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THE FREMANTLE FESTIVAL OF FANTASTIC FREE KICKS by The Oracle

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They were never going to influence the final outcome of the game because Fremantle were simply far too good. But the three sight-impaired gentlemen in the spiffy bright green and grey gear certainly welcomed our interstate visitors with a red carpet reception and rained free kick after free kick upon them early in the game so that they got the start they wanted. At one stage the Dockers had 5 free kicks to none and 15 inside 50s before the Demons went forward. It was all so Schmitt House.

The Dees were appalling of course and by the time they were ready to play, they were a trifle shell-shocked. There was a brief interlude in the second term when Melbourne was competitive but a few mishaps, obtuse bounces and no luck whatsoever saw Fremantle rack up five goals in six or seven minutes in mid quarter and it was all over red and blue rover. Still, the Demons might have won the quarter had Shannon Byrnes' shot after the siren hit the mark but, let's face it, he kicked 1 goal from six shots last week and the only pass of his that hit someone's chest today found a purple and white jumper.

Talk about bad bounces and rotten luck. By half time, Melbourne had lost Sam Blease (subbed off with an ankle injury) and a minute or two later James Strauss was in the dug out with a shoulder injury.

And so it came to pass that after the break, Freo was too strong, fast and fit for the Dees who didn't have enough men to rotate and their crowning achievement was to avoid losing by 100 points but that was a feat that failed to keep many of the 13,768 fans at the ground for the duration. The football special to Sandringham was half empty when it departed Richmond Station with at least half of the passengers having come from other parts. You could tell the footy goers. They wore the colours red and blue and their faces were hidden by cupped hands all the way home.

Strangely enough, the free kick stats almost evened up by the end of the day but the reality was that the stuff Melbourne got late in the game was insignificant and was never going to make any difference.

Jack Viney put his hand up for a NAB Rising Star nomination (although Brodie Grundy will probably get it because he's Collingwood and they have 80k members). Jack Trengove stood up well and Lynden Dunn was good. Most of the rest had rings run around them.

The midfield coach and the fitness people would be looking over their shoulders when the reshuffle comes and when the Demons next come back to the MCG in March or April, 2014 its likely that things will be a little different. And if Melbourne doesn't qualify for a priority pick at the end of the season, the AFL is not serious.

Melbourne 0.2.2 4.5.29 5.7.37 5.8.38

Fremantle 4.5.29 9.6.60 14.11.95 20.13.133

Goals

Melbourne Davis Fitzpatrick Howe Kent Viney

Fremantle Ballantyne Pavlich 4 Hill Mayne 2 Clarke Fyfe D Pearce Sandilands Sheridan Silvagni, Spurr Walters

Best

Melbourne Viney Trengove Dunn McKenzie Sylvia Watts

Fremantle

Clarke Mundy D Pearce Pavlich Ballantyne, Crowley

Sandilands (cut left eye/concussion), Dawson (left elbow), Ballantyne (right arm)

Injuries

Melbourne Blease (ankle) Garland (jaw) Spencer (cut elbow) Strauss (shoulder)

Fremantle Sandilands (cut left eye/concussion), Dawson (elbow), Ballantyne (arm)

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Fremantle Nil

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Fremantle Nil

Umpires Fila Burgess Schmitt

Official Attendance 13,768 at the MCG

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