How to win the AFL title and the Suns v Essendon premiership clash
The Suns will get a first win in six weeks when they take on the premiership contenders this weekend.
Key points:It will be the first time in six seasons the Suns have faced Essendon since 2011The Suns have beaten the Bombers twice this season and were victorious last time they faced them at the SCGThe Suns are on a four-game winning streak, their longest since 2010The Suns face a challenge of their own when they face the Bomber-era Bombers in the first game of the finals series.
Essendon coach Brad Scott has the Suns on his side after the club’s two wins this season have come at the MCG and Adelaide Oval.
But the premiers will be without their star midfielder Tom Liberatore, who suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Richmond.
The loss of Liberatory, who has played in 11 games this season, will see the Suns look for their best defensive record in six years.
“We’re definitely disappointed with the way we played against Richmond last week,” Scott said.
“I thought we played very well and in the end we weren’t able to keep Richmond in it.”
But the big thing for us is that we played well in the second half and we just need to continue to do that and hopefully the other guys will come up with some big wins.
“The Suns will be playing their first game since 2011 when they host the Demons at the Gabba on Saturday night.
They are also without defender Josh Jenkins, who missed the last two weeks with a knee injury.
Ben Stratton will start his sixth game since returning from a hamstring injury after the veteran forward suffered a hamstring strain against Richmond.”
The big thing is to get some consistency back in,” Stratton said.
Essence’s premiership hopes have been on life support since losing Josh Jenkins to a hamstring problem against Richmond in round nine.
Key facts:The Suns won the last meeting in 2014 but have not won in Perth since 2011They were victorious against Richmond, but have lost two games in a row at the Adelaide Oval in 2016 and 2017Both games against the Bombs were decided by two goals or fewer.
Richmond has won eight of its past nine matches against the Suns.
Richlinians head coach Brent Harvey said he was confident the Suns would come through this series.”
That’s the first big test of our season and we have a great group of players, we have some very good young players, they’ve got some young guys that we’ve got to keep on top of.””
This is an AFL premiership and we know it is a long, hard, tough game.”
That’s the first big test of our season and we have a great group of players, we have some very good young players, they’ve got some young guys that we’ve got to keep on top of.
“Richmond was expected to be without its captain Jarrad Waite and leading marksman James Frawley but the pair have both been ruled out with hamstring injuries.
Essential stats:The Bombers have won nine straight games against Essendon.
Essentially, the Suns will have to play the Bombees without any of their best players, including two players who have been sidelined for a significant period of time.”
You’ve got all those players, so you’ve got the big, strong, big-bodied big, heavyweights that are in there and we’ve just got to be confident,” Strato said.
Richford has won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the teams.
The Bombeas have won the past six meetings between them.
The Suns were on the losing end of two of their four finals encounters last season, losing 13.12 (100) to Melbourne in round 14 and 34.13 (104) to Essendon in round 17.