Wayward Dockers go down to Power
Fremantle has been left to rue it's inaccuracy in front of goal once again, suffering a 46 point defeat to Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
The Dockers kicked seven behinds in the opening quarter against the Power, the home team slamming on seven goals to open up a 40 point advantage in the contest that saw Ken Hinkley's side in complete command, overcoming a Freo fightback in the second and third quarters to win 18.7 (115) to 9.15 (69).
Charlie Dixon started in the ruck for Port Adelaide to give his side some early grunt around the contest, the home side striking first inside a minute courtesy of Mitch Georgiades.
Sam Powell Pepper and Dixon himself each had two majors by quarter time as the Power pushed away from their sluggish opponents, hurt by the late withdrawal of key defender Griffin Logue due to a calf strain.
Fremantle gradually found their way in to the game but simply couldn't find a goal, their plight best summed up by Rory Lobb who ran towards an open goal only to shank his check side kick to the right from point blank range.
Skipper Nat Fyfe finally found the target early in the second term as the Dockers found a way back in to the contest.
Port Adelaide duo Dixon and Powell-Pepper had six goals between them though before half time as the margin pushed out to 50 points, only for Fremantle to fight back with the last three goals of the half.
Justin Longmuir's side went up another gear in the third term but squandered more opportunities, kicking 2.3 as Fyfe missed a sitter from 25 out directly in front, bizzarely choosing to play on and snap rather than take a set shot that would have reduced the margin to under four goals at the final change.
Fyfe would atone for that error early in the final stanza but the Power responded strongly to the challenge, medical substitute Miles Bergman making a stunning introduction after replacing the injured Ryan Burton (hamstring) and kicking a steadying goal.
The final four goals of the night belonged to the Power as the margin blew out to 46 points, Fremantle left rue their inaccuracy while the home side kicked 18.7, 11.2 after quarter time to win comfortably.
Midfield duo Ollie Wines (35 disposals) and Travis Boak (31) were dominant for Port Adelaide, Karl Amon with a late goal to complement 27 disposals, 16 of those coming in the first quarter.
Andrew Brayshaw had 28 touches for Fremantle on his comeback from a calf injury, Adam Cerra with 27 and veteran David Mundy 25 in a result that leaves Fremantle at 5-6 ahead of a match up with second placed Western Bulldogs next Sunday.
The Dockers lost speedy forward Sam Switkowski with a hamstring concern in the third quarter, with scans set to determine the extent of the injury.
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir was left lamenting a poor start and a lacklustre finish.
“We’ve got to show our players what our good footy looks like. It has been a bit of a theme for us across the year, we haven’t been able to string it together for four quarters,” Longmuir said.
“I don’t think you are going to control a game of AFL for four quarters, I don’t think any team really does that, you just need to hold up when the opposition has control.
“We were getting beaten in the midfield, and our backs weren’t holding up at all, and more or less contributing to the issue, rather than trying to fix the problem.
“We did a good job, and then we unravelled a little bit late when the game got out of reach. We need to review the start and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
IMAGE: Fox Sports.