17/04/2024
Jackson was key in comeback with against North Melbourne. Picture: Fremantle FC

Jackson was key in comeback with against North Melbourne. Picture: Fremantle FC

The star trio of Luke Jackson, Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong were instrumental in Fremantle’s crucial 26-point comeback win against North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.

It is games likes this why Jackson was handed a lucrative long term deal with the Dockers. Jackson had 24 disposals along with 21 hitouts and two goals, while Serong had 35 touches and Brayshaw with the 27 touches.

It was the Kangaroos who came out of the block like a house on fire with Paul Curtis converting in the first minute due to a lazy tackle from Ethan Hughes.

The Dockers responded almost straight away with a magical tap from Jackson to Serong who delivered to Treacy who went back and slotted the goal from 45 meters out.

The half back trio of Harry Sheezel, Zac Fisher and Colby McKercher was on full display in the first quarter multiple links of play.

The Kangaroos two first-round draft picks in Sheezel and George Wardlaw linked-up for the second goal in which Jaidyn Stephenson capitalised from 50 meters out on the run.

Not long after, Callum Coleman-Jones with a strong contested mark finds Cam Zurhaar who converted North Melbourne’s third goal.

The Dockers couldn’t find an answer, with the Kangaroos going coast-to-coast with this time Nick Larkey kicking truly.

The Dockers earned a reprieve on quarter-time, with Michael Walters the beneficiary of an Aidan Corr tackle, and the margin was just two goals.

However, the Kangaroos didn’t look like they were slowing down. With just a minute down in the second, Curtis took a contested mark and kicking his second goal.

Not long after Wardlaw found Jy Simpkin with a bullet of a kick, who went back and nailed the fifth goal for the Kangaroos.

The goals kept coming for North Melbourne, this time it was the young guns in Zane Duursma and McKercher combining to find Zurhaar who kicked his second extending the lead to 30 points.

The Dockers were finally able get some ball movement to their forward 50 resulting in a goal for livewire Michael Frederick.

But this good passage was wiped out almost straight away, with Charlie Lazzaro finding Tom Powell, who was able to snap a from 35 meters out.

The Dockers were able to get back to back goals for the first time in the match. Through slower ball movement, Sam Switkowski got the first and Jackson followed.

Again, despite the absolute dominance from the Kangaroos, they only led by 17 points at half time. Four of the five leading possession winner were the from the hosts.

“We got annihilated in the contest in the first half to their credit they were really impressive,” Longmuir admitted post-game.

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As it turned out this was the turning point for the Dockers who were a completely different team after half time.

The first 10 minutes of the third was an arm wrestle, both teams seeing who would blink first.

The Dockers would make the first move. It would be Matt Taberner who would change the momentum. Walters finding him at the top square to kick his first.

Seconds later, the Dockers come streaming out of the back half through Jackson and Jordan Clark. Tabener took a contested mark and kicked his second in a few minutes and cut the margin to four points.

It doesn’t take long before the Dockers nailed their third in a row, with James Aish finding Jackson with a 50-metre dart and he kicks his second, and more importantly, the lead.

The Fremantle avalanche continued with Brayshaw kicking a dribbler from a forward 50 throw in.

The Kangaroos had absolutely no answers. Bailey Banfield was able to perfectly crumb a goal from a contentious lack of decision on the tackle of Frederick, and the Dockers continued to kick away.

Dual Brownlow medallist Fyfe was able show his class in kicking a goal from 50 in what was a congestion. North Melbourne had to find answers, conceding nine goals in a row.

Wardlaw was able to show his class taking a contested mark just inside 50, and furthermore slotting the goal and decrease the margin to 23 points.

The game had absolutely flipped on its head with a 40-point swing.

Both teams had introduced their tactical sub with Eddie Ford coming on for Lazzaro and Jaeger O’Meara on for Fyfe.

Ford almost made the perfect introduction, however his shot at goal missed narrowly.

Former Blue Fisher was awarded a free kick, however similar to Ford, couldn’t capitalise. The Kangaroos had kicked three besides to start the term. These needed to go in for a chance to win.

Fremantle was able transition end to end, with some Serong brilliance finding Walters who found Jye Amiss who kicked the opening goal for the final term.

It was getting to red time for North Melbourne and needed to score quickly. Powell was able to deliver kicking a much-needed goal.

The Kangaroos were starting build, just weren’t able to convert.

Fremantle again was able to stay on top and deliver when it was needed, with Banfield kicking the sealer.

“With five to 10 minutes left in the second, we started to get the game on our terms,” Longmuir said.

“A lot of players at half time were disappointed with efforts in that first half.

“On reflection that would’ve been a game we would’ve lost last year.”

Ultimately this game was a tale of two halves. North Melbourne was in full control in the first half and couldn’t capitalise on territory.

“Everyone who watched the game there’s enough evidence that we can play an exciting brand of footy,” Clarkson said.

“To their credit, their midfielders who probably lowered their colours in the first half really got going in the third quarter where they kicked seven goals to one.

“If we do that for the full four quarters we were gonna win, but our challenge is how we can do that for the full four quarters.

North Melbourne will face Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Good Friday, while the Dockers tackle Adelaide on the same day.

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