and marks overall with 92. An interesting battle should develop between Subi youngster Adam Creeper and the nine-year veteran Notte on Saturday,


Subiaco’s point-scoring ability is peaking at the right time of the season. The Lions are averaging 102 points a game and have a fantastic balance with their avenues to the goal. Although leading goal kicker Liam Ryan has kicked 55 of their goals over the season other forwards Ben Sokol (34), Brad Stevenson (19) and midfielders Max Walters (19), Leigh Kitchin (11) & Adam Cockie (8) are finding ways to the big sticks.

Subiaco’s 16th win of the season against East Fremantle last week ties a club record of 4th most wins in a season alongside the 1973, 2007 & 2016 campaigns.  The only other years which eclipsed the 16-win mark were 1987-2015 (17), 2005, 2006 (18) and 2008 (19).
Subiaco overwhelmed the Swans at their home ground to run out 64 point winners. Stevenson kicked five and Kitchin had 32 disposals. 

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