As has been the norm with the Dockers this year, a quiet period has cost them the game.
Against Adelaide, I actually thought Fremantle had pulled off an unlikely win. They were down and out of it at half time but came back strong in the third quarter to bring the margin to within two goals. Sitting in the members section behind the cheer squad, there were murmurs of an unlikely victory on the back of an almighty come back. The feeling was that strong that the Freo chant reverberated around the ground during the third quarter break.Fast forward to the fourth quarter and two quick goals had the Dockers in front. The crowd went nuts. The chant picked up again, more forceful and louder then it had been previously.
Then what happened?
The Dockers decided to take a nap in the middle of the fourth quarter when they were just four points in front. It was almost as if they had decided that they had done all the hard work to grab the lead and were now going to sit back and watch the rest of the game unfold. They simply could not get their hands on the ball. After playing reasonably well for three and a half quarters, a 10-minute burst in the fourth quarter slammed the door on their chances of a comeback victory. Adelaide refused to let them pick up the ball, slamming home goal after goal to take the margin to an unsalvageable level.
This is a part of their game that the coaching staff and the players have to address, and address quickly. There has been a trend in the majority of their games this season which sees the Dockers deflate for a quarter. Sometimes it’s the first, sometimes the second, sometimes it’s the entire second half, but the team needs to start putting in consistent, four-quarter football if they want to get anywhere in the coming years. Granted, I went into this season knowing it would be a write off and that it would take the players pretty much all 22 games to get used to Ross Lyon’s playing style, but they need to find away to get rid of these patches where they only score one goal in a quarter and cant get their hands on the ball, otherwise they are going to be losing by a lot bigger margins in the coming weeks.
What I Liked About the Game
Michael Johnson: Based on his performance in the first 10 weeks of the season, if this guy doesn’t win the Doig Medal at the end of the year, I’ll know the competition is rigged. Has without a doubt been in the top three Dockers for every game this season and played his heart out againstAdelaide, collecting 24 important touches.
Matthew Pavlich: Kicked three goals and showed some much needed flare in the forward line. Doesn’t play consistently enough in the forward line this season, but if he plays more games like this one, he’ll soon be back to some of his best form.