Saturday 18th of July 2015 – Domain Stadium
Words & Photography: Tiana Bergmans
Marvellous marks and spectacular goals from formidable Freo allowed them to sail home with a 42 point win over Carlton on Saturday night at Domain Stadium. The Dockers charged home after a poor performance against Hawthorn in Tasmania last week, to hold their spot on top of the ladder.
Carlton were fast starters, booting 2 goals and a behind before Freo could even hit the scoreboard. The Dockers however, quickly responded to Carlton’s energy with 2 goals from the skipper, Matthew Pavlich.
The Dockers showcased their teamwork to give them an early edge. For instance, upon a fantastic mark right on 50, Fyfe unselfishly passed to Mundy, despite being able to kick from the location of the mark. Mundy then proceeded to kick a pivotal goal for the Dockers, who had Carlton right on their tail throughout the first quarter.
Alongside Pavlich, Mayne, Mundy and Ballantyne, tall forward Jonathon Griffin was able to kick a brilliant goal. Griffin hadn’t played an AFL game yet this season and was brought in after Zac Clarke’s unsatisfactory performance last round.
Despite the Dockers dominance of the second term, they were often unable to capitalise. They were sensational in terms of getting the ball to their forward 50. However, they just could not seem to do any damage to the scoreboard. Freo kicked 2.4 and Carlton 3.1 this quarter, leaving the Blues trailing by only 15 points. Simon White had been doing a fantastic job keeping Brownlow favourite Nat Fyfe at bay, keeping the superstar to only 10 disposals within a very competitive first half.
Chris Mayne continued his goal rampage into the 3rd quarter, kicking his 3rd and 4th. One of his goals was particularly stunning. After a missed shot from Griffin that had the distance but not the accuracy, Mayne charged in to grab his 4th, which a stellar EPL style kick, which was certainly a highlight of the evening. This pearler of a kick sent Freo fans into an absolute frenzy. The 4 goal haul was a career high for Mayne.
Tom Bell was the star of the show for Carlton in the 3rd quarter, kicking two pivotal goals for the Blues, including a brilliant snap from the boundary line. Bell also went on to collect 22 disposals for his side throughout the game.
Pav continued to struggle with his goal kicking this quarter, kicking only two behinds. Freo were also disadvantaged by having to sub off cheeky forward Hayden Ballantyne, who had suffered a shoulder injury. Ballantyne had been playing well, kicking one goal and being involved in a few tackles, but was rested by Lyon, in order to be preserved for the upcoming rematch between Freo and the Tigers at the MCG next week.
Rain at quarter time made conditions very slippery at Domain Stadium, but this was no problem for superstar Michael Walters who took an electrifying mark off the back of Lachie Henderson, putting him in contention for mark of the year. This outstanding grab left the 33,851 fans at Domain in absolute awe of his athleticism.
Despite barely kicking only 3 goals themselves and a horrid 9 behinds, the Dockers managed to keep Carlton scoreless. This was largely due to the impenetrable defence of McPharlin, Ibbotson, Spurr and A.Peace. Youngster Alex Pearce was particularly outstanding, showing significant signs of improvement. The Tasmanian was involved in many crucial marks and intercepts and displayed a lot of courage in the way that he played. Lachie Neale and David Mundy were highly influential, gathering 61 disposals between them.
Despite the loss, Carlton were fantastic competition. Ed Currow was particularly outstanding, collecting a game high 32 disposals, as well as making 8 tackles. The Blues weren’t far off the victors in terms of disposals (390-372) and equalled them in the stoppages (28-28). The outcome was good for Carlton, who could have lost by a lot more, as Fremantle preponderated the insides 50’s 61-35.
Regardless of the loss, Carlton are continuing to improve their brand of football, whilst the Dockers are working hard to fight back after their loss to Hawthorn, in order to re-stamp their Premiership credentials for the 2015 season.