AFL 2019: Mid Season Report Card – Fremantle

Eddie Langtree passes judgement on Fremantle’s first 11 games. How will he rate Ross Lyon’s men?

Season to Date

Ups and downs – this is not only the story of Fremantle this season, it has been their story since their inception.
They kicked off the season with a huge win over North Melbourne only to trip up against Gold Coast.Round 5 saw them upset GWS away, only to lose the next three to Adelaide, Richmond and Essendon – all very winnable games against under performing opposition.
The last two rounds were very tight wins against Brisbane and Collingwood. The latter, perhaps their best win of the season, saw them fall a place on the ladder to ninth – something of a metaphor for the season.
It’s the usual suspects for the Dockers doing most of the work. Skipper Nat Fyfe has been influential in the middle and David Mundy having passed 300 games just keeps doing his thing. They are proving the second most miserly defence so far having conceded only 775 points and trailing only Geelong. Pearce and Hameling have been constructive all year while Nathan Wilson has provided plenty of drive and Luke Ryan has developed and is taking on some of the best mid sized forwards going around


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What’s gone right?

Great upset wins vs GWS and Collingwood.
When the guns get going – Fyfe, Hill, Walters, they are hard to stop. Brandon Matera has been busy as a small forward and Rory Lobb has been rucking mostly by himself and capped a great season to date by breaking even with Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy. Lobb could indeed be the new prototype to take on the likes of Grundy. He’s a rig and super fit and can run all day. Conca has been solid all year and it’s great to see Connor Blakely back in the side and close to his best already. He’s a hard nut and the Dockers faithful just love him.

What’s gone wrong?

Forwards mostly. The forward line looks great on paper. Hogan, Taberner, Matera, Cox, Lobb resting. Cam McCarthy can’t get a gig after kicking five in round 1 but on the whole, they have under performed with the exception of their leading goal scorer Michael Walters and Brandon Matera.
Matt Taberner is a big loss and was showing some good signs. Hogan has been mostly missing but did show glimpses against Collingwood. We’d love to see Hogan take the leadership in the forward line.
The low point of the season, despite losing to Gold Coast, was 5.4.34 and losing to Adelaide in Round 7. A hideous scoring effort and a similarly forgettable game.

Stand out Player

It’s hard to mix it with Fyfe, Hill, Walters and Mundy but I’m going with Rory Lobb. For reasons unknown the common perception is that he’s a change ruckman and that he would be pushing through the forward line with Sean Darcy. He has shown that he can mix it with the best rucks in the country, he has a huge tank and has freed up Fremantle to push another tall forward in Taberner and/or Cox wihtough clogging up the forward line with too many talls.

The Run Home

One of the easier ones based on current ladder position. Only two games against top four sides and seven again bottom eight teams. Look for them to finish 7th or 8th

Grade

B-
A couple of outstanding wins over GWS and Collingwood, but losing to the Suns, Richmond at home when they were ready to be taken and Essendon – these could so easily have been wins and could have had them clear second 9-2 or even 8-3 level with GWS, Collingwood and Richmond.


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