Many Dockers fans would have felt like they were waking from a very bad, repetitive dream when new filtered through this week that Nat Fyfe would be out for 12 weeks with a shoulder injury. Many would have had bad trips down memory lane to last year, when the injury crisis at Fremantle was so severe it was almost comical had it not been a very real problem.
One thing that the fans can be happy about is that 2012 definitely does not look like going down the road of 2011. There are enough people on the injury list to count on just one hand, a welcome relief when you needed both hands and both feet to count the injuries last year. Another positive for the team is that they are playing the Gold Coast. No disrespect to the Gold Coast but Fremantle can afford to leave one or two of their players like Aaron Sandilands who are carrying niggling injuries at home to rest for another week.
Fremantle have come out this week looking like those cartoon bulls whose face turns red as a beetroot and steam starts pouring out of their ears after the alleged lack of respect that the Gold Coast have shown them so far this year. Trent Mackenzie stirred the pot when he tweeted that Hayden Ballantyne deserved the thumping Geelong’s Matthew Scarlett dished out in Round One, while absent skipper Gary Ablett tweeted his thoughts on Ryan Crowley’s tagging methods against Chris Judd. Crowley will be livid Ablett’s wont be present to learn first hand about his tagging techniques, while a few have already said they can see Hayden Ballantyne running rings around Mackenzie laughing manically and confusing the young Sun to the point where he starts kicking the ball in the wrong direction.
I can’t see the Dockers having too much trouble with this game. They will be pumped and ready to punish Gold Coast. The Suns may be able to talk the talk, but unless they can walk the walk I think the Docker’s defensive pressure will be too hard for them to penetrate.
My prediction: Fremantle by 40.