WAFLW Round 17 preview – All or nothing for Subi as Swans face nervous wait

THE FINAL WAFL Women’s home-and-away round is upon us, and with it comes massive finals implications. Current fourth place holder Swan Districts has the bye, meaning Subiaco will look to pounce on the very last finals spot when it takes on Peel Thunder, in the third of Saturday’s defining games. We preview all three fixtures.

  • Team
  • Claremont
  • West Perth

Saturday June 11, 2:00pm @ Revo Fitness Stadium

Claremont will be seeking a swift return to the winners list ahead of finals, as the Tigers take on cellar dweller West Perth in Round 17’s opening match. While the hosts’ season rolls on next week, this clash serves as the Falcons’ final chance to notch a win in 2022, having gone 0-13 across their maiden WAFLW campaign.

The Tigers’ task will be made much more difficult having been gutted by bittersweet AFLW signings. Prime movers Ella Smith and Sasha Goranova, and gun forward Tessa Doumanis will advance to the big leagues, meaning the likes of Madeleine Scanlon (midfield) and Brooke Whyte (forward) will need to step up to another level.

In terms of x-factor, Mikayla Western and Jasmin Stewart can provide some run in transition, along with in-form winger Kobi Nichols and exciting under-age prospect Ella Slocombe. Against a relatively inexperienced side, sustained effort will be key.

Though lowly on the ladder, there are some green shoots in West Perth’s squad. The Roper’s – Jessica and Kaitlyn – will again take on key roles down back as a small and tall respectively, while Megan Norbury should act as a good counter on the wing. Kayla Van Den Heever and Liliana Grassenis also loom as handy inclusions after their AFLW Futures outings.

  • Team
  • South Fremantle
  • East Fremantle

Saturday June 11, 2:10pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

An undefeated regular season record is on offer for East Fremantle, who travel to face their Southern counterparts in a Fremantle Derby. While the Sharks’ minor premiership has been wrapped up for a matter of weeks, the sixth-placed Bulldogs have one last chance to spoil the party of their traditional rivals.

East Freo’s midfield has been dominant all year, allowing the Sharks’ exuberant youngsters to showcase their flair. Ashleigh Gomes, Amber Kinnane and Sharon Wong are all solid operators in the engine room, though the Sharks will have to find a way to make use of their clearance prowess with Julia Teakle being picked up by Port Adelaide. In the way of youngsters, there are few more exciting than Zippy Fish, while tall Georgie Cleaver returns to a dangerous forward line featuring Ashlee Atkins and Larissa Versaci.

A tough ask awaits for South Fremantle, especially without primary ruck Lauren Wakfer (ACL). Skipper Lauren Vecchio will look to lead her Bulldogs valiantly for one last time in 2022, with ball winners like Liusaidh Gilchrist and Kiara Templeman others who can keep their side competitive. For a point of difference, look for young gun Molly O’Hehir to add some spark.

  • Team
  • Subiaco
  • Peel Thunder

Saturday June 11, 4:00pm @ Leederville Oval

The equation is simple – win, and Subiaco plays finals. It is all or nothing for the Lions on Saturday, as they look to keep their WAFLW season alive by downing dual reigning premier, Peel Thunder, at home. It is only fitting, that after 17 regular season rounds, the finals picture will be signed off by the very last result.

Though Aisling McCarthy comes out of the Lions’ side, Nyra Anderson is a useful inclusion for their do-or-die clash. She’ll come in off the bench, while skipper Tarnica Golisano leads a strong midfield consisting of Jayme Harken and Madizen Wilkins. Look for Tiah Toth and Amy Mulholland to also rotate through there, as Hayley Corlett presents as a handy half-forward.

Known to peak at the right time, Peel Thunder will hope to spoil the party and maintain its positive record in third spot. Should the visitors get up, they will face Swan Districts for the third time in four weeks, but will have to back up against Subiaco once more should they lose.

Ella Roberts is, obviously, the player to watch for Peel. The Thunder will have some handy inclusions too, with captain Cassie Davidson and winger Kaitlyn Srhoj returning after their part in the AFLW Futures weekend. The latter will line up on the opposite wing to gun runner Jaide Britton, though her younger sister Holly comes out of the side. 

On the inside, Gracie Fenton, Chloe Wrigley, and Ebony Bilcich form a consistent group which should make life tough for the Lions. Kira Phillips will be her side’s main target up forward, looking to fill a Kate Bartlett-sized hole. Sabreena Duffy is another big loss, after parting ways with Fremantle.

Bye: Swan Districts

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