Fremantle have assured their spot in the top 8 after ending North Melbourne’s hot streak with a 53 point win.
After the late withdrawal of Matthew Pavlich the Dockers looked in for a bad day but they stepped and showed that they deserved to be playing finals.
The Dockers were in control from the outset stifling the Kangaroo’s run and attacking flair. They then blew the game open with an 8 goal last quarter to make sure of the result.
While the Kangaroos stayed in touch for most of the game they were a shadow of the team that beat Collingwood the week before. They struggled going forward as their 3 tall failed to fire and were outplayed in the midfield.
Fremantle had multiple strong contributors including Nathan Fyfe weith 25 disposals 4 clearances and 6 inside 50’s. Every time North challenged it was Fyfe that responded. He was joined by Stephen Hill, Clancee Pearce and Michael Barlow in a dominant midfield, each collected 28 possessions.
Their performances were made possible by Aaron Sandilands who was superb, he had 49 hitouts to North’s 15 , he gage them first hands on the ball. Luke McPharlin was also able to shut out Petrie.
As for the Kangaroos, Captain, Andrew Swallow tried to keep them in the game with 30 disposals and 8 clearances but, he did not have enough help. Scott Thompson and Scott McMahon also provided some resistance but in the end they were overwhelmed.
Although North Melbourne kicked the first goal of the game it was the Dockers who quickly gained ascendency. They kicked the three other goals for the quarter but should have been further in front if it was not for their in ability to make the most of their chances.
In the second quarter the teams traded goals, every time North looked like hitting the lead Freo would answer. At one stage Robbie Tarrant had 3 opportunities to put the Roos in front but he miss all three ensuring they went into half time behind.
North Melbourne came out of the break strong, kicking 3 of the first 4 to hit the lead. When Harper goaled midway though the quarter they looked like running away with it. However the Dockers were up for the challenge, they responded with the next 10 inside 50’s and kicked 4 to regain the lead.
At the beginning of the last the Kangaroos needed to score first, they did so with gusto as Brent Harvey an Lindsay Thomas each scored in the 1st 45 seconds to reduce the margin to 10.
However Fremantle, as they had all day returned fire. In this case it was a killing blow. 7 goals in 5 minutes ended the game and made the North Melbourne look second rate. It was a fine performance worthy of a finals participant.
3) Nathan Fyfe
2) Aaron Sandilands
1) Luke McPharlin
North Melbourne: Thomas 3, Hansen 3, Gibson 2, Macmillan, Bastinac, Harper, Harvey
Fremantle: Walters 4, Ballantyne 4, Mayne 2, McPhee 2, De Boer 2, Mundy 2, Suban 2, Sandilands, Mzungu,
North Melbourne: Swallow, Thompson, McMahon, Atley, Hansen
Fremantle: Fyfe, Sandilands, McPharlin, Hill, Pearce, Crowley, Mundy, Walters, Ballantyne
North Melbourne: Nil
Fremantle: Matthew Pavlich (groin) replaced in selected team by Zac Clarke
North Melbourne: Luke Delaney replaced by Matt Campbell at three-quarter time
Fremantle: Kepler Bradley replaced by Nick Suban at half-time
Official crowd: 26,482 at Etihad Stadium