Fremantle V Port Adelaide
It’s 8th vs 9th at Optus Stadium, and after a week off with the bye both sides will be looking to grab a spot in the Top 8 to start the second half of the season. Dockers have made three changes since their last match (a 4-point win against Collingwood) with Alex Pearce (ankle) and Rory Lobb (foot) both out for the remainder of the season, and Adam Cerra out with an illness. They bring in Sean Darcy and Stephen Hill for their first games this season, and Griffin Logue, who hasn’t played AFL for over 500 days. For Port Adelaide, Matthew Broadbent (mental health) has been replaced in the side with Hamish Hartlett, back for his first game in nearly a year.
There was rain earlier in the day, but the weather here in Perth has cleared and there is little chance of rain during the match today. We were joined by Nathan Bassett, Port Adelaide Assistant Coach, before today’s game to discuss today’s matchup.
Port Adelaide have started the match fast, Paddy Ryder has the first two goals of the match to give Port the jump, before Brett Bewley kicks a great goal on the run to give Dockers their first score. It is Bewley’s first goal in AFL footy, in just his third game. Port had the ascendancy for most of the quarter, Kane Farrell has two goals to give them a 31-20 lead at quarter time. Hamish Hartlett has 12 possessions already in his return.
Michael Walters kicks his second goal after a controversial free kick given away in the forward fifty, a scuffle with Robbie Gray. The heat in this match has lifted as the players feel that a few free kicks have been missed. A mark and goal to Jesse Hogan only a minute later squares things for the match, both sides 6.2.38 10 minutes into the second term. The Dockers finish the second quarter with 5 goals to 2, and are in front by five points at the main break. Hogan has two and Walters has three to end the first half.
A third term that has been back and forth, alternating the last five goals and with 10 minutes to play, Freo find themselves 10 points up, leading 77-67. The Dockers have had the play this quarter, and Port are having to fight hard to stay in touch but so far have managed to respond each time. Freo have been lucky on the free kick count with 25-13 in favor of the home side so far.
It’s going to a very tight final term, Port have kicked the last two goals to take a one-point lead at three quarter time. Kane Farrell has four goals for the visitors, they lead 12.7 to 12.6.
Port Adelaide have failed to score in the last quarter, a great term for the Dockers with Matera kicking one and Walters with two. Walters makes it six goals in a best-afield performance, while Fyfe also lead the way with 37. Kane Farrell ended up with 4 and Travis Boak had 36 touches in a strong effort, but the Dockers were too strong in the final term.
Nat Fyfe was everywhere today, leading the possession count with 37, and after the match he spoke to FrizzFerguson about the team’s performance
Fremantle have broken into the Top 8 after a great win against Port Adelaide, eventual winners by 20 points, 15.10.100 to 12.7.79.
Port are disappointed with the result as they drop out of the Top 8, and they return to Adelaide Oval to host the Cats next weekend who have been the dominant team in the competition. Freo will travel to face Melbourne at the MCG and will have confidence after three wins in a row.