Roos take the honours
North Melbourne 7.2 9.5 15.8 19.9 (123)
Fremantle 1.2 7.6 8.7 10.9 (69)
North Melbourne: Harvey 3, Wright 3, Bastinac 3, McIntosh 2, Edwards 2, Hansen 2, Goldstein, Wells, Adams, Thomas
Fremantle: de Boer 2, Hasleby 2, Mundy 2, Fyfe, Bollenhagen, Johnson, Bradley
North Melbourne: Rawlings, McIntosh, Harvey, Goldstein, Garlett, Wells, Bastinac, Edwards
Fremantle: Roberton, Broughton, Duffield, Hasleby, Grover, Mundy
North Melbourne: Nil
Umpires: Nicholls, Kamolins, Ryan
Official crowd: 14,891 at Etihad Stadium
Fremantle’s top-four hopes have taken a significant blow with a 54-point loss to North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Kangaroos got off to a flying start to lead by six goals at quarter time, and though Fremantle cut the margin to 11 points at the main break, they were never headed on their way to the 19.9 (123) to 10.9 (69) result.
While North’s September dream edges closer, Fremantle’s double-chance prospects hinge on next weekend’s clash with the Sydney Swans.
Brady Rawlings starred for North, gathering 39 possessions and shutting the dangerous Stephen Hill right out of the game. Held to seven touches, Hill’s impact was minimal.
Captain Brent Harvey was prolific around the ground, finishing with 34 disposals and three goals, while Daniel Wells was significant as a rebounding defender and occasionally ventured forward.
Dylan Roberton played a similar role for Fremantle and was one of his side’s best players, and though fellow youngster Nathan Fyfe was also busy his disposal often let him down.
Sam Wright and Ryan Bastinac, who booted three of the seven first-term goals, also shone for the winners.
Nathan Grima did a superb job in defence on Matthew Pavlich, with Fremantle struggling to get the ball in its skipper’s hands.
It missed the injured Hayden Ballantyne as a forward option, just as it did Chris Tarrant and Aaron Sandilands in their positions. Tarrant left his side undersized in the back half and Sandilands’ absence allowed Hamish McIntosh and Todd Goldstein to set up the play in the ruck.
However, Antoni Grover played above himself in defence and got the better of taller opponents McIntosh and Goldstein when they drifted into attack.
Fremantle recovered from its slow start to kick six goals to two in the second term but the home side set things straight in the third, booting six goals to one.