AFL 2020: Fremantle v Geelong – Round Eight Knee Jerk Reaction

It was an old fashion slopest between the Cats and the Dockers in Perth and it was Hank Ryan’s job to make some sense of it.

Brad Close goals on debut in the first minute against Fremantle

Just one word sums up Fremantle v Geelong.


The weather, the Dockers, putrid. What wasn’t putrid was the time slot for us West Australians, and the fact that at least we could go watch at the ground or watch it at the pub (pictured below, for those of you who may have forgotten about them)

A pub, which we can go to here.

How Much Blame can You Place on the Weather?

Some, but certainly not all. The Dockers just couldn’t penetrate, and when they did they couldn’t capitalise. Outside of Taberner and Lobb (with Walters occasionally) – there is no real dangerous small forward, there are players that bob up in Schultz and Serong – but they are just not at the level to do it consistently.

In the Dockers’ defence, Tucker, who has been important for their structures this year was out early with a hamstring, with Justin Longmuir expecting him to have a significant spell on the sidelines, continuing the worrying trend of Fremantle’s run of soft-tissue injuries.

How the Game was Won

Basically, Geelong were far too good. With the rain pouring down at Optus Stadium, the Cats dominated possession and inside 50’s despite the clearances being fairly even throughout.

The Cats amassed numbers at the contest and were able to extract and push forward more often, basic stuff. What set them apart though was the slickness of a couple of relatively unheralded Geelong players in Cam Guthrie (30 disposals, eight clearances) and Mitch Duncan (26 disposals, one goal) – the former seemingly oblivious to the conditions, picking up ground balls and half volleys as if the sun had been shining for a week.

The ball was camped in Fremantle’s defensive 50 more often than not, and while Geelong still had to work and grind to get the result, it never really seemed in doubt. The Dockers looked impotent up front on their rare forays forward; kicking just 2 goals for an entire game of Football.

What the Coaches said

Justin Longmuir, Fremantle –

“clearly in that second quarter we lost all structure forward of the ball”

“they handled the conditions better tonight”

“they had more players across the field that were harder and tougher for longer”

“we have a lot of young players that need to learn and get better”

On Blakely’s omission:

“Conor needs to earn his spot, needs to bide his time/his opportunity will come, a bigger body would’ve been handy tonight, particularly after Tucker went down early”

Chris Scott, Geelong –

“It was hard work for both teams, a hard game to umpire too, it was one of those days,” 

“It was hard for everyone, hard for the spectators, the viewers at home. I’d like it to be a better spectacle to watch but it was just one where the players had to hang in there.”

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FREMANTLE     0.2    0.3    1.3     2.4 (16)
         1.2    2.9    3.9     6.12 (48)

Taberner, Serong
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Close, Duncan, Menegola

Brayshaw, Ryan, Serong, Walters, Cerra
Geelong: Duncan, Guthrie, Tuohy, Taylor, Menegola, Blicavs

Fremantle: Cox (hip) replaced in selected side by Watson, Tucker (hamstring), Walters (hamstring)
Geelong: Nil

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