Another chapter to be written in Perth Derby rivalry

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 12:06 PM

Another chapter in one of the WAFL's biggest rivalries will be written on Saturday when East Perth takes on West Perth at Provident Financial Oval in Joondalup.

Of the 348 Perth Derby encounters since 1906, East Perth has had the better of its closest rival on 174 occasions (with six draws), and vice-captain Jackson Ramsay is confident that the game will live up to expectations. 

“I’ve played in a couple of Perth Derby's now and up in Joondalup you do get a big crowd,” Ramsay said.

“It doesn’t matter where you are on the ladder, these sort of games roll around and it always seems to be pretty close.” 

East Perth enters the game on the back of a win, after getting the better of East Fremantle last week in a game that started slowly for the Royals but ended in a 43-point 15.9 (99) to 8.8 (56) victory. 

“We sort of got our act together before it got out of hand. Against Perth, it went to about a six goal lead before we could rein them in. 

“This week, we caught ourselves pretty quickly. I think it just shows the maturity of the group to rein in East Fremantle pretty quickly.”

In the shortest WAFL season since its inaugural year in 1885, Ramsay said he was pleased with the way the midfield have been able to adapt, bolstered by recruits Angus Schumacher, Nick Robertson and Aidan Lynch. 

The Royals won the clearance battle 34-22 and contested possessions 124-99 to get first use of the ball against the Sharks.

“I know there are only six games left, plus finals, so we’ve had to adapt pretty quickly but I’ve found that the midfield at the minute is gelling well. 

“Especially with Jonesy, AJ (Ajang Ajang) and Tommy Amos - we were getting first look, which is good, because then you can start to dictate positioning and dictate the game.” 

West Perth boasts one of the most formidable midfields in the WAFL, led by captain Aaron Black and veteran Shane Nelson. The Falcons have also been aided by the return of Luke Meadows from the VFL.

“We’re going to have our work cut out but our midfield is holding up and our numbers are showing that. 

“We’ve just got to bring what we’ve been bringing and start a bit better which has been a focus point this week.”

Ramsay assumed the reins as acting captain in round three in the absence of the injured Pat McGinnity.

“I’m not trying to put any extra pressure on myself. I’m still being me, but obviously there’s a few extra responsibilities like the pre-game chat, and a few things out on the ground that I have to really think about when I’m out there. 

“I’m really enjoying it. I’m trying to do my best and learn off Pat when he’s out there and during the week as well.” 

Wingman Rohan Kerr will celebrate his 100th WAFL match on Saturday, fittingly against the Falcons, the club he won a premiership with at his old home ground.

“He’s been a very good player for a long time in the WAFL,” said Ramsay.

“It’d be a bit of a different feeling for him, coming up against his old side and his old home ground. He’ll probably expect a fair bit of stick out there this week but we’ll take care of him and hopefully we can have a win for him.”