Hill: Discipline the key
Fremantle’s Stephen Hill says some third-quarter pushing and shoving proved to be little distraction on the way to an 11-point win over the Sydney Swans at the SCG on Sunday.
The visitors set up the victory in the third term, extending a two-point advantage at the 11-minute mark to 38 points at the three-quarter time siren.
The run included a 12-point play, when Swans big man Heath Grundy was penalised for a free kick in a scuffle with Hayden Ballantyne after Freo’s Rhys Palmer goaled.
Ballantyne made no mistake from the free kick, booting the third of Fremantle’s six unanswered goals from the 14-minute mark.
While Fremantle’s performance was outstanding in the third period, it was also an untidy period of the game as scuffles broke out across the ground and players started grabbing jumpers.
“We were playing pretty good and I think they might have just wanted to get into us and try and change our mindset,” Hill said after the match.
“But we just kept playing. We just knew we had to keep playing the ball and win the ball.”
Freo extended the lead to 39 points early in the final term, but conceded five goals without reply as the Swans brought the crowd back to life and reduced the margin to single digits with less than four minutes left.
But despite a depleted bench and some tired bodies, Fremantle hung on to claim the four points and leapfrog the Swans into sixth place on the ladder with seven games to go.
Asked to explain what prompted such a comeback from the Swans, Hill said: “I think sometimes we were just kicking it to their free man a bit and then they were just rebounding it well.
“Sydney are a good side, they are in and under and tough and they challenged us and came back.”
It was also the second year in a row the port side has come away from the SCG victorious, and Hill said games such as these were very special.
“To get a win away is crucial and these are the wins that you really love, especially when you are away and you haven’t got too many fans here,” Hill said.