Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 1:45 PM by Chris Pike

WEST Perth is back in action on WA Day hosting East Perth in the traditional Derby at Joondalup Arena looking to keep its impressive recent form going and stopping a three-game losing run against the Royals.

Joondalup Arena will play host to the WA Day Derby for 2018 with bounce down set for 1.10pm with the game to be broadcast live on Channel 7.

Not only should it be a tremendous contest to watch, but also one with plenty on the line for both teams with West Perth entering Round 9 in third position with a 4-3 record while East Perth is 4-3 as well but in fifth spot courtesy of an inferior percentage.

West Perth come into the derby on the back of an 88-point victory against East Fremantle two weeks ago also at Joondalup Arena prior to the bye last week. 

Then two weeks before that prior to the State game break, the Falcons put in a strong showing also against Subiaco despite a 22-point loss at Leederville Oval.

East Perth, meanwhile, was in tremendous form prior to the State game break having won four straight matches since a first up 118-point loss to Subiaco. But the Royals have struggled since losing to South Fremantle by 68 points and then Swan Districts by 13 both at Leederville Oval.

That form line means that West Perth will look to continue where it left off prior to the bye to consolidate third position and remain in touch for a top two spot while East Perth will try to recapture what it was doing prior to the State game break.

East Perth only has to look back to Round 2 this year for confidence coming up against West Perth though. Following that big loss to Subiaco on Good Friday, the Royals responded by beating the Falcons in emphatic fashion by 58 points.

Monday's contest will be the 31st in history to be played on WA Day (formerly Foundation Day) between West Perth and East Perth. The Royals have won 15 of those meetings, the Falcons 14 and there was one draw back in 2012 at Joondalup Arena.

The evenness of the match ups over history which dates back to 1910 is highlighted by the fact that over 30 matches, East Perth has scored just 102 more points than West Perth.

It has only become an annual fixture since 1997 and in those 21 derbies since, West Perth has won nine of them, East Perth 11 and there was the one draw.

The Royals have won four of the last five WA Day Derbies as well including last year by 46 points at Leederville Oval despite West Perth playing finals and East Perth missing out.

West Perth's lone WA Day win in the past five years came in 2016 at Joondalup Arena to the tune of 31 points.

East Perth has also won the last three matches overall against West Perth. That run stated on WA Day last year with the Royals also winning in Round 20 of 2017 and then in Round 2 this season. Those three wins have come at an average of 62.7 points.

That leaves West Perth with some answers to find against East Perth but the Falcons will also be celebrating the 200-game milestone of coach Bill Monaghan.

He is already the longest-serving coach in the history of West Perth and now becomes the first man to coach them in 200 WAFL matches. Along the way, he took the Falcons to the 2013 premiership and has won 110 games, lost 87 and drawn two.

While it's a significant milestone for Monaghan, he's just focused on the job at hand.

"Derbies are interesting and they probably don't have the savage nature they might have had many years ago, but the fans and players still get up for it," Monaghan said.

"Hopefully it will be a fine day and we get some people out there, and it's a cracking game."

From the West Perth team that beat East Fremantle by 88 points a fortnight ago, there are no players out at this stage for the Falcons heading into the WA Day Derby against East Perth.

However, Scott Nelson, Dylan Yem, Tyson Moulton and Mitch Antonio have been added to the squad and all are capable of providing something for the Falcons on Monday if given the opportunity.

East Perth is looking for a way to recapture its form from prior to the State game break and the return of co-captain Kyle Anderson should help that cause and significant strengthen the back-line. 

He is yet to play a game in 2018 through injury but has built form and fitness the past two weeks in the reserves.

While the Royals will lose Jackson Nelson from the team that lost to Swan Districts last Saturday, they will retain the services of West Coast players looking to keep in AFL selection contention like Jarrod Brander, Jack Petruccelle, Francis Watson, Nathan Vardy and Matthew Allen.

Dwayne Bolton, Jaxon Cahill, Mitch Dobson, Blake Riley, Jamie Rudrum and Stan Wright have all been added to the East Perth squad as well.

Broadcast – Channel 7, ABC Radio, Footy Radio