02/03/2024

Sabrina Frederick scored her first goal of the season in the Magpies' 29-point demolition over Fremantle. (Photo: AFLW)

Collingwood has solidified a top three spot on the ladder as the AFLW inches closer towards the finals season, led by ruck/forward Sabrina Frederick against Fremantle.

Travelling to Western Australia, the Magpies were looking to assert their dominance on the top four. As the finals season approaches every win counts. Against a depleted Fremantle side, they were hoping to not just win, but increase their percentage catch the likes of Brisbane and Melbourne.

Coming into the game with only 21 players to chooses from, it was always going to be a challenge for the Dockers, who would ultimately finish goalless.

The Pies opened up the scoring in the second quarter after a tough first quarter. Having not scored all season, forward Sabrina Frederick kicked the first two. The goals were not any ordinary kicks, with one being a brilliant snap and the next being even better.

Alongside the boundary line, Frederick produced an amazing goal. With the six points, she gained real momentum for the away team.

In the Magpies’ first game outside Melbourne this season, coach Steve Symonds was pleased with the win, especially Frederick’s performance. It was also the first time since season one that the Magpies had beaten the Dockers. 

“The Dockers are a very good outfit and a competitive bunch, we knew today they were going to come out with a contested brand that they’re renowned for and they certainly brought that to us,” Symonds exclaimed.

“Like any forward, when you miss a few goals the pressure builds no doubt. She [Frederick] has been feeling a bit of that, [so] it was nice to get a few today to take that pressure off a bit.

“Sabrina plays a pretty important role for us, some people outside our four walls might not understand, as far as out structure works, she is a crucial part of that and she is always competing and bringing the ball to ground.”

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Moving the ball quickly, the Pies showed the rest of the league with their dominance. This ended with the Pies having 19 inside 50s compared to the Dockers zero to half-time. However, they were unable to take counter on their many opportunities.

Disappointed with the second quarter, Dockers coach Trent Cooper had plenty to say after the match. Even in disappointment, he was proud of the valiant effort his defenders put in.

“I thought that was one of our poorer quarters of the year, our backs held up really well and we’re very proud of them,” he said.

Entering the second half, the Magpies continued their dominance. Superstar Jaimee Lambert took a strong mark before kicking it through the sticks. Down and out, Fremantle started to come back into the game.

The Dockers led the inside 50 count for the term, but it was their shallow entries that let them down, allowing gun Pies defender Stacey Livingstone to easily intercept the ball. Never looking like losing, Ash Brazill put the final nail in the coffin to close out the game.  

Brazill looked dangerous all game, finishing with 11 disposals. She was joined by Lambert and Ruby Schleicher, who ended the game with 19 possessions a piece.

Lambert was instrumental without the ball, making five tackles and always being a part of the play. Schleicher meanwhile could not drop a ball, taking 11 marks.

In a real team effort by the Pies, every player put in. Mikala Cann had 20 disposals, Livingstone led the defence and Lauren Butler made sure to keep the Dockers goalless.

Although they lost, Kiara Bowers had a game high 28 disposals and was the shining light in the Dockers team. Her performance also included 11 tackles. Under siege in the back-line, Laura Pugh was impressive with 24 touches of her own.

Fremantle certainly gave it everything it had with glistening moments during the game, but lacked class to find rhythm throughout all four quarters.

Collingwood will face North Melbourne at home next weekend as it looks to make it five wins in a row. In a battle of the two bottom teams, Fremantle will take on the winless Sydney Swans.

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