Freo survives Tiger fright
FREMANTLE 0.2.4 0.6.6 1.8.10 1.14.12 (105)
RICHMOND 0.3.0 0.5.2 0.7.4 0.10.7 (67)
Fremantle: Broughton (supergoal); Bradley (3), Pitt (3), Mellington (2), Fyfe, Broughton, Mayne, de Boer, Ballantyne, Mzungu
Richmond: Riewoldt (2), Nahas (2), Miller, Vickery, Elton, Derickx, Connors, A. Maric
Fremantle: Fyfe, Bradley, Mzungu, Broughton, Pearce, Ballantyne
Richmond: Martin, Ivan Maric, Riewoldt, Tuck, Addam Maric, Webberley
Umpires: Margetts, Law, Ritchie and Bannister
Official crowd: 7,294 at Patersons Stadium
Fremantle has notched its second win of the NAB Cup, storming home to beat Richmond by 38 points at Patersons Stadium on Sunday night.
Despite missing captain Matthew Pavlich and star ruckman Aaron Sandilands, who was a late withdrawal after pulling up sore in the warm-up, Fremantle kicked the last five goals of the game to win 1.14.12 (105) to 0.10.7 (67).
Young midfielder Nat Fyfe was brilliant for the home team, finishing with 25 disposals (14 contested) and one goal in a sign that he could join the AFL’s elite this season.
The 20-year-old was instrumental in the third quarter when Fremantle built a 21-point lead, winning 10 possessions for the term before being subbed out of the game at the final change.
While Fremantle entered the match without its two best players, Richmond also made a point of protecting its top end talent, with midfielder Trent Cotchin and star half-back Brett Deledio rested for the trip west.
Coach Damien Hardwick also removed midfielder Dustin Martin at half-time after the gun youngster won 16 possessions (eight contested) in a brilliant start to the match.
The 20-year-old was still the Tigers’ leading possession winner at three-quarter time – alongside Shane Tuck – and was arguably his side’s best contributor.
Without its two best on-ballers, and with ruckman Ivan Maric also subbed out of the game at half-time after a strong start, the Tigers lost control of the midfield in the third quarter.
The visitors mounted a brief rally in the final quarter to pull the margin back to seven points, with Daniel Connors, Jeromey Webberley and Melbourne recruit Addam Maric all influential.
Fremantle entered the match without injured midfield trio David Mundy, Michael Barlow and Anthony Morabito, and coach Ross Lyon chose not to take any risks with Sandilands after he pulled up sore in the warm up.
Given opportunities, young forward Josh Mellington (17 disposals and two goals), Jayden Pitt (three goals) and Clancee Pearce (25 disposals) were solid contributors for the home team.
Richmond also subbed key forward Jack Riewoldt out of the match in the second half after he kicked two goals in a bright start.