The Roar
The Roar


Freo magic against Essendon, but only for three quarters

Roar Guru
24th June, 2012

I’ve watched the Fremantle Dockers since inception. They have never played a better three quarters of football in their entire history than that against Essendon on Saturday night. Never!

They have a great future. The three talls were sensational and only McPhee and Mazungoo could look back and say they were less skilful than their opponents. Ross Lyon would be a proud man.

For 70 minutes they were as well organised, as tall, as game, as skilful, as good as one could expect a team in the AFL to be. They were top two material.

If there were any doubts about Essendon’s ‘greatness’ under James Hird, they were dispelled. With that kind of performance from Hurley they are top four material in what is a sensational competition. (This was spoiled only by the Umpiring Instructions handed down by the AFL… stick the whistle in your pockets boys, do us all a favour.)

You don’t come to Subiaco and run all over the Dockers in the final term and for that critical five minutes of the third in the manner they did. No one does that to the Dockers.

The following was a big plus: Essendon had perfect travel, hotel and rest preps for the game. Essendon ran to the scoring end in the final quarter and kicked five goals to one behind.

Fremantle kicked 12.2 to the Fremantle or scoring end of the park in the first and third quarters and 2.2 to the city end in the second and fourth.

Essendon has almost everything it takes to win a title except a third tall rucking type.

The ground was firm as a bowling green, there was no wind, and the conditions were dry and cool-perfect for perfect football.


If you took a line through last night, Fremantle could be the smokey in the pack over the 24 games. Mayne and a couple of the other boys are pretty sore but that aside, they came through unscathed.

I thought Ross Lyon could have set the tone last night in the last quarter for a rabid finish. But he backed off attack and settled into something of a zone defence. You can’t let yourself get attacked in this league.

He had to score the first two goals of the last quarter because they had allowed Essendon the sniff they needed in the last few minutes of the third quarter.

The rules of the game are set up for you to attack. If the AFL wants teams to run out a 24 game season then they need to ensure the substitutions are sufficient to allow it.

Hawthorn, Adelaide, Essendon, West Coast, Collingwood and Sydney is where it is at right now.