Preview Annual Len Hall Game, Fremantle vs North Melbourne

Discussion in 'Fremantle' started by Square Peg, Apr 17, 2017.

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  1. Square Peg

    Square Peg Club Legend

    Jul 20, 2014
    Fremantle WA



    Domain Stadium April 22 2017, 1740 hrs

    As most know the Len Hall Tribute Game is played in honour of the last WA Gallipoli veteran. Len died in Feb 1999 so remarkably, the last Len Hall game that Len himself lived to see was the legendary 1998 clash also against North Melbourne. It was in this game that the second greatest goal ever kicked by a Docker (greatest S Hill, 2013 qualifying final) was the cheery on top of a very creamy night out for anyone there.

    By contrast, the last Len Hall game vs North in 2014 was a shocking Freo loss, we led at each change before North overran us in the last when we were held goalless for the quarter. Fair to say, Freo versus North as the Len Hall special has had its ups and downs for us.

    Outside LH games, we have had an interesting recent history with the shinboners. Many will remember the unwarranted hype around the 2012 North team, and the game in round 22 that year when the Pav-less Freo entered Etihad with the widespread belief in the football world that we were about to be put out of the finals race. Then this happened:

    As for pinchgate, I can’t even go there without getting angry, but that’s for another time.

    And so to this game. Yes it’s the second worst versus worst team defensive record in the league, with both backlines shakier than a 17 year old from Albany in a Turkish trench. But North have had a tough fixture to start the year and 0-4 doesn’t reflect the quality of some of their play.

    How North could win:

    a. With two rucks working in tandem North are probably the one team in the comp at the moment to match Sandilands. Preuss is getting positive reviews and Goldstein is class. Our new game plan has us setting up more offensively at stoppages to take maximum advantage of the Sandi dominance, and North could disrupt this plan. The question is whether, outside Cunnington who is top shelf, they have the inside game to capitalise.

    b. Get the ball in to Brown one on one. Unless Dawson comes back in (which he won’t), we can’t reliably defend this. Higgins is the key here, he isn’t just a good pressure player but a smart one. If North can get it in quickly and Higgins can organise the other forwards to get out of his way, Big Ben could kick a few.

    Where Freo should win:

    a. Outside game. We have the clear advantage here. We seem to be getting better each week at spreading from the contest and getting the ball reliably into the hands of your Hills and Langdon. North aren’t quick and we should be able to outrun them.

    b. Midfield contribution to the scoreboard. Our spread of goalkickers across games, even when we were losing, was a step up this year. It would drive an opposition coach crazy to have Neale and Mundy kick seven between them in a game. North’s mid to small defenders looked confused on a regular basis against the bullies on Friday.

    Possible changes. Mason Wood might come back for North, he’s been a productive goalkicker against us before I recall. All sensible supporters hope and pray we lose neither S Hill or Walters to general soreness, the most hated general since General Bridges of the 1st Australian Division himself.

    Prediction: Fremantle 25.4, North 19.15?

    Nah, honestly, Freo by 14 points

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  2. Freo

    Freo Club Legend

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Fremantle
    Great stuff! Succinct summary of each teams's chances. Great write up mate, well done!
  3. DeanS

    DeanS All Australian

    Other teams:
    East Perth
    May 16, 2007
    North Perth
    Always nice to have a "cheery" on top! In fact, I felt quite cheery after reading that great review.
  4. Cayman Docker

    Cayman Docker Debutant

    Jun 6, 2015
    Cayman Islands B.W.I
    We wouldn't be on this blog if it wasn't for the boys that put their life on the line for you and me.

    Heart goes out for those blokes that could have written their own history books, their own family and on the turf but chose you and me as the greater good. **** I'm welling up :)

    Again we are in for another cracking game. Wonder what the general public thinks of us?

    Somehow this feels like the season of seasons, zero expectations, somehow a little better placed than they ought to be?

    Not getting ahead but we just gave the bird to a coupla teams that are likely top floor.

    Amen to the those before us and go you good things, probably the most unlikeliest - yet best start to a dockers years I can ever remember!
    freo84, Lost_Deputy, lw11 and 5 others like this.
  5. E Shed

    E Shed Fremantle Obsessive

    Sep 10, 2006
    Perth WA
    Wow loved the highlights vid. Forget how good Mayne, DeBoer, Suban, Balla could be on song & what a lightning rod McPhee was.
    Outstanding preview!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ozzie69 likes this.
  6. Sweetback

    Sweetback Premiership Player

    Dec 23, 2014
    It's so nice to be reminded about the retirement of that wretched marsupial scat, Boomer Harvey.
    UFO Tatsu, Allikat and poshman like this.
  7. theGav56

    theGav56 Brownlow Medallist

    Other teams:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Brad Hill will be playing his 100th.

    How great that his progeny will not be condemned to F/S Bondage with Hawthorn. In the meantime he has plenty of time to crank out another 96 or so blisteringly enjoyable games for us.

    By the way, excellent write up.
    Yeti, freo_leo29, PapaJ and 8 others like this.
  8. Scham

    Scham Norm Smith Medallist

    Other teams:
    West Perth
    Sep 19, 2004
    Great preview.

    Who does everyone think gets the job on Higgins? Ibbo? Hughes? Shero? Grey maybe? I agree with SP, that'll be a crucial match up for the end result.

    Is Pruess actually doing any centre square rucking or do they only use Brown and Goldy? Either way, I think Collins needs to come in to not only help out in defence but also in the ruck. I think the Jonno experiment has run its course.
    The other option that Ross may go for is, whilst we're stretched for height in our defence, stretch them in theirs by bringing in Tabs instead of Collins.

    Should be a good game. What's our overall record in LH games?
    meima likes this.
  9. theGav56

    theGav56 Brownlow Medallist

    Other teams:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Between Collins and Taberner I prefer Taberner, but it is an interesting little debate. My thinking is that our forward line is structurally a bit "wrong" with neither Kersten or McCarthy being genuine power forwards. That is probably an issue for Taberner as well unfortunately, but he does require a genuine tall defender.

    In a couple of years time when Logue is an established swingman we won't be having this discussion I guess.
    WeaselWJ, meima, Scham and 1 other person like this.
  10. tants

    tants Premiership Player

    Jul 30, 2009
    Goldy is returning from injury. As a result last week (round 3) Preuss rucked the majority and was good. Over the weekend Goldy rucked more.
  11. rgauci

    rgauci Norm Smith Medallist

    Other teams:
    Jul 16, 2004
    I haven't seen Ben Brown ruck. He's solely a forward. Preuss has been the 2nd ruck or 1st ruck in the games I've watched.
    WeaselWJ likes this.

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  12. electricfeel

    electricfeel Norm Smith Medallist

    Sep 21, 2008
    That 2012 Norf game was absolutely gold. And that North supporter came onto our boards before bragging about how they were going to smack us. His name was Hard To Beat and it was poetic when we piled on all those last quarter goals that Bruce says "they're (Freo) hard to beat"

    I'm sure others here remember that :p
    Freofalcon, Lord Rod, samFFC and 12 others like this.
  13. rgauci

    rgauci Norm Smith Medallist

    Other teams:
    Jul 16, 2004
    I hope we don't get sucked into going too tall. We have been winning on the basis of our transition ball, run and pressure. It will drop off if we go too tall.
    Lord Rod, Moo, smokingjacket and 2 others like this.
  14. meima

    meima Brownlow Medallist

    Jun 5, 2015
    Tab ( provide forward/ruck option) in
    Hughes out
    As croz can play hB if needed, logue can play forward as well. Thus left Hughes the unlucky one . Due to north tall
  15. dockerfemme

    dockerfemme All Australian

    Aug 16, 2009
    I tend to agree with you. I am not convinced our relatively small team can hold up against bigger teams, but I think we have to try it and see what, if anything, goes wrong. I want to see us go in unchanged.
    PapaJ and lw11 like this.
  16. rgauci

    rgauci Norm Smith Medallist

    Other teams:
    Jul 16, 2004
    If Stephen Hill is out Tucker in. Otherwise unchanged. We actually have a deceptively tall backline.

    Johnson 195cm
    Hamling 194cm
    Logue 193cm
    Hughes 187cm
    Ibbotson 186cm
    Weller 181cm

    I'd put Hamling on Brown and play Johnson on the slow Preuss or Goldstein. We'll lose some aerial ball in the backline but the bounce out will be great. Hopefully some full ground transitions.
    Moo, UFO Tatsu and Unique Name like this.
  17. Lach72

    Lach72 Bam!

    Other teams:
    Freo and Bulldogs, ManU
    Sep 30, 2005
    Hilly only has a cork.
    Be unlikely to miss
    drEDD88 and lw11 like this.
  18. scon

    scon Brownlow Medallist

    Other teams:
    Long haired Champs.
    Apr 19, 2009
    western australia
    Funny looking strapping for a cork was what I thought.
    Didn't see where it occurred either.
    I think I'm paranoid.
    meima likes this.
  19. rgauci

    rgauci Norm Smith Medallist

    Other teams:
    Jul 16, 2004
    I watched the replay and it occurred sometime late in the 3rd quarter. Bout 5-6 mins to go. Contests a ball at the HBF and isn't limping, then a minute or two later is limping noticeably. I can't find a moment around he ball it happened so must have been off the ball.
    UFO Tatsu and scon like this.
  20. wayToGo_

    wayToGo_ Premiership Player

    Oct 24, 2015
    GTFO! :D
    meima likes this.
  21. Dump Truck

    Dump Truck All Australian

    Other teams:
    Tottenham Hotspur
    Aug 18, 2009
    Reykjavik- The magical capital of Iceland
    I'm absolutely pumped for this game!

    I'll give some background on these photos. I was serving in Afghanistan in 2012 and had been there for about 6 months. This photo was taken a day after that North game that Square Peg posted (check the highlights). It was the first game I'd managed to actually watch live (in a terrible little makeshift kitchen) in my stint over there. I was surrounded by either Victorian soldiers who thought Freo were sh*thouse or by NRL eastern states folk who thought all AFL was sh*thouse. My mum had sent the flag over to me because she wanted me to always have something to remind myself of home no matter what was happening over there. I did the photo because I thought I would never get another chance to do something so emotionally invested involving the Freo Footy club. In hindsight I realise that standing on top of a baron hill in a war zone waving a flag may not have been the best idea. However, I'm forever grateful of the opportunity to have that moment and it's a photo I'll forever cherish. A few weeks later I got to watch my second Freo game live on tv that year, our final against Geelong. I got to see Pav do his thing and stamp his authority on the game whilst giving that flag a workout. In 2013 I was based in Adelaide. I spent a lot of money to get to Perth W.A. for our preliminary final against the swans and then all the way to Melbourne for the AFL grand final. That flag has been with me both times.

    I haven't been able to attend many live games since as I've been out traveling the world but this week I'm going to be at the game. More importantly, the flag is going to be waving in the air. I have since struggled with large crowds and those sorts but I'm not missing this for anything. My voice will be gone by the end of it, my arms will be tired of waving and cheering so much and hopefully my hands will be sore from all the high fives I dish out for goals. I want to see all Freo fans attend if they can. There are so many little things that you don't truly understand or appreciate until it's all laid out in front of you. The fact you can go and cheer your AFL team without any fear or obstruction is huge. I want to see our 22 players who wear the Dockers logo on Saturday to give everything they've got. I want a win but will settle for downright desire and determination. The ANZAC's gave all and them some more and I'm looking forward to the team doing the same

    I'm beyond excited for this game. I'm predicting our players to be up and about. Hopefully someone like Ben Roberts-Smith gives them a talking too beforehand to show just want this time of year means for vets. But just as importantly, to show how much a win from a youthful Freo side would give the fans.

    I can sense it. I can feel the motivation of the playing group. My flags going to be waving and the Freo boys are going to be hungry.

    Freo by 5 goals.

    LjZuzoj - Imgur.jpg A0SWUct - Imgur.jpg

    LjZuzoj - Imgur.jpg
  22. WAnchor

    WAnchor All Australian

    Aug 15, 2009
    Never There
    Thanks for sharing some of your story. I hope you enjoy the game and all that the Len Hall reflection stands for.
  23. Wally Walpamur

    Wally Walpamur Premium Gold

    Other teams:
    Chelsea, Boston Celtics
    Sep 23, 2016
    Thank you for your service! Hopefully Freo can get up and have a win for you.
    daybas1, UFO Tatsu, freo84 and 4 others like this.
  24. Grape Bear

    Grape Bear Norm Smith Medallist

    Sep 12, 2012
    Middle of Nowhere
    You should share your story with the club.
  25. Silent Alarm

    Silent Alarm Is your bed made? Is your sweater on?

    Jul 9, 2010
    Collins is a full back and Taberner attempts to be a forward? Why one or the other?

    Collins has him covered regardless.
    Confucius likes this.

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