Someone turned the pressure on

AFLW Round three

Fremantle vs Collingwood

Fremantle Oval

Saturday 22 February 2020


My first live AFLW game of the season.

Once again we had an announcer yelling at us: “MAKE SOME NOISE!!”

He wouldn’t have heard our noise because we were drowned by loud music. We would’ve liked to have made some noise when the Dockers kicked a goal too – but we couldn’t hear ourselves.

We have the chance, to turn the pages over

We can write what we want to write

And I reckon they’ve stuffed up this crowd involvement thing – the music is cutting the crowd out, shutting them up. Still it was a good game and there was one extra pleasure – they didn’t play You’re The Voice.

The summer breeze has been a big factor in AFLW games at Fremantle Oval. It tends to howl towards the prison end and goals to the hospital end are like gold.

But this was a strange game. The wind was blowing (not howling) however only one goal was scored with it – by Collingwood in the first quarter. When the Dockers made the most of limited opportunities to kick three goals in opening term it seemed they were on the way to another big win. The Magpies showed the wind was having no impact as they continued to dominate the midfield and took a lead into half time. In fact Fremantle hardly went forward at all and the star-studded attack had little chance to show us anything.

The first bounce of the third quarter proved crucial – the otherwise excellent Sharni Layton gave away a clumsy free and then a 50 metre penalty to give Fremantle a deep entry that resulted in another free kick, a goal to Ebony Antonio and a lead the home team did not surrender.

While the Collingwood dominance was not as complete in the second half they did look the better team. The last quarter was a classic with each team kicking just a behind and the ball seemingly locked in the Collingwood 50.

Fremantle won this game through great defence – particularly from Angelique Stannett and superior pressure and tackling – I don’t recall seeing anyone with a better tackling technique than Kiara Bowers. However, if the Dockers are to go further than a preliminary final in 2020 they will need to add some ball-winning ability to the midfield. On Saturday they simply couldn’t match the class of Sarah Rowe and Jaimee Lambert.

A win and a learning opportunity.

Fremantle 3.0 3.0 5.2 5.3 (33)

Collingwood 1.1 3.5 4.5 4.6 (30)

Goals – Fremantle: Flood, O’Sullivan, E Antonio, Sharp, Roux.

Collingwood: Sheridan, Lambert, Membrey, Layton.

Best – Fremantle: Stannett, Miller, Seth, Bowers, Stewart, Gooch.

Collingwood: Rowe, Layton, Lambert, Bonnici, Davey, Chiocci.


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