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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Lacy’s Learnings: Key absentees won’t stop derby spice

It’s fair to say it got pretty ugly in the lead-up to the round six western derby.
The historic maiden clash between Fremantle and West Coast at Optus Stadium was overshadowed in the lead up by the debate around the Ross Glendinning Medal.
But thankfully the game lived up to the hype.
West Coast won but only by eight points and the Dockers lost Michael Walters in the first quarter.
The Eagles won the clearances, inside 50s and contested possessions.
Should that happen again on Sunday you would expect a comfortable West Coast victory, given their greater capacity to score.
Unfortunately, some of the key protagonists will be missing.
For Fremantle, there will be no Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands.
West Coast will be without Nic Naitanui and Josh Kennedy.
That’s a shame because it’s always great to see the best players in the big games.
But here’s hoping it’s still a good contest.
A battle between second and 13th would suggest it will be one-sided, but derbies are usually fierce. And Fremantle have played their best in 2018 when their pressure and intensity has been up.
West Coast were beaten up around the ball by North Melbourne last weekend in Hobart and will be keen to respond too.
It feels like it’s been a low-key build up this time around.
But the best thing about derbies is the expectation that the teams will be up for the fight.
There would be no doubt Fremantle players will have been sick of losing to the Eagles and eager to stop the streak at six.
The dislike between the teams is real, and I think that’s what makes the spectacle so great.
Rivalry is good for the game and as we head into the 48th edition of the derby, it has proved lasting.
I’m looking forward to the next chapter.
My tip: West Coast by 26 points.
As for the Glendinning-Allan Medal, I reckon Jeremy McGovern might break Fremantle hearts.