All the talk ahead of Fremantles cross-continental trip to play the Gold Coast Suns centred around Jesse Hogan. Left out of his new sides round 1 smashing of North Melbourne after being deemed mentally unfit to play, the former Demon was arguably a rare case of a player being bigger than the game in question.
Not that Hogan needed to dominate the game by himself. The Dockers had gone tall, with Hogan just one tall target among Rory Lobb and Matt Taberner, with Michael Walters at their feet. In perfect conditions, Fremantle coach Ross Lyon looked to have set his team to all-out attack.
Of course, it didnt pan out that way. For long periods, it looked like a game of schoolyard kick-to-kick as both sides struggled to find a target, and the Suns – with the bulk of inside 50 entries, possession and control of general play – did their best to snatch defeat from well down the throat of victory with wasteful kicking.
But eventually, and deservedly, they prevailed, with late goals to Jack Martin, Alex Sexton – who followed up his three goals last week with 4.5 at home – and David Swallow, plus a game-saving mark in defence in the last 30 seconds by Sam Collins, getting them home by three points.
The Suns had the better of the contest for much of the first quarter, going inside attack on 21 occasions, but struggling to find a reliable target. It wasnt until the 21st minute that they had their first goal, Touk Miller sharking a ball from a stoppage as his opponent Brad Hill hit the deck.
Two minutes later, the dangerous Alex Sexton had his first, and the home side was looking better, but Rory Lobb kept the margin to a point at quarter time after converting a free kick from the boundary. Both sides were wasting opportunities going forward, but Fremantle had the better spread of options.
The Suns continued to dominate possession in the second quarter, even as Nat Fyfe began to take control of the clearances in the middle for the Dockers. An upset loomed: as good as the Dockers were last week, they won only one game away from home last year, and the turnovers, especially at half-forward, were mounting up.
And Alex Sexton, who extended his contract during the week, was emerging as the most dangerous player on the ground. After three goals last week against St Kilda, the unheralded small forward had another three to half-time, both sharp snaps around his body.
From there, the Suns should have buried the Dockers. They dominated much of the third quarter, as they piled on the pressure – and the behinds, seven of them in a row, including four to Sexton. Fremantle had hardly had it inside their own half, but eventually they made the Suns pay, with goals to McCarthy and Taberner.
Still, so lacklustre were the Dockers that the home side remained only nine points down. Travis Colyers second goal looked like putting enough distance between the sides in a low-scoring game, but a frantic last 10 minutes from the Suns was enough to secure them a rare four points.
The hulking forward didnt play a big game, but importantly started at times in the centre, forming in a massive centre square combination with Nathan Fyfe and David Mundy. He finished with serviceable 21 possessions and a couple of clearances, and according to cliché, should be better for the run. It will be interesting to see if coach Ross Lyon continues to use him as a shock weapon in the Read More – Source