East Perth reaffirmed their status as flag favourites with a crushing victory over Perth at Lathlain Park on Saturday.
The Royals, boosted by a swag of West Coast squad members, were raging premiership fancies until a shock 100-point loss to West Perth in round four.
But a 16-point victory over the Falcons on WA Day, their fourth in a row since losing to Subiaco in round five, illustrated why the Royals are favoured to claim this year's premiership.
A stunning 10-goal second quarter on Saturday was the catalyst for East Perth's 22.8 (140) to 9.6 (60) demolition of the Demons.
Winners across all lines helped set up East Perth's eighth win for the season.
Royals big man Callum Sinclair was best afield in a performance that will enhance his chances of an AFL recall.
Sinclair had four goals to half-time and finished the match with six majors, 21 possessions, 13 marks and 17 hit-outs.
Midfielders Dom Sheed, Brendan Lee and Freddie Clutterbuck won plenty of the ball, while defenders Kyle Anderson, Jacob Brennan, Adam Carter, Mitch Fraser, Brett Dobson and Blayne Wilson gave little away.
East Perth assistant coach Russell Thompson said it was their most even display of the year.
Thompson took the coaching reins, with regular league mentor Brian Dawson in the US with work commitments.
"My biggest focus was that they just play their role and you couldn't question any of them with their efforts," Thompson said.
"The most important thing for us today was to stick to the basics and our structures.
"I felt that our group adjusted very quickly to anything Perth changed in the game. They did it quickly and as a co-ordinated effort which was good."
He said although Sinclair had played the lead role against the Demons, East Perth had a number of goal-kicking options at their disposal, including Lycett, Paul Johnson, Josh Smith and Fraser McInnes.
"The way that group works together to try and isolate is fantastic," he said.
"We don't care who kicks the goals. As long as we're getting the footy into advantage or to someone who is isolated or has got some room.
"The work that we do on structures is really important and it shows with our delivery even though I thought our effort sometimes didn't match our reward.
"The pleasing things is these guys like Callum, Scotty Lycett, Smithy, Johnno, even Fraser McInnes will all bob up and kick goals like that at certain times."
While the Royals had an embarrassment of riches, Perth's better players were harder to find.
Captain Paul Bevan, former Greater Western Sydney squad member Gerald Ugle, Cale Morton, defenders Chris Billings and Nick Kane and ex-Dockers squad member Joel Houghton were gallant throughout.
Ugle responded well after being dropped to the reserves in the previous round, finishing with 18 possessions and three goals.
Coach Damien McMahon rued his team's poor second quarter, but was confident the Demons would bounce back against Subiaco in Kalgoorlie on Saturday.
After opening with wins against Claremont and South Fremantle, Perth have lost seven of their past eight matches, a streak that has cast uncertainty on McMahon's future at the club.
My biggest focus was that they just play their role " *Russell Thompson *