Mark Duffield: 2022 Flagmantle aspiration more than for toothless Fremantle Dockers amid hammering at palms of Melbourne

If the decline to Sydney was a actuality look at, and losses to Collingwood and Gold Coast were proof that the Dockers are nevertheless to learn damp-weather soccer, Melbourne’s commanding victory around on Friday night reeked of two groups locating their level.

Keen to re-assert on their own as a premiership favourite, the Dees ended up ruthless from the get-go and dominant throughout in a 12.13 (85) to 5.9 (39) romp.

And Fremantle are not a flag contender. Not this yr at least – and not at any time until they correct their forward line.

That significantly was obvious nicely prior to the rain arrived and Fremantle gave us additional evidence that they do not know how to engage in in it.

Led by Jack Viney, the Demons have been tougher from the start off, founded a a few-intention buffer in no time and then crafted the scoreboard all over the activity.

The Dockers were out-muscled at the start off, timid with the ball even when they broke even in the contest, then powerless in assault when they finally received a toehold in the territory fight. Matt Taberner went to three-quarter time with a single disposal, Lachie Schultz six, Travis Colyer 3 and Rory Lobb 7.

Of Fremantle’s 5 goals, four have been kicked by little forwards Michael Frederick and Michael Walters. The other was crumbed by Griffin Logue as Melbourne’s Steven May perhaps, Jake Lever and Harrison Petty ruled the air.

David Mundy (36), Will Brodie (35) and Andrew Brayshaw (30) had large quantities but James Aish was Fremantle’s greatest with 28 disposals and a prevent occupation on Clayton Oliver. Hayden Young was excellent in defence but the Dockers tailed off soon after that.

In the meantime Angus Brayshaw, Christian Petracca and Ed Langdon gave Viney great support, Kysiah Pickett and Bayley Fritsch kicked three aims every single, feasting on a 60-40 inside of-50 edge, and the Demons had a distribute of contributors whilst the Dockers have been spread slim.

Ruthless v toothless at the start

The catchcry Melbourne had utilised coming into this match was that they desired to get back their ruthless edge. In distinction, Fremantle have been toothless in the opening 15 minutes.

That was long adequate for Melbourne to build significant warmth all-around the contest, an early 26-14 edge in contested possession and a 21-stage lead on the scoreboard. Fremantle evened the contest out soon after that and received two goals again, but the Dees nevertheless seemed dangerous with Fritsch remembering this was the ground on which he kicked six in a grand ultimate.

Predictably the contest beasts were outstanding. Viney experienced 12 for Melbourne, Brodie 11 for Fremantle with Petracca, and both of those Brayshaws popular. Evidently the Dockers had opted for extra of the same from their spherical 11 gain more than the Dees with Aish heading to Oliver and Logue forward. The Dees went for one thing distinctive with Brayshaw and Luke Jackson starting up in the midfield.

Timid with the ball

The Dockers improved about the contest following the early Melbourne surge but their challenge in the next time period was that they had been way far too safe when they won the ball.

It did not assistance that a couple of of their forwards did not contend incredibly strongly when the ball did get forward. But the Dockers have been fearful out of shifting the ball again into the corridor and lengthy kicks down the line were being receiving feasted on by the Dees defence.

The territory struggle at half time was a 36-16 hammering. Christian Salem (12 disposals, Could and Michael Hibberd (9 each) all experienced fantastic very first halves with Hibberd normally receiving in Logue’s way as he tried using to play a defensive position on May well.

Their edge around the Fremantle forwards meant Melbourne’s mids have been capable to get far more intense. Langdon pushed forward tricky on his wing and kicked a aim. At Fremantle’s end it took a piece of Walters opportunism to continue to keep Fremantle remotely in touch at 50 percent time.

Dockers butcher their last opportunity

Fremantle required to slender the 27-place 50 percent-time margin to a thing inside of 20 details at the last transform. Many thanks to inept finishing at one particular close and scientific ending at the other, the guide blew out to 42 and the video game was all but above.

Fremantle halved the territory struggle and attained by themselves excellent appears to be like at purpose. But Schultz missed form 25 metres out immediately in entrance, Logue tried to go all-around the corner from 25 and seemed every inch a comprehensive-back again as he kicked it into Petty’s palms on the mark. Brodie skipped all the things from the ahead pocket. David Mundy registered his 3rd out of bounds on the entire from the other facet.

At the other stop Fritsch nailed his established shot from fifty metres and Charlie Spargo nailed his left footer from the boundary line immediately after an accidental out on the comprehensive from Jordan Clark. The Dockers ongoing to try and be as well secure with the ball in their palms and Melbourne continued to decide them off.

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