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Fremantle have answered their detractors with a show of toughness, grit and determination to keep the flickering hopes of their season still alive.
Fremantle Dockers 10.11.71
Adelaide Crows 9.14.68
The second, and final, of the Sunday matches sees the Fremantle Dockers back home at Optus Stadium hosting the Adelaide Crows in a vital match for both sides. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 4:40pm AEST.
Of all the weeks for Nat Fyfe to be suspended, this was the absolute last week that Ross Lyon could afford it. His coaching tenure hanging by a thread, his Dockers hosting a very much struggling Crows outfit come off a surprise round 10 loss to GWS, Ross needed his main man today of all days.
What an awkward match this is, in multiple respects, for both teams.
Ross the Floss (that new moniker on account of his dental antics in the coaching box last round) is slowly, but ever so surely, losing that aura around his image.
This Fremantle side is, to put it lightly, not particularly good, and the problem for Lyon is that he was brought out to west to ensure that the Dockers did not become exactly that.
Losing the one legitimate superstar (some harsh critics would say one legitimate AFL-calibre player) in your side for this home game is the worst of worst timing, and Fyfe could have decapitated someone last round, you Lyon still would have fought the charge to make him available.
The return home is the single blessing for this Dockers side. They are a 35-point better side at home than away this season, so funnily enough while you would expect Fremantle to score, a lot may ultimately rest on their defence. Again though, you cannot be sure how much all of that rests on Fyfe.
And the Crows are right there for the taking. What exactly is going on in the Crows medical unit is anybody’s guess, and you literally have to guess these days given you cannot believe what the club is saying about players and their injuries (point of fact, see Taylor Walker’s inclusion, who mere moments before being named had been publicly listed as only likely for next round).
Still, the injury list is long for Adelaide, and while Nat Fyfe’s absence can only help the away side, the question will be, can it account for the lengthy Crows’ absentee list of their own?
Adelaide go into this match having thumped Fremantle by 100 points last up, and on a three game winning streak against the home opposition.
The home ground can only do so much for the Dockers. The Dockers are a stronger side out west, but taking Fyfe out of that side may be a loss too much that even the hard turf of Optus Stadium just cannot account for. Crows, regardless of their own loss of personnel, should still be strong enough to get the job done.
Crows by 17 points.