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ANCHORS AWEIGH! by George on the Outer


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So came the cry from the Dockers as the S.S. Fremantle set sail with the hopes of all of their supporters on board on the mighty ship. Their task was to do nothing more than to defeat the Melbourne side and a top four position on the ladder was assured.

The problem for them was that their leaky boat came up against the mighty battleship - Team Demon and it didn’t take long after they left port for their vessel to develop a multitude of leaks.

The first salvo was fired by First Officer Jack Viney, who simply set the standard for the match with his brutal attack at man and ball.  He had 14 possessions in the first quarter alone and he didn’t stop there amassing 33 in total of which an incredible 16 were contested.  For this the Fremantle midshipmen simply had no answer as he pounded them into submission.

The Dockers ‘only hope was to negate the effects of Clayton Oliver by putting a hard tag on him in the form of James Aish but while that may have worked in theory and partly in practice, the outcome was that the plan hit the rocks courtesy of Viney and Christian Petracca with 16 contested of his own.

To add to the Freo misery, the Demons moved Angus Brayshaw back into the middle to turn the tide and completely drown any momentum they might gain. He recorded and incredible 564 metres gained for the game, and would have no doubt told Ed Langdon about this statistic at game end.

Sadly all they could offer was an ageing Mundy and Angus’ younger brother, Andrew. However, it was a bit like putting up an ageing prawn trawler up against the USS Nimitz with its mountains of firepower.

The skipper, Max Gawn, is showing signs of return to better form, although his marking exploits still continue to be well down, posting only two for the game, while his compatriot in Luke Jackson only managed a single. This has been a common occurrence in this and past weeks, and we all know the importance of both their aerial skills.

At the first bell, the Demons led by two goals, and it wasn’t the only bell tolling for the Dockers.  With the start of the second term, Melbourne began piling on another three goals as they peppered the goal front. With Bayley Fritsch and Kozzy Pickett enjoying the incoming salvos, the lead had blown out to over four goals by half time.

Sadly, all this opportunity could not be taken advantage of by Sam Weideman, who could only manage a solitary mark, kick and goal for the whole game.  And that was after the ball fell into his lap from a scrubby up field kick. That experiment should be finally put away, and the selection committee need to bring in a player who can provide more output than one disposal in a game.

The onslaught continued from the Demons in the third with another three goals while the Fremantle tinny continued to take on water, now finding themselves over six goals down come the final change.  Importantly, the defenders had continued to tighten the screws and allowed only a single goal through their nets, for the quarter.  Freo simply had nowhere to go when they looked up field and the Lever, Petty and May brick wall combined with 20 intercepts during the game. 

The final quarter was much more of the same.  A single major to the Dockers for 30 minutes of game time, while the Demons piled on two more for good measure to run out 46 point winners and add to the sea sickness of all those on board the S.S. Fremantle. 

This was a return to form for the Demons.  And all in the absence of a genuine tall target up forward.  With the return of Ben Brown from injury, the side is looking more like the one that took the top prize last year.  And come this week, the test will be to show that there is a genuine game between the best and the also rans, when they come up against an equally hopeful Collingwood armada. 

Well, the battered Fremantle skiff hobbled back to where it came from, now knowing what is required to be at least a top four side, having fallen to sixth following the results from other games.  With a six point deficit to the top sides and an upcoming game against the Bulldogs, their ship might well have sailed.

It is a lesson the Pies might learn, since the history of Armada’s winning the battle is not all that common, especially when the opposition have turned the tide and have re-armed with their most trusted lieutenants on the field, unlike the last time they met.

MELBOURNE 4.3.27 7.7.49 10.11.71 12.13.85

FREMANTLE 2.2.14 3.4.22 4.5.29 5.9.39

GOALS

MELBOURNE Fritsch Pickett 3 Spargo 2 Jordon Langdon Melksham Weideman 

FREMANTLE Frederick Walters 2 Logue

BEST

MELBOURNE Viney Petracca Fritsch Brayshaw Pickett Hibberd  

FREMANTLE Aish Pearce Mundy Brodie Brayshaw Walters 

INJURIES 

MELBOURNE Jake Lever (ankle)

FREMANTLE Nil

REPORTS 

MELBOURNE Nil

FREMANTLE Nil

SUBSTITUTES 

MELBOURNE Kade Chandler (unused)

FREMANTLE Bailey Banfield (unused)

UMPIRES Brett Rosebury Brendan Hosking Nathan Williamson 

CROWD 46,313 at Optus Stadium 

ReportRd202022.png

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