Dockers begin season with win over Eagles

mastermind5991 Roar Guru

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    Fremantle have started their AFL season on the best possible note, thrashing the West Coast Eagles with a convincing 28-point victory at Patersons Stadium this evening.

    It was a game of two halves, as West Coast dominated the first half and Fremantle the second. While the match will be remembered for the brilliance of both teams, unfortunately it will also be remembered for a forearm injury suffered by Eagles forward Mark LeCras, playing his first match since 2011 after a knee injury wiped him out of the 2012 season.

    The Eagles started well, booting three goals in the first 15 minutes before the Dockers got on the board through Nick Suban at the 18th minute mark. A further goal to Chris Mayne saw the Dockers trail the Eagles by 11 points at the quarter-time break.

    Two goals to the Dockers, through Michael Walters and Ryan Crowley, saw the Purple Haze in front for the first time in the match. But their lead would not last long, with the Eagles regaining the lead three minutes later through Mark LeCras, not long after Dockers captain Matthew Pavlich was reported for charging into Will Schofield.

    Two more goals, through Josh Kennedy, saw the Eagles’ lead out to 18 points. A run of three behinds followed for Freo before a goal to new import Danyle Pearce saw the Dockers enter the half-time break trailing by nine points.

    But West Coast’s first half dominance would count for nothing in the second half.

    Fremantle took the match by the throat with a six-goal third quarter, while the Eagles could only manage one through LeCras in the 12th minute (following a two-goal burst by the Dockers), following which the 2010 All-Australian suffered the forearm injury.

    It was that goal that saw the Eagles take back the lead from the Dockers, but it wouldn’t last long, with the Dockers succeeding in booting four unanswered majors to enter the final change 24 points up.

    The final quarter started with Jamie Cripps booting his second goal to bring the margin back to 18 points and thus restore some life in this match.

    For the most part, it was an even final quarter, as Docker attempts to win the match were pegged back by Eagle attempts to snatch the victory.

    Twice, the Dockers extended the lead to five goals, through Hayden Ballantyne (10th minute) and Michael Walters (14th), but the Eagles would not give up without a fight, and by the time Chris Masten and Josh Hill booted one major each, the deficit was only 18 points.

    The match was still alive until Kepler Bradley scored what appeared to be the match winner with 26 minutes of the final quarter gone, to put the Dockers in pole position.

    Nick Suban booted his third major two minutes later, to cap off a memorable Fremantle victory, 16.12 (108) to 11.14 (80).

    It was a great way for the Dockers to start the season and this performance shows they are real contenders for the flag in 2013.

    Ross Lyon looks set to enjoy another successful year in the west, having previously guided St Kilda to three grand finals in 2009-10, coming the closest in the second of that patch. But the question remains – can Fremantle actually feature in premiership contention at the business end of the season?

    Next round, they are off to Melbourne to face the Western Bulldogs, one of the favourites to struggle this season.

    As for the Eagles, who are being touted as premiership contenders this year, there’s still a lot of work to do if they are to feature in September this year.

    The Eagles still have 21 more matches to improve and push for a top-four finish at the end of the season.

    But that task might not start in the next round, as they play host to last year’s runners-up, Hawthorn.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • Roar Rookie

      March 24th 2013 @ 10:46am
      Ash Lemson said | March 24th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      Great win by freo

    • March 24th 2013 @ 1:16pm
      Lroy said | March 24th 2013 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

      Dockers looked good, methinks they are going to be a real handful this year.. have good players in every position..and they run hard… Daniel Pearce looks like a great acquisition.

      Eagles have problems, backline is good, forward line, ditto.. midfield.. pedestrian. Matt Priddis has to be the slowest guy ever to play AFL … he isnt getting the weight of possesions to justify his position IMO.. He would struggle to beat a Galapagos tortoise at the moment…Woosh is going to have to make a few tough calls.

      They desperately need an injection of pace, Jacob Brennan surely has to start next week. Shuey and Scott Selwood both look like taggers to me.. Wellingham cant come back in soon enough… Masten runs hard, but isnt particularly quick of the mark.

      AFL games are won and lost in the midfield, Eagles have to sort that out quickly….

      • March 24th 2013 @ 3:31pm
        Nathan of Perth said | March 24th 2013 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

        Priddis is great at getting the ball, freaking terrible at using it.

        Do we know why (why oh why) Smith started in favour of Brennan?

