One that got away: Bradley
Fremantle forward Kepler Bradley says Saturday night’s 11-point loss to Geelong is a game the side should have won, with poor goalkicking letting the team down at Patersons Stadium.
Despite winning the midfield battle and enjoying sustained momentum in the second half, Fremantle fell short, with Chris Mayne, Adam McPhee, Stephen Hill and skipper Matthew Pavlich all missing chances in a tight last quarter.
Bradley, who booted a game-high three goals, said the players were “filthy” on themselves after a kicking 10.18 – including 3.9 after the main break.
“We controlled a lot of the game, we just didn’t capitalise. We have to capitalise on that and we should have won tonight,” Bradley said.
“We kicked 18 or 19 points and if you convert two or three of them then you’ve won the game.
“We know how critical it is to win early games in the season and we let this one slip away.
“Every game we want to win, but especially at home and to let it slip away tonight was pretty disappointing.”
With Pavlich deployed to the midfield for much of Saturday night’s clash, Bradley was Fremantle’s focal point in attack, alongside Michael Johnson, Mayne and goalsneak Hayden Ballanyne.
The former Bomber, who outplayed opponents Harry Taylor and Darren Milburn early, said the group was forced wide by the Cats, contributing to the wasteful scoreline.
“I think it’s where we take our marks, we probably took them too wide tonight,” he said.
“We’ll take a look at the tape on Monday and see where we’re actually getting our ball and where we’re having our shots. If you’re marking in the corridor you should be able to kick goals.”
Bradley credited midfielders David Mundy (29 possessions and a goal) and Pavlich (28 and seven clearances) as well as defensive duo Luke McPharlin and Antoni Grover for keeping Fremantle in the game, despite the wayward attack.
He said next Saturday’s clash with Adelaide at AAMI Stadium was now a crucial game after losing the first home fixture of the season.
“I think we’ve proven ourselves away from home last year, we won quite a few games away, so it’s not the end of the world,” he said.
“It’s a crucial game, you never want to lose two in a row, especially with a young side – we want to keep our confidence up.
“But when you play at home, you’re playing in front of 40,000 fans and members and you really want to produce the goods for them. We couldn’t do that tonight.”
“We had fresh legs and we had speed out there tonight, we just couldn’t put it together and just fell short.”