Fremantle’s season is on the brink. MARK DUFFIELD analyses the performs and the gamers that price them in opposition to the Bulldogs.
It was ridiculous when you concentrate on it.
Fremantle needed to make this about their anger over Rory Lobb leaving the membership mid-contract. It was a wild-goose chase. There was the pantomime scuffle earlier than the ball was bounced, the pantomime boos from the gang.
However this was at all times going to be about Fremantle’s capability to face their floor in opposition to a high-quality Bulldogs midfield led by Marcus Bontempelli.
Lobb is in his tenth season of AFL footy and has managed to kick 36 objectives in a season as soon as.
Bontempelli can also be in his tenth season, was taking part in his 199th sport and has been a famous person of the AFL from day one. And he had a few helpful varieties driving shotgun for him: Jack Macrae, taking part in sport 214, and Tom Liberatore, taking part in sport 201.
All stars of the Bulldogs 2016 premiership.
All among the many cream of the AFL’s robust bodied mids who will take your engine room to the cleaners if they don’t seem to be on their sport.
And the brutal reality for the Dockers’ midfield is that they’ve been off their sport for many of the season. The second that symbolised the sport was the one on the 15-minute mark of the ultimate time period when Bontempelli, not glad with dominating the midfield, climbed excessive over a pack 25 metres from objective, plucked his sixth mark and kicked his second objective together with his twenty ninth disposal.
It gave the Canine a 44-point lead. Sport over.
And if there was a second that summed up Fremantle for a lot of the primary half when the sport was sizzling, it was this one within the first time period.
Sean Darcy contests the centre bounce, goes after the ball on the bottom, wins it, handballs it backwards and misses each teammate within the neighborhood. Jaeger O’Meara has time to scrub it up, however fumbles the ball. The Canine stress it ahead. Brandon Walker and Corey Wagner then each have possibilities to scrub it up at half again however Wagner, who takes possession, loses his toes and Walker overruns the ball.
Then the Canine stress the ball all the best way to full ahead and Fremantle captain Alex Pearce, the final Docker within the chain with the possibility to scrub up the mess, takes too lengthy to eliminate the ball within the goalsquare, will get nailed by Anthony Scott and coughs up a holding the ball free. Scott kicks the objective from level clean vary.
One bloke missed the goal. One fumbled. One misplaced his toes, one overran the ball and one lacked consciousness. These are only a few of the fundamental fundamentals of soccer and the Dockers too typically this season haven’t been ok at sufficient of them.
The Dockers obtained off to their now customary gradual begin.
By the 15-minute mark of the primary quarter, the Canine led clearances 7-2 and inside fifties 10-2. However Fremantle had dodged a bullet. They led by six factors off the again of Sean Darcy and Jaeger O’Meara objectives, which made a mockery of the Bulldogs’ edge normally play.
It was to not final. By halftime, the Bulldogs’ inside mids Bontempelli, Liberatore and Macrae had taken management of the midfield battle and solely Caleb Serong and Darcy stood in the best way of full domination.
This was about massive our bodies, making use of extreme stress to a workforce that has made a behavior thus far this yr of not dealing with extreme stress that effectively.
Bontempelli. MacRae and Liberatore had been very good.
By three quarter time the trio had had 62 disposals and twenty clearances between them. Bontempelli and Liberatore had kicked objectives and the Canine had been sitting on a three-goal lead.
The Canine then kicked the primary 5 objectives of the ultimate time period to pile on the ache.
Fremantle are all however performed for this season: 2-4 with a visit to Brisbane to face the Lions to come back subsequent week.
They’ve too many gamers who’re merely not the completed product. Luke Jackson may be capable to crumb, however he drops too many marks he ought to take. Michael Frederick may be capable to execute a sideways backflip celebrating a objective however he misses too many half possibilities when his pace has created the chance to do extra.
They will transfer the ball rapidly once they select to however they don’t select to typically sufficient.
As for Lobb, he was the third of the Bulldogs’ tall targets in assault as he has been all yr. Aaron Naughton kicked three objectives and Bailey Williams bobbed up off a wing for 3.
The Dockers had gathered a posse and despatched it off after the mistaken bloke.