        • March 24th 2013 @ 4:25pm
          Lroy said | March 24th 2013 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

          Mate… for me, Priddis went missing last year in most of the big games… yesterday, Dockers players were sprinting past him to get the pill… it was embarrasing… no one bothers tagging him right?? that means they arent particularly worried if he gets the ball……….hmmmmmmm

          Ash Smith, good solid player down back,Woosh likes him…. I think Brennan should get a run in the midfield… he is the only one with any pace.. McGinity, Masten.. all hard working, triers but we need some leg speed… that was our achilles last year (pardon the pun) and given Port towelled our mids a few weeks ago it still looks like a problem, big one for the Eagles.

          Having said that, Dockers were fantastic… (hate to admit it)… recruiting the Saints full back , and Pearce from Port… really gives them a bit of stability… they are both experienced, can deal with pressure. Makes it hard to tag Hill , cos it leaves Pearce free…

          They nearly rolled the Crows last year on a 5 day break…. have just crushed the Eagles.. and did a number on the Cats in Melbourne during the finals… only one game.. but they could be the real deal this year….

          • March 24th 2013 @ 6:17pm
            Nathan of Perth said | March 24th 2013 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

            On a more objective view, we know that Dockers will go far this year and losing Mackenzie and the Frenchman in the third killed both our ability to strike back again and our ability to hold them out, and Smith over Brennan was a bad choice at the selection table…

            But this was a bad one, have a very bad feeling about our odds this year.

          • March 25th 2013 @ 4:19pm
            T said | March 25th 2013 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

            Lroy – Bad call re priddis, he’s one of their most important players. If you knew anything about the game, he’s not there to inject pace into the midfield, he’s an inside mid so he’s there to win the hard ball in the contest which he does with aplomb.

            • March 25th 2013 @ 5:42pm
              Nathan of Perth said | March 25th 2013 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

              Yes, but getting the ball on the inside is only half the battle. The other half is getting it safely to the guy on the outside and that’s where Priddis really runs into trouble.

              • March 26th 2013 @ 12:42am
                T said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:42am | ! Report

                It wasn’t his best game disposal wise but he usually is competant in getting the ball the the runners. Last year he showed a massive improvement in disposing the ball.

            • March 26th 2013 @ 6:48pm
              Lroy said | March 26th 2013 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

              @T.. dude, “if you knew anything about the game…” oh, I get it, you are in the AFL hall of fame I take it?

              Eagles have the slowest midfield out of all the top AFL sides.. and Priddis is the slowest out of all of them… if they want to win a flag, a couple of guys are going to have to be dropped.. Priddis is one I would let go.

              Opposition sides dont bother to tag him, that says it all.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 1:55am
                Jax said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:55am | ! Report

                Priddis’ stats say that he is an elite inside mid, he has great hands and is an accurate, but short kick. He has dropped since mid 2012 I agree but he’s in their Top 10 coz he gets the ball and disposes cleanly.

                They do have some concerns in the mid and that needs addressing for sure but their best 22 will match it with any team.

                Nic Nat is the difference and stats prove that also. He is #1 in the AFL for being a link in a scoring chain and #1 for starting plays that results in a score. they’ve got a lot of quality players injured or underdone and Sept is what it’s all about. Dockers and Eagles will both be there!

    • March 24th 2013 @ 7:35pm
      Martin of Perth said | March 24th 2013 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

      Why is it that a few of the Eastern-states media disrespectfully pronounce the word ‘derby’? This is not a horse race where you say ‘darby’. Just today, I was watching ABC 24 when a news commentator said ‘darby’. It is a huge game in Perth and it is quite deflating when commentators show disrespect.

      • March 25th 2013 @ 11:11am
        The Critics' Choice said | March 25th 2013 @ 11:11am | ! Report

        What about “Castle”? I want to show respect when in Perth, so how do I pronounce it when there?

        • March 26th 2013 @ 5:48pm
          bryan said | March 26th 2013 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

          “Castle”?–Either way,some Sandgropers pronounce it one way,& some the other.
          OK,I won’t DARNCE around it,it’s inconsistent!! 😉

      • March 26th 2013 @ 6:23pm
        Dingo said | March 26th 2013 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

        At a guess, the ABC presenter was educated in English, hence when he pronounces English words, he does so using correct English pronunciation.

        Derby is pronounced Darby, regardless of what people in the west incorrectly believe.

        • March 29th 2013 @ 8:22pm
          bryan said | March 29th 2013 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

          I very much doubt that the “correct” pronunciation of “Darby” is any part of a formal education.

          It is in fact an anomaly,as “er” is normally pronounced exactly as it is spelled.
          In any case,there are around 300 million Americans with a dissenting vote,as they pronounce Derby just like we do in WA.

    • Roar Guru

      March 25th 2013 @ 10:00am
      Brodie Chivers said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:00am | ! Report

      The Hill/Pearce combo is a scary one for this season. Watch out AFL.

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