In a Sunday afternoon clash at Optus Stadium, Fremantle dominated to seize a 31-point victory over a sloppy GWS Giants attack.
Post-game, coach Justin Longmuir said he was “happy” with his team’s performance.
“It was a big step forward from last week,” he said.
“We won the contest early, I thought the method around the ball was good, and I thought we moved the ball a lot better than what we did last week.
“Players backed themselves a lot more just to see it and hit it. 22 marks inside 50 is clearly something we worked on during the week.”
Veteran midfielder David Mundy delivered a best on ground, timeless performance. He finished with 35 disposals, 15 contested possessions and five tackles, and the 35-year-old’s coach was full of praise for his performance.
“He just adds so much calmness to the group. We’re pretty young through there, especially today,” Longmuir said.
“It’s like having a coach on the field. He dominated with the ball and won his fair share and finished it really well. He’s been doing it since I’ve been here, literally as a player as well. He’s a marvel. He’s put in so much hard work, not only this pre-season but his whole career to get better and better every year. Today’s performance was outstanding.”
By his side, were Freo’s youthful brigade midfielders, Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra and Caleb Serong.
Brayshaw continues to prove himself as one of the best emerging midfielders with 32 disposals, five tackles and nine score involvements. His partner in crime, Adam Cerra had 28 disposals, six inside 50s and 10 score involvements. The 2020 rising star Caleb Serong continued to shine with 22 disposals, four tackles and two goal assists.
The absence of defender duo Joel Hamling and Alex Pearce was covered by All-Australian Luke Ryan and Brennan Cox. Alongside, debutant Heath Chapman, Nathan Wilson, Hayden Young and Reece Conca were solid down back. limiting scoring opportunities from the Giant’s forwards.
Emerging ruckman Lloyd Meek competed comfortably with GWS’ fellow second gamer Matt Flynn all day, finishing with one less hitout, but two more clearances. Sean Darcy’s return from a knee issue added height to Fremantle’s forward line in the absence of Rory Lobb. While he didn’t hit the score board, he had two score assists and was effective in the ruck with 10 hitouts.
Livewire Michael Frederick showed plenty of intent and pace as he created scoring opportunities for his teammates. With 13 disposals, 7 inside 50s and 7 score involvements, there is plenty to love about the young, crafty forward.
Accuracy in front of goals wasn’t a strong suit of Fremantle’s finishing with 21 behinds, however, Sam Switkowski, Lachie Schultz, Andrew Brayshaw and Matt Taberner each hit the scoreboard twice.
Longmuir does not see this issue as a concern, but hopes his men can “turn it around quickly” before next week.
“I’m really happy with the opportunities and the scoring shots we created and we’ll have to look if there was a pattern today – whether it was on the run or snaps or set shots,” he said.
To say Fremantle’s run with injury is unlucky is an understatement.
Coming into round 2, the Dockers had 14 players listed as injuries, leaving 29 players eligible for selection. Today, Freo didn’t come out unscathed, as skipper Nat Fyfe was subbed out with concussion early in the final term.
Longmuir reports he is “good in the change rooms now, he’s up and about,” however with his history, the club will take a cautious approach.
“We tread carefully with all concussions, and he won’t be passed fit to play before he ticks every box with our doctors. That’s the same with every player,” Longmuir said.