I was walking into a howling wind on the way to Fremantle Oval so I knew what kind of a game it would be.
“The breeze won’t do the work for you,” the coach would say.
“Yes it will,” you’d think and have shot from the centre square with your first kick.
Brisbane kicked with it first and looked slick – especially those in long sleeved jumpers. I blamed the Dockers runner for Brisbane’s second goal. He was screaming at defender Angelique Stannett, she got distracted, her opponent Jessica Wuetschiner slipped away to accept a pass from Sabrina Frederick-Traub. Wuetschiner’s kick for goal was perfect.
The Lions led by 11 points at quarter time… it didn’t seem enough and Fremantle’s ability to score 1.2 into the wind was priceless.
Fremantle is different this year. They always had effort but they needed pace, poise and power. It’s come from…
Additions – Kiara Bowers the marquee player injured for two seasons; Philipa Seth a local from East Fremantle who can stick to a task; Katie-Jayne Grieve, a Peel player who played one game for Carlton and perhaps most importantly Sabreena Duffy, a top junior from Peel who is quick and can kick.
Improvers – Gemma Houghton was always the size the Dockers needed but now she’s added marking strength, fitness and a better understanding of the game; Gabby O’Sullivan, always a goer now kicking better and having a big impact in attack; and Ashley Sharp, now confident enough to take the game on.
The stars Ebony Antonio, Kara Donnellan and Dana Hooker remain and are as good as they’ve ever been.
Fremantle predictably led at half time and needed to limit the damage in the third quarter. Incredibly they extended their lead. Sharp’s scorching running goal against the run of play was the game breaker. She kicked another goal-of-the-year contender to end the game.
Hooker was the best Docker, O’Sullivan, Duffy and Sharp each kicked two goals and were involved in others, the strength of Evie Gooch was important in defence and she even celebrated her first AFLW goal in the last quarter and Alex Williams faced a daunting task in the back line and did it well.
Ally Anderson was classy for the Lions, Kate Lutkins took some nice marks, Sam Virgo was steady and Wuetschiner finished with two goals and was always dangerous.
The only downside to the new high-scoring Dockers is that it means more noise – songs after every goal. A little note to the organisers… you ask us, through your very useful ground announcer who also tells us the score at the breaks, to MAKE SOME NOISE. But after a goal, when we’re really loud and excited, you drown us out with loud music… think about it.
Fremantle 10.7 (67) Brisbane 6.4 (40)