Archive for March, 2011
Star ruckman Aaron Sandilands says Fremantle will have to improve on its round one showing against the Brisbane Lions if it is to get over Geelong at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
Fremantle was aided by injuries to key Lions Jonathan Brown and Brent Staker in its round-one win, sneaking home by two points at the Gabba after an opening round defeat looked likely.
Sandilands said the side should improve this week against the Cats, after a host of key players started the season following interrupted preparations.
“We didn’t play our best footy on Saturday night, but we’ve put a few things in place now that we’ve been working on through the week,” Sandilands said on Thursday.
“Hopefully we can come out and play a bit better footy. We’re going to have to do that if we’re going to beat Geelong.”
Fremantle has made only one change to the team to take on Geelong in Saturday night’s Starlight Purple Haze Game at Patersons Stadium, with Matt de Boer named to return.
Youngster Jayden Pitt makes way for de Boer, whose intensity and tackling pressure will be a boost to Freo’s chances of knocking off the 2009 Premiers.
Pitt has been named as an emergency along with new recruits Jonathon Griffin and Jack Anthony.
Fremantle defeated Geelong at Patersons Stadium by seven points in Round 3 last season in one of the club’s greatest victories.
But the Cats had the last laugh when they ended Freo’s season in a Semi Final at the MCG – the Cats winning by 69 points.
The match also carries extra interest with Geelong’s new senior coach Chris Scott having been a Freo assistant under Mark Harvey for three years before getting the gig at Kardinia Park.
Coach Mark Harvey says Fremantle’s crushing finals exit to Geelong at the MCG last year has not been forgotten as his side prepares for redemption at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
The Cats were emphatic 69-point winners in the second semi-final last season, humbling Fremantle in just its sixth finals match and suggesting a significant gulf still remained between Harvey’s men and the AFL’s elite.
Harvey said the loss had not been discussed among his players this week, but it should be at the back of their minds as they seek to start the season with consecutive wins after beating the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba last Saturday night.
“That’s in our memory … it’s got to be in your memory,” Harvey said from Fremantle Oval on Wednesday.
“A lot of effort had gone under the bridge throughout the season to get to that point and we would have liked to have put up a better performance than what we did.
The AFL has acknowledged a free kick should have been paid to Brisbane Lions defender James Polkinghorne for his tackle on Fremantle’s Stephen Hill during the final quarter of Saturday night’s game at the Gabba.
At the time Polkinghorne laid the lunging tackle, the Lions were leading by 10 points with less than four minutes remaining.
While it appeared Hill had failed in his attempt to kick the ball, play was allowed to continue. The Sherrin ended up Dockers forward Nat Fyfe, who kicked an easy goal to cut the home side’s buffer to just four points.
Fremantle then snatched an improbable two-point victory when Michael Walters slotted a banana-kick from the boundary.
AFL umpires’ manager Jeff Gieschen spoke about the decision involving Hill on OPSM What’s Your Decision?
“At the time he was tackled, he went to kick the ball but unfortunately, instead of kicking the ball, the ball came off his knee, which is deemed to be an illegal kick,” Gieschen explained.
Fremantle are poised to benefit from a thinning injury list with tough forward Matt de Boer pushing for a return against Geelong at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
De Boer, 21, played his first match of the year for Claremont in the WAFL last Saturday to put a pre-season derailed by a hamstring injury behind him and signalled his readiness for a recall as one of the Tigers’ best.
The Dockers also are close to regaining utility player Garrick Ibbotson, who ran strongly at training yesterday.
Coach Mark Harvey said Ibbotson (ankle) was not far away from resuming.
By Kim Hagdorn and SportsNewsFirst
Tough Fremantle defender Alex Silvagni will be sidelined for at least another fortnight as he recovers from a serious leg infection.
Silvagni, 23, suffered an adverse reaction to a steroid injection in a strained thigh muscle and was forced to miss the start of the 2011 season when the Dockers survived a brave Brisbane to win by two points at the Gabba.
Silvagni spent four days in a Perth hospital on an intravenous antibiotics drip leading into the AFL season opener and was only released last Friday.
Fremantle forward Chris Mayne says he was pleased to see former assistant Chris Scott notch his maiden win as a senior coach in round one, but all good wishes will be put to the side when Geelong travels to Patersons Stadium this Saturday.
Scott, who spent three seasons as an assistant to Fremantle coach Mark Harvey before landing the Geelong job last year, made a dream start to his coaching career on Friday night with a one-point win over St Kilda.
Mayne said Scott would have taken valuable intellectual property with him to Geelong, but Fremantle would plan for Saturday night’s clash with that in mind.
“He’s obviously going to take a bit of knowledge with him, but that’s football,” Mayne said from Fremantle Oval on Monday.
“We understand that he’s going to know a bit, but it’s just for us to come out and stick to our game plan. Harves will have some tricks up his sleeve.
Freo fans, it’s time to get your purple on.
You’ve endured a long, hot, football-less summer, but on Saturday night 2 April your Freo Dockers return to Patersons Stadium to take on Geelong in the 2011 Starlight Purple Haze Game.
If you are going to be at the game and you think you have the passion for Freo, show it by wearing as much purple as you can find in your wardrobe and you could win thanks to the popular ‘Purple Play Off’ best dressed competition.
It’s all about you getting on board and showing us just how purple you can be.
The competition will see one lucky member or supporter in the crowd walk away with a fantastic prize – a box for six people with $300 catering at the Len Hall Game in round 5, 2011 – if they are crowned the prince or princess of purple!
There’s not much you need to do to be eligible to win…just wear PURPLE and register with the 92.9 Roadrunners at Gate 8!
Half back flanker Greg Broughton said he always maintained the faith Fremantle could win on Saturday night despite falling in a fourth-quarter hole against the Brisbane Lions.
When Daniel Rich banged home a classy left-footed goal at the 14-minute mark, the Lions led by 17 and were full of momentum on their home ground.
But Broughton, who was one of Fremantle’s best four quarter performers, said he always thought his side was a chance.
“At one point we were three goals down and I thought it was tough but I knew if we got some clearances and had some set shots we’d have a chance,” he said.
“We believe in ourselves.
“They played well tonight Brisbane, we were lucky to get the win. We have to work on our processes, we’ll look at the tape on Monday and see what we have to improve on.
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has described Saturday night’s two-point win over the Brisbane Lions as “the one we got away with”.
The Fremantle Dockers fought back from a 17-point final quarter deficit to run over a depleted Lions outfit.
While Harvey was pleased to be taking the four premiership points back to Perth, he was less than satisfied with his team’s performance but full of praise for the opposition who finished the match with just one fit player on the bench.
“I thought the Brisbane Lions were fantastic tonight the way they fought the game out under a lot of duress, a lot of injures,” he said.
“The reality is sometimes you win a game when you shouldn’t. To our blokes’ credit, when you’re travelling on the road, it’s the biggest trip, we hung in there and we showed some character.
“A lot didn’t go right for Brisbane, so if it’s the one we got away with, that’s how I would rank it. [But] it’s the second time we’ve won here in two years so it’s significant.”