A dour contest for sure, but the Dockers did enough to take the chocolates
Do the Swans Have a Scoring Problem?
You bet your ass they have a scoring problem. Only Adelaide have a worse goals per game average. That’s not to say that they don’t have talent in their forward half. Nick Blakey and Tom McCartin both have bright futures in and around Sydney’s attacking end. Then there is the firepower that Tom Papley and Buddy possess (although the latter has just been ruled out for the season). But for whatever reason (15th for inside 50’s, 13th for clearance among a few you can take your pick from) they just aren’t getting it done.
That’s not taking away anything from the Dockers though, who were excellent in defence – in particular Luke Ryan, who would have to be in All-Australian contention. The defender is currently ranked first for intercepts and rebound 50’s, third in total kicks and eighth in metres gained.
How the Game was Won
Fremantle were obviously keen to redeem themselves after a heartbreaking loss to Carlton last week which ended any hope of finals in 2020. The were superb in defence – allowing the Swans just two goals for the game, running out winners by 31 points.
The midfield duo of Mundy and Fyfe gave the Dockers first purchase more often the not, setting the game up in the second quarter with a 10-4 clearance advantage which helped to add three unanswered goals.
The Swans kicked the opening goal but didn’t kick another until the final term,. It was Sydney’s lowest score ever against the Dockers, and their three-quarter time score of 1.4 their lowest in 56 years.
Luke Ryan as mentioned earlier, was superb for the Dockers and was ably helped by Brennan Cox, while up the other end Matt Taberner continued his good season kicking 2 and taking 10 marks.
What the Coaches Said
Justin Longmuir praised his team’s ability to put the previous week’s heartbreak behind them. “Sometimes those type of losses can linger all week,” he told reporters post match. “We tried to shift the players mindset onto Sydney early on in the week and I thought the players prepared well for the contest tonight.”
Longmuir was also pleased with his sides defensive efforts. “Our defensive structures have been holding up really well and the pressure we have been putting on the ball and the way our forwards have been defending is really helping our backs. Our backs are setting up really well behind the ball. The guys were really strong back there tonight for us. It was a really strong effort defensively,”
John Longmire lamented his teams inability to score despite enough opportunities. “It’s unusual that we’ve had a lot more inside 50s and were unable to put the score on the board,” Longmire said. “It’s a bit of connection with our forwards, our kicking going forward of centre and it’s also just our ability to win our 50-50s when it was in our front half … particularly in the air, it was disappointing.”
FREMANTLE 1.1 4.4 5.7 7.8 (50)
SYDNEY 1.2 1.4 1.4 2.7 (19)
Fremantle: Ryan, Brayshaw, Mundy, Taberner, Walters, Fyfe, Schultz
Sydney: Rowbottom, Lloyd, Dawson, Kennedy
Fremantle: Taberner 2, Mundy, Cerra, Frederick, Lobb, Schultz
Sydney: McCartin, Wicks