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Dockers defeat cold Pies in front of record AFLW crowd

A general view of play is seen during the round two AFLW match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on February 10, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
10th February, 2018
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The Fremantle Dockers have gotten the result they wanted to christen their new home ground, beating Collingwood by 13 points in front of 41,000.

The visiting Magpies appeared poised to spoil the party, after they leapt out of the blocks to kick the opening two goals of the game in as many minutes.

But the Dockers got their first through a long shot by Atkins shortly after, and that began a complete turnaround in the match.

Fremantle totally dominated the first quarter from that point on. A sublime goal from Dana Hooker and a slightly fortunate goal to Caulfield gave Freo a quarter-time lead that they never relinquished.

While Freo shifted from a running game to a more passing oriented strategy, the Pies didn’t seem to quite know exactly what they were trying to do, struggling to find targets and not troubling the scorers in the second term.

Collingwood did manage to keep the restrict the home team to just the one major to stay alive in the game, thanks in large part to a couple of heroic moments from Chloe Molloy.

The Dockers started the third term brightly, but for the first time in half a game the Pies began to wrest back a bit of control, getting some opportunities for the forwards and closing the margin to eight points.

But Freo were relentless, and continued to dominate territory with their up-tempo, aggressive play. They restored that three goal advantage by the last change, and when Dana Hooker kicked her second early in the final term it appeared to put the result out of the Pies’ reach.

While Collingwood kicked the last to make the margin appear a bit closer, in truth this was always Freo’s day. The Dockers ultimately ground out the win as both sides fought through fatigue on a hot Perth day.

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A crowd of 41,000 – a record for women’s sport in Australia – turned up to watch the first AFL game at Optus Stadium, and the first AFLW game with an admission fee, albeit a small one. I imagine most of them would go home happy having seen a home team win.

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