So another big Saturday comes and goes where we farewelled a legend in Tommy Hafey and Freo celebrated Matthew Pavlich’s 300th game by convincingly defeating Geelong and reasserting their premiership credentials.
Melbourne were also a big highlight with their stirring 17-point win over Richmond as their renaissance under Paul Roos continued unabated.
And what can you say about the Lions? They are in a really dark place and were probably lucky to lose to North Melbourne by only 87 points given the Kangas had 32 more scoring shots (40-8).
FREMANTLE 5.3, 7.11, 10.15, 13.18 (96)
GEELONG 0.3, 3.5, 6.7, 9.10 (64)
Fremantle: Pavlich 3, Ballantyne 3, Mzungu 2, Fyfe, Duffield, Barlow, Sheridan, D.Pearce
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Varcoe 2, Horlin-Smith, Bartel, Murdoch, Motlop
Fremantle: Mundy 34, Hill 29, Fyfe 26, Barlow 26
Geelong: Selwood 35, Horlin-Smith 30, Kelly 30, Guthrie 28
To Geelong’s credit, they kept coming but the Dockers were fantastic tonight and they had all the answers as they celebrated Matthew Pavlich’s historic 300th game in style with a 32-point win.
It was a memorable night for Pavlich who also kicked his 600th career goal.
The Cats managed to get within 19 points in the final term and had a sniff after trailing by as many as 39 points late in the third quarter.
But Fremantle managed to keep Geelong at arm’s length all night and five goals separated the two sides at every change.
In fairness, Freo could have won by a lot more given they had 12 more scoring shots (31-19).
The Dockers’ famed pressure was on song tonight and they did what many sides struggle to do – smash Geelong in the clinches.
Freo convincingly won the contested possessions (162-120) and clearances (45-29) while they also enjoyed a whole lot more inside 50s (56-41).
Those numbers are almost unheard of for Geelong to be on the receiving end of.
Fittingly, Pavlich was one of his side’s best in his milestone game while Mundy, Hill, Fyfe, Barlow, Ballantyne, Mzungu and Crowley all starred too.
For the Cats, Selwood led from the front as usual and he found support in the form of Hawkins, Horlin-Smith, Kelly and Guthrie.
The Dockers are now up to fifth on the ladder while the Cats blew a chance to regain top spot and remain third.
Q4 28 MIN, FRE 96 GEEL 64
Danyle Pearce puts some icing on the cake with a classy finish on the run from 40m out.
Eight seconds left.
Q4 25 MIN, FRE 90 GEEL 64
Danyle Pearce kicks it to Ballantyne who baulks Horlin-Smith, runs on to his right foot but the snap shot doesn't split the big sticks
2:17 to go.
Q4 24 MIN, FRE 89 GEEL 64
Steve Johnson's checkside attempt on goal is punched through for a point by Mzungu.
2:56 to go.
Q4 23 MIN, FRE 89 GEEL 63
Pavlich's shot from outside 50m misses to the right.
3:48 to go.
Q4 22 MIN, FRE 88 GEEL 63
Clarke's snap around the corner from 30m hits the behind post on the full.
4:08 to go.
Q4 21 MIN, FRE 88 GEEL 63
Pavlich's little chip finds Sheridan 40m out from goal who marks strongly in front of Varcoe.
Sheridan lines them up and probably kicks the sealer!
4:29 to go.
Q4 20 MIN, FRE 82 GEEL 63
Duncan hits up Taylor just inside the 50m arc, Taylor pinpoints it to Motlop who plays on and kicks a neat checkside punt on the run from 20m out!
5:41 left on the clock
Q4 17 MIN, FRE 82 GEEL 57
Danyle Pearce's mongrel punt luckily finds Pavlich on the 50m line on a slight angle.
The 300-gamer goes back, unloads but his shot on goal is touched on the line!
7:35 left on the clock.
Q4 16 MIN, FRE 81 GEEL 57
Hawkins tries to handball it over to Hunt in the goal square but the Freo defender rushes a behind.
9:00 to go.
Q4 15 MIN, FRE 81 GEEL 56
38,565 fans at Patersons Stadium
9:54 to go
Q4 13 MIN, FRE 81 GEEL 56
That's gotta really frustrate Chris Scott.
Steve Johnson gives away a silly free kick for hitting Barlow in the head when the umpire was about to ball it up 50m out from Geelong's goal.
Q4 11 MIN, FRE 81 GEEL 56
Guthrie hits Hawkins on the chest and from 50m out the Tomahawk roosts it over the goal umpire's hat! Fantastic kick.
11:27 left on the clock.
Q4 7 MIN, FRE 81 GEEL 50
De Boer handballs it to Barlow who drills the goal from 40m out.
That makes Steve Johnson's missed shot on goal hurt even more.Back to top
Q4 6 MIN, FRE 75 GEEL 50
Hawkins' centring kick is a beauty and finds Steve Johnson 40m out but he pulls his set shot.
Q4 4 MIN, FRE 75 GEEL 49
Horlin-Smith chips it over to Varcoe who drills a ripper from 50m out on the run under some pressure.
FREMANTLE 5.3, 7.11, 10.15 (75)
GEELONG 0.3, 3.5, 6.7 (43)
Fremantle: Pavlich 3, Ballantyne 3, Mzungu 2, Fyfe, Duffield
Geelong: Hawkins 2, Varcoe, Horlin-Smith, Bartel, Murdoch
Fremantle: Mundy 25, Hill 23, Fyfe 20, Barlow 20
Geelong: Selwood 27, Horlin-Smith 23, Kelly 23
The third quarter was very similar to the second.
The Cats came at the Dockers and got to within 20 points midway through, but the visitors continue to sturggle to get within touching distance of the hosts.
Freo responded with the next three goals to open up a game-high 39-point lead and the margin at the final change is very similar to quarter-time and half-time differentials.
Chris Scott’s men would feel fairly aggrieved though because when they trailed by just 20 points, Rivers appeared to be infringed by Clarke who applied illegal front-on contact but the umpire paid no free kick and Duffield kicked the first of three goals in a row as a result.
It changed the momentum completely and possibly has cost Geelong four premiership points.
Q3 31 MIN, FRE 75 GEEL 43
Motlop turns Sutcliffe inside out, has a ping from the boundary 45m out but can't convert.
Q3 28 MIN, FRE 75 GEEL 42
Murdoch's roost from 45m out under pressure on a tough angle yields an outstanding goal for the Cats.