AFL News

Dockers hold off Hawks challenge

Dockers hold off Hawks challenge

FREMANTLE overcame an early Tom Mitchell masterclass and a wayward afternoon by two-time Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe to post a 15-point AFL win over Hawthorn at Optus Stadium.

The Dockers looked set for a cruisy win after opening up a 36-2 lead at quarter-time, but Mitchell’s 18-disposal, one-goal second term flipped momentum Hawthorn’s way.

The margin was whittled down to five points during the third term, but two clutch goals to Sean Darcy settled Fremantle’s nerves and guided them to the 13.18 (96) to 12.9 (81) win on Sunday.

Fyfe was a crucial cog in the win, tallying 31 disposals and six clearances.

But his kicking for goal left a lot to be desired, with the Fremantle skipper booting six behinds for the match.

Some were easy – like his set shot from 30m out in the first term.

Others were tougher snaps that sailed just wide of the target.

Fremantle veteran David Mundy was best afield with 25 disposals, seven clearances, one goal and four score assists.

Mitchell finished with 37 disposals and five clearances in a losing cause, while Dylan Moore kicked three goals.

Clear conditions greeted both sides for bouncedown despite a cyclone off the WA coastline threatening to dump a massive amount of rain in Perth.

The Dockers loaded up on tall forwards going into the match, and the tactic paid dividends in the opening quarter as Matt Taberner and Darcy combined for three goals to set up the 34-point lead.

Debutant Josh Treacy had the chance to join in on the fun, but he pushed his 35m set shot wide after the quarter-time siren.

Fremantle won the inside 50m count 19-6 in the opening term and the free-kick count 11-1 as the Hawks were made to pay dearly for their ill-discipline.

Star Hawks midfielder Jaeger O’Meara could cop a fine from the match review officer for his elbow to the ribs of Caleb Serong.

Mitchell’s second-quarter heroics brought Hawthorn back into the match.

Fremantle managed just 1.5 for the term, with Fyfe going to the half-time break with 0.4 to his name, and Andrew Brayshaw restricted to just two disposals under the close attention of James Worpel.

Brayshaw was sent to tag Mitchell in the second half in a bid to break the shackles.

The Fremantle youngster’s frustrations boiled over in the third quarter when he collected Mitchell high off the ball, costing the Dockers a goal.

But Brayshaw ended up restricting Mitchell to just 12 disposals in the second half in what proved to be a winning tactical manoeuvre.

Brayshaw tallied nine disposals in the final quarter to finish the match with 15 possessions.

(C) AAP 2021

FREMANTLE 5.6 6.11 10.12 13.18 (96)

HAWTHORN 0.2 5.4 8.8 12.9 (81)

Goals: Fremantle: S Darcy 3 M Taberner 2 T Colyer 2 B Acres D Mundy H Chapman M Frederick M Walters S Sturt. Hawthorn: D Moore 3 C Wingard D Howe H Morrison M Hartley M Lewis T Brockman T Mitchell T O’Brien T Phillips.

Umpires: Robert Findlay, Robert O’Gorman, Nathan Williamson.

Official Crowd: 29,490 at Optus Stadium